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Forum topic by Dophi posted 07-30-2016 02:13 PM 336 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dophi

27 posts in 2287 days


07-30-2016 02:13 PM

I’m going to build a cabinet that serves a dual purpose. It will be the place for the microwave most of the time but will also be used as a serving table since counter space is at a premium. The cabinet will be mobile to serve it’s second use. My intent is to have two tops to accommodate the need for the additional counter space. There will be the usual fixed top upon which I will hinge a second top of equal size and thickness. It will be split in the middle and fold outward to double my available counter space. I have seen a number of different systems to support the opened top. The one I favour would have support arms beneath the fixed top that you would pull out when needed and would only show as a handle when pushed in and not in use. I’m having difficulty with the geometry of this arrangement. Can anyone suggest how I might do this or where I can get more info. Thanks.


8 replies so far

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rwe2156

2190 posts in 942 days


#1 posted 07-30-2016 02:17 PM

Slide our supports like a secretary desk.
Cut a slot in the side and make guides.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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Dophi

27 posts in 2287 days


#2 posted 07-30-2016 06:28 PM

That is the general idea of what I want to do. My thought was to have the two for one side of the table connected both under the top and outside of the cabinet. Sort of like a rectangular frame. That way I would have a handle to pull out or push in the support for the one side. My problem comes when I do the same for the opposite side. How do I get the two “frames” to pass each other. One side would have to be wider than the other and they couldn’t be on the same plain. Does that make any sense?

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JBrow

818 posts in 382 days


#3 posted 07-30-2016 10:20 PM

Dophi,

I am not following your plan for the overall project and supporting the auxiliary top. Is there a fixed top and one auxiliary top, or two auxiliary tops? Where will the top(s) be hinged; front, back or side(s)? Does the project consist of a cabinet with solid sides and back and drawers and/or doors on the front or is the project a table with legs and open underneath? Will the microwave remain in place or be removed when the cabinet/serving table is used as a server?

I am guessing there are probably several approaches for supporting the auxiliary top(s) and the what I understand to be the bi-pass problem over which you are thinking about. But without a better sense for the overall design, or better yet a sketch, it is difficult for me to offer descriptions of any auxiliary top support systems.

Notwithstanding my confusion, I saw a unique and cleaver approach for extending the table top size of a dining table on PBS on Rough Cut with Tommy MacDonald. I am not sure this method could be adapted for your application, but it might be worth consideration.

http://tommymac.us/2016/01/episode-0411-draw-leaf-table/

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Dophi

27 posts in 2287 days


#4 posted 07-31-2016 03:26 AM

Hi JBrow.

Thank you very much for your input.

This is going to be an actual kitchen cabinet with solid sides and back and flat panel door covering pullout shelving on full length glides. The carcass will be 24W X 24D X 36H. The two tops will be 26 1/2W X 25D. There will be one fixed top with a second split auxiliary which will be hinged on the sides to allow opening to the left and right. The microwave will be sitting on the folded top most of the time. It will be removed when the cabinet becomes a server with the folded top down and the cabinet is pulled away from its place along the wall with the rest of the kitchen cabinets.

Tommy’s video presents a really slick option for the auxiliary top. His method takes care of my concern. However, I’m not sure I want to go that route at this point. It would appear there is a fair amount of space lost at the top to accommodate the sliding arms. Maximum cabinet storage area is one of the objectives of this project. Should it turn out that my current approach will take as much room, then I would give Tommy’s approach more thought.

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JBrow

818 posts in 382 days


#5 posted 07-31-2016 05:51 AM

Dophi,

Thanks for the added details; makes sense to me. I agree the draw leaf table would sacrifice useful everyday storage but I love that design.

I would think the simplest method for supporting the auxiliary tops is with wooden right angle brackets. The brackets could be hinged to the cabinet sides and, when used for the microwave, folded against the cabinet sides and set under the fixed top, which could be cantilevered a bit over the sides. A nice curve and routed edges could make the angle brackets that are swung out to support the auxiliary tops look nice when the cabinet is used as a server.

Thinking about the bi-pass slide out support, one possibility would be to make a support assembly for each side of the cabinet. The support assembly could consist of a rail that is outside the cabinet. Connected to the rail at 90 degrees at each end of the rail would be slides that slip through rectangular holes in the cabinet side. The slides would extend all the way across the interior width of the cabinet. A slot centered and cut down the length of the slides would receive a bolt mounted to the back and top face frame rail centered on the width of the cabinet. The upper edge of the slides would be in contact with the underside of the top.

In order to have slide out support assemblies on both side of the cabinet, the rail on one side assembly could be longer than the rail on the opposite side but sized so the slides of the assembly on one side slide against the slide of the assembly on the opposite side of the cabinet. The center bolt would hold the slides of both assemblies square to their respective rails and make the assemblies behave. The bolt would also act as a stop.

My attempt to sketch the description of the bi-pass side mounted auxiliary top support mechanism…

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Dophi

27 posts in 2287 days


#6 posted 07-31-2016 01:49 PM

JBrow,

Many thanks for that response! It appears to me you have solved my concern. My first thoughts were somewhat similar, the difference being I was looking at a framed box as opposed to your open ended design. It was that closing that presented me with the question of how I would get one side to pass the other unless they were on a different plain. That was going to require more space and it seemed to me it would also have been more complex to incorporate. Since I am building a European style cabinet I won’t have the face frame to which I can attach the front pair. That won’t be a problem because I do have a modification in mind. Instead of having the guides (in your diagram) at the back and front, I plan to narrow that width down. I will be attaching two runners to the bottom side of the fixed top for stability purposes. I will use those as the place for the bolts. Let me know if you feel I should re-think my approach.

I plan on using 3 table top hinges (as below) on each wing in place of piano hinges. Your thoughts please.

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JBrow

818 posts in 382 days


#7 posted 07-31-2016 03:53 PM

Dophi,

Your plan sounds fine to me. I do have thoughts regarding the mounting system and the hinges.

Since you plan to mount the side slides using the top and the top could expand and contract along its width, accommodating the movement in the fixed top can ensure the side slides do not bind. If the top expands, the pair of side slides could be pressed into one another. Getting just the right spacing between the side slides would take care of this problem. If T-nuts or threaded inserts are used to receive the bolts and some binding occurs, pulling out the top drawer could allow you access to the guide bolts making them adjustable. In the diagram I illustrated only one guide bolt for each pair of side slides. I would actually use three per set of side slides with one centered, as previously shown. The remaining two guide bolts could be mounted away from the center toward the connecting rails. These two outer guide bolts would then act as a pivot and reduce some wear on the openings in the side that accommodates the side slides.

If you were able to find some plastic sleeves to go over the bolt and separate the bolt from the wood, wear on the side slides slots could be reduced. On a recent project I purchase some UHMW (Slick Tape) from Peachtree. I applied it to wooden runners to reduce wear and make the slide work a little smoother. In your application, applying Slick tape to the sides of the runners could help them slide past one another a little easier.

The hinges you are considering would function fine, but before settling on the hinges you pictured you could consider whether knife hinges might work better. Hinging the auxiliary tops to the fixed top with leaf hinges has its challenges.

The first is installing the hinges so that they are low profile, whether the auxiliary top is closed or open. This is mainly an aesthetic consideration. But there is also a utilitarian consideration. Whether the cabinet acts as a server or a microwave parking place, kitchen crude invariable will need to be wiped from the top. If the hinges are mounted so that kitchen crude can be wiped into the recesses of the hinges (for example if the hinge plate is fully exposed when the auxiliary tops are folded onto the fixed top), the hinges can become grungy over time. Mounting the hinge plate to the edges of the auxiliary top would go a long way solving the problem, but would be visible when the auxiliary tables are folded over.

Knife hinge are an alternative, but would have their own set of challenges to overcome. Anyway, here is a link to images of knife hinges…

https://www.google.com/search?q=knife+hinges&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi2opz1gZ7OAhWGRSYKHdEaAYoQsAQIUw&biw=1366&bih=618

The hinge problem could be solved by making the auxiliary tops separate from and unattached to the fixed top. When the server is need, the auxiliary tops could be dropped into place on the slide out supports. But this means the auxiliary tops must be stored when not in use. Dowels in the auxiliary tops would help with alignment and keep the auxiliary tops from shifting around.

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Dophi

27 posts in 2287 days


#8 posted 07-31-2016 08:20 PM

JBrow,

Thanks for the additional feedback. I was wondering about the possible implications of table top expansion on the slides. My thought is to put a third runner in the middle between the two sets of slides. I can then put a rod from side to side, through the middle and they can travel as much as necessary without binding. I can elongate the holes in the three runners to provide for expansion. I also like your idea of using three bolts, in my case rods. As for spacing between the the slides, I don’t see any reason I couldn’t be generous and allow as much as 1/2 inch between the two sets.

Thanks again for all your help.

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