Drop down table

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I think this is the final project for the craft room makeover. At least it’s the last major project needed to make it a functional room. But now it will work perfectly for a sewing/craft room and convert easily into a guest bedroom.

This drop down table is really the most important part! Now my wife can actually work in the craft room. In retrospect, I probably should have made this first.

Drop down table

I’m very proud of this design. It took me several months to come up with a design that was easy to use, sturdy, easy to build, inexpensive, and looked great when folded up to the wall.

I struggled over many, many ideas and Sketchup plans. They were all overly complicated and none has an elegant solution to concealing the legs. The solution finally came to me when I saw a dart board with two doors hiding the game board. Perfect!

Another consideration was that I wanted to minimize how far the cabinet sticks out from the wall. With the doors closed, it protrudes only 4.5″ (11cm). This is important, because when the Murphy Bed is folded down, guests need to be able to walk on that side of the bed without hitting their shoulders on the drop down table cabinet!

Special materials I used for this project:

I started by making the table top. It’s just a framework of boards joined together with pocket screws.
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In order to keep the table as lightweight as possible, I used 1/4″ (6mm) plywood for the top. I glued and tacked it to the frame.

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I wrapped the perimeter with 1.5″ (38mm) furring strips (inexpensive construction grade pine boards). These make the top look more substantial and cover up the plywood edges, but most importantly, the make the top much stiffer and sturdier.

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This continuous hinge (piano hinge) on the underside of the table will connect to the legs.

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I made the legs out of 2x4s. They are glued and screwed together.

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And attached to the hinge.

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After a lot of struggling, I managed to get a pair of these locking table leg braces installed. They are very difficult to use. If you have a better solution let me know!

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The cabinet is simple. Just a basic frame with three cross pieces to give it lateral support.

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I dropped the table top into the cabinet and installed another hinge.

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I made the doors basically the same way as the table top. Frame with plywood glued to it.

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The doors are attached with two hinges each.

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I drilled shallow holes and epoxied rare earth magnets into the doors and cabinet frame. The will act as latches to keep the doors closed.

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Disassembling the top, doors, and legs makes painting much easier. I used a cool stencil for the designs on the doors. My wife really likes this ornate Victorian look in the craft room.

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Attaching the lightweight cabinet frame to the wall is a lot easier than trying to hang the whole unit at once.

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Awesome door pulls!

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Free Plans

19 COMMENTS

  1. I use hardware similar to those leg braces all the time, but in more of a ladder configuration so as long as both sides match the exact angle doesn’t matter. Seems to me all you would have to do is figure out about where the hardware needs to be on the legs, mark both of them identically, attach the hardware, put the legs in the open position and then screws the braces to the table, regardless of whether they were in exact identical locations relative to anything else.

    I was thinking “murphy bed” also.

    The top would be too light for a workshop, at least for my workshop. I’d have the thing torn up in a week.

  2. Very nice…
    So first : ROBOTRON!!!! I could have had a car so much sooner if I didn’t play so much.
    Could the clearance with the leg locking things be due to them being upside down or inside out? Looked like one of the lengths might have been shorter or have it fold away from the hinge.

    Thanks for all the projects.

  3. As an alternative to those locking hinges, I wonder how well some simple straps would work. Would be less expensive, easier to install, and quicker to use. If concerned about the legs retracting back in by accident, maybe a door hinge attached to the leg or a hole in the leg to slide a dowel or screw in & out will suffice – just enough of something to act as a wedge.

  4. Three that may be a bit obscure were my favorites:

    Q*Bert
    Moon Patrol
    Qix

    I also loved the electro-mechanical era of Pinball.
    Bally machines mostly.
    Lost World
    Paragon
    Silverball Mania

  5. If someone is doing a similar setup to what you did with this room, but wall space is at a premium, the table could be attached to the bottom of the Murphy bed. 🙂 This would require putting a latch on the Murphy bed probably a stronger latch on the table than in the original build, since it would be under the bed when the bed is down.

  6. Could you tell me where you purchased the leg braces ?

    I’ve been trying to find similar but I’ve come up with either too small or shaped for
    blanket type boxes.

  7. Found you through Pinterest. Your wife is a lucky gal! Thank you for sharing the plans…I can’t wait to build something in my living room so that I can finally have a sewing/writing space!

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