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Designing a recessed folding table for cabinet.

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Forum topic by jontro posted 586 days ago 1263 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jontro

5 posts in 586 days


586 days ago

I’m about to undertake a fairly ambitious project. I’ve designed a scrapbooking cabinet for my better half to help recover some of my office space, a walk-in closet, and a portion of the basement. I’ve got most of the plans drawn up, but I’m stuck on the mechanics of the table. I’ve included a 2D sketch of the project along with a 3D drawing for perspective. The whole thing, being about 12’ wide when fully open, will fold up to a 47-1/2” x 39” amoire-like cabinet when closed.
What I’m trying to do with the two pieces of the tabletop (22”x46” and 26”x46) is to have the outer section slide either above or below the inner section and then both section fold down into the cabinet; with the folded legs tucking into the lower portion of the cablinet.
Is there a hinge or slide mechanism that would allow the two table sections to slide from 48” down to around 28-29”, leaving the legs on the inside and at the bottom? More sketches to follow.
Thx in advance.
JG



6 replies so far

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Dan Krager

1516 posts in 861 days


#1 posted 585 days ago

1. Could you live with a shorter table whose length is the size of the opening? Then it could just drop down with legs folded behind it.
2. Mount the rear section on full extension slides and fold the front section back on top of it, legs up, folded flat. This would keep the extended table sections at same level. Use a piano hinge between the folding sections.
3. Like 2 except that instead of full extension hardware, hinge the back of the table to the front of the case shelf. Front section folds on top of second section and they both pivot upward so folded legs are inside. Consider what happens when unfolding. Second section with unfolded outer one is going to be heavy (and hard on) on the hinge at the cabinet face. There would have to be a “lock” to keep the second hinge from sagging.
Interesting challenge. Good luck. Keep posting pics.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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jontro

5 posts in 586 days


#2 posted 584 days ago

Thx for getting back to me Dan…
In answer to #1, the reason for the 48” table was that’s about half the length of our dining table and the Ms. Scrapbooker can easily take that over for a session or two. Since the height of the area where the table would be folding into is about 4” shorter then the tabletop height when open (given the height of the casters and base panel), that won’t leave much work space.
My main purpose in keeping the table section together, in some fashion, is to minimize the thickness and therefore not add to the overall depth of the cabinet any more than I have to.

I’ve included a sketch of a pivoting arm arrangement that I’m currently considering and working on. The problem is trying to minimize the lifting height as the outer table section is collapsed back on top of the inner section.

In the first example the distance between the pins will be around 11” to get a folded offset of 22”. The problem as mentioned above is this will require a maximum lift height of nearly 11” and just doesn’t cut it. The lower example has a 2:1 offset, still needing an 11” pivot rod an but produces the need the same amount of lift.
I’m experimenting right now with a slide-type linkage that might eliminate such a severe lifting need and also working on a method of strengthing the opened while maintaining a minimum thickness. More to follow on this.

Also, here the plans that I’ve worked up for the center unit where the table will fold into:

If you can make it out…the legs will fit into the cutout in the bottom portion of the lower storage area (left side view); the extra thickness in the side is to accommodate both tabletop sections and the outer wings as they will fold into and be covered by this center section.

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Dan Krager

1516 posts in 861 days


#3 posted 583 days ago

Wow! Is four inches really worth all the extra effort?
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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jontro

5 posts in 586 days


#4 posted 583 days ago

Sorry Dan, something must’ve gotten lost in the translation. The sample sketch of the pivoting is not to scale, should have mentioned that earlier. The tabletop will be 48” when opened (22” inner section/26” outer section) and ~25” closed, with the inner table hinged to the fixed shelf of the center unit (meas. 13-7/8”, left view). So I’m looking to compress the tabletop section depth by 22” before folding down into the cabinet.

What I’m after is getting the depth of the fixed shelf plus the thickness of the two table sections when folded together and down to equal the depth of the upper shelves. I can always adjust the depth of the lower shelf storage to accomodate the tabletop sections. I just trying to minimize that thickness as much as possible.

Thx again for keeping up on this.

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jontro

5 posts in 586 days


#5 posted 582 days ago

Here’s one idea using slotted pivot arms to reduce the maximum height when closing. Working now to see if a larger slot would work without weaking the structure. The arm would 3/4” x 13-7/8” x 1/8” and fit into dados on both side of the table. I also modified the dimensions of both tabletops which appears to fit what’s needed when closed.

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Dan Krager

1516 posts in 861 days


#6 posted 581 days ago

That’s pretty clever. It looks like a rabbet would help at the joint, too. You could stack several layers this way and get a six or eight foot table if you find a good way to support it or lock it rigid or both.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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