Building a fold down table...

I really want a heated shop. A place where I can spread out and do "my thing" without having to worry about making room for my truck when it snows.

For now I am stuck with the garage. Most of my work stuff is "organized" on the shelves I have built over the years in the garage.

This picture is a tad deceptive....

Truth be told, this corner of the garage is never this "clean." I had already moved 2 tables, about 10 cut up sheets of plywood, a few garden tools and even the trash can out of this little corner before I took the picture.

But with all that stuff "gone" (okay, so it was piled in the yard!) I decided it was the perfect spot to install a drop down work table.

For several years I have used a folding plastic table as a work bench. But every time I wanted to work I had to drag it from behind the crud I had piled in front of it and throw my back out just trying to set it up...and then there was the whole issue of taking it down and wrangling it back into place behind the piles of plywood! 

I do have a garden shed. It is perfect for storing garden tools and spare trim and plywood...things I don't NEED in the garage. Truthfully, I just get lazy and don't haul the stuff back there when I am finished because...well, I get tired. So it piles up.

Anywho, I saw this drop down table in a magazine...or on Pinterest...or somewhere. I thought it was neat and I knew this little corner of my garage, next to the shelves with all my tools and supplies (which WILL be organized...someday), would be the perfect spot.

It just so happens I had a few table legs from an old folding table. Do not ask me where I got them or why I have them. NO idea. I just know they have been hanging on the wall of my storage shed for as long as I can remember waiting for me to do something with them. 

I found this nasty little shelving unit in an apartment.

Just a simple little thing someone nailed finish...pretty nasty and dirty. Straight ammonia and kilz...then a little black paint...perfect for the shelving for my drop down table. I did add two brace on the top and one on the bottom so I could mount it to the wall.

I made a table from a piece of 3/4" birch plywood, banded with 1x2 poplar and then attached one of the folding table legs to the underside. (I spray painted the leg black before I installed it!)

I attached the painted shelf to the wall using 2 1/2" screws into the wall studs and then attached the table to the shelf with three hinges.The shelves make a perfect place to store stuff I only use when I am working at my table! I can store dowel rods, the level and framing square on the top!

I even attached one of my metal yard sticks to the edge so I would have an quick way to measure things. I did this to my chop saw table! You can see my chop saw table next to this is actually an old grill cart that has had a top added to it. Makes it super easy to roll it in and out of the garage so I don't get saw dust all in the garage when I use it!

I also remembered that I had a cutting mat hiding in the back of my closet...I dug it out and attached it to the table as well. Now I have a place to measure and cut stuff without scarring up my table (yeah, that will last!)

When I want to "close" the table, I fold it up and secure it with the little hook. (As you can see from the holes in the wood, I tried another type of fastener first...obviously it didn't work...trial and error) 

I stained the table with a wood stain/poly sealer I had on hand. I think it is suppose to be a dark walnut stain, but birch and poplar don't stain very well so it was kind of light. No biggy...I just wanted something to seal the raw wood.

I used pipe brackets to mount the table leg to the underside of the table...worked out perfectly! 

While I was organizing, I decided to make hanging "racks" for my clamps. As I have mentioned before, clamps are a necessity when you are repairing furniture. When I had 2-3 of each size, the little screws and nails in the side of the shelving were just fine. But over the years I have acquired so many that it really was a hazard to pull one down...I have been whacked in the head on more than one occasion by falling clamps...ouch! 

I used a 1" flat paddle drill bit to drill a 1/2" deep hole into the 1 x 6" trim that runs along the wall. Then I attached an L bracket on the outside edge of the shelf. I cut a 1" oak dowel rod 3/8" longer than the width between the L bracket and wall trim so that the dowel rod could slip into the hole...then I used a 1 1/2" screw to secure the dowel rod to the L bracket. Basically I made a little "clamp rod" to hang my clamps on! Now they don't fall on my head when I take one down...yippee!

This little table is super easy to put up and down...takes no effort at all. The shelving provides space to store things I don't need handy when it is closed.

This same design could be used to make a sewing, gift wrapping or craft table inside the house if you are limited on space and don't want a table spread out all the time! You could design the shelving as deep as you want and with as many shelves and "cubbies" as you might need for your supplies. The possibilities are endless!

My next big chore is to run an electrical outlet to the wall in the shelving...sounds like a perfect project for my SIL Joel ;)