Foldable Work Table for Garage
By Carol Shenkenberger
Here's a solution for a foldable work table in a small garage. It can be used as a craft table that can be lowered out of the way in winter to make room for the car. It's perfect if you have a longish car, a short garage and need that extra space at the end. This lets you use that space for a table for crafting when you can leave the car out. That's most of the year where we are!
Skill level minimal but will need second person to hold things. Second person can be a kid if they can hold up the parts for you while you nail. A third person is optional but easier. Mostly you need the extra person when first attaching to the studs. This is a winner to intro kids to a little project. Estimated 30 minutes time.
Tools and parts:
old solid wood door (not too warped) or other wood about same size (28-32inches by 6ft roughly). 6-8ft of 2x3 or 1x2.
2-3 large heavy duty long thin hinges with 4 or more nail holes in each 'leaf' (one per stud for the area that the door will hang, more is better).
2 smaller long thin but heavy hinges for the 'legs'.
Nails, hammer, saw, pencil or magic marker.
Use an old (hopefully solid) wood door with a flat surface. You can use plywood or pressboard also but they may be more prone to warping over time. Pressboard especially so.
Use 'worst side' as bottom. If there is a hole where a knob was, design so that is towards the wall. Place door propped against wall and use marker or pencil to mark where the heavy big hinges will attach to the studs. Attach these to the 'door'.
Now lift door (need second person and 3rd is optimal) and attach hinges to studs so that it swings down pretty much flush to the wall. How high depends on how tall you (or wife) wants it for easy work. If she plans to sew there, you'll want it low enough for a chair yet high enough to stand and work a pattern on with comfort. If you are going to do much 'crafting' there, please use a level to make sure you get it as even as you can.
Next, lift 'door' up and measure off 2 'legs' for each corner. 1x2 will work but we used 2x3 as we had it. I held the door and Don used a level then a pencil to mark the wood. Cut then using smaller hinges, attach these pieces so they fold up towards the center. Depending on how high you went, you may need to place one of the 'legs' inwards vs just at the corner so they fold neatly without running into each other. When stowed flush to the wall, this takes up about 3 inches but when folded out, gives a nice big work surface.
Now you have a fine little extra table for crafting, sewing, kid's projects that are messy, etc. If you have some old linoleum or sheet vinyl to glue or nail on top, it becomes easy cleanup too and I've been known to use it for rolling out bread dough after cleaning it up first since I have limited counter space.
Expansion ideas on this: If you plan to put a sewing machine on the table, use 2 legs on each side (2 of them more towards the center and offset from each other as above if needed). If using center legs (IE: 4 of them) get some small 1/2 inch or so trim wood (anything spare you have laying around) and use this nailed on the underside to 'bolster' the center legs so that they will not sag in time when stowed since the legs are attached just with hinges at the top. This makes a fine light crafting table but is not suitable for really heavy equipment.
Editor's note: Carol is a regular over in the alt.home.repair newsgroup (AKA Google Groups) and was kind enough to submit this after I complimented her on another posting. With some minor edits it is as she submitted it.
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