I’ve been spending a lot of time in my workshop building my kitchen table over the past few weeks. One thing that I am noticing is that I need more table space for working on long pieces. Also, I have two folding tables that I use for projects and they are not nearly as sturdy as I would like for some of the projects that I work on.
I have a large 15+ foot section of wall in the shop that has nothing near it or in front of it. This space would be ideal for a long thin table, but I also park cars in here when I am not working on a project. I don’t want to have another folding table either, so I designed this flip up table for the space.
The idea is that this self contained, sturdy tabletop would be mounted to the wall and lay nearly flat against it (only 2.5″ deep) but be easily raised and supported for quick or extended use. I have seen some plans online that all have legs that extend to the floor and are usually made of 2×4’s. Usually, they also fold upward so the unsightly bottom of the thick table is visible when in the closed position. With my plan, I could cover the top of the table with a cool diamond plate or steel surface, then allow that surface and all of its beat up character to show when stowed.
I also have two power outlets that I use frequently on that wall – these will need to be accessible for quick plugins when the table is stowed. This design utilizes two cutouts that allow the outlets to be seen and used whether the table is stowed or open.
Finally, the swing out table supports are mounted via a hinge to the bottom of the tabletop itself, not the wall, so the unit is self contained. The swing supports will be locked to the bottom of the tabletop with a magnet and the wall side surfaces will be covered with felt pads to protect the wall from scratching while the support arms are swung down into place.
I was building this table entirely from extra parts and scrap wood that I had laying around from other projects. The only exception is the diamond plate that I bought on sale from a small local hardware store – it was only $20 for a 2′ x 4′ sheet and I couldn’t pass that up. Once I did the measurements in the garage, I realized it was not practical to do the cutouts for the power outlets. All of the scrap wood that I had was 8′ and the outlets were exactly 8′ on center, so I could either make it a 10′ table and deal with all the structural problems or I could just forget the cutouts and call it a day.
Here are some work in progress pictures.
Here are a few pics of the finished (or near finished) flip up table:
Overall, I am pleased with the final product. It really looks gorgeous and the work surface is very solid. I ended up only using 4 of the 6 studs for hinges, and each of those hinges has at least 2 solid 4″ deck screws holding them to the wall, but I still worry about strength. I like to try and over build things like this so they can take extreme loads, but this table is only meant for lighter loads, probably less than 300 lbs. Eventually, I will build a 2’x4′ frame around the table, then attach it to the frame using door hinges – but this will work nicely for now.
The drop down legs work perfectly when opening the table. I used felt strips for the wall facing part of the legs so they don’t scratch the wall too much. When you lift the table, a light tug on the front of the leg and it comes loose and swings down into place, stopping with a bounce at 90 degrees. I just do the left leg, which holds the whole table up, then I walk to the other side and drop the right leg down into place. Closing it is just as easy, just in the opposite order. I do want to put a drawer pull handle on the front center of the table for grabbing as well as removing the patriots tape strip on the outside, unfortunately it makes it look cheesy.