It started out with a simple design and got progressively more complicated (as I tend to do with all projects). I am happy with the results and I hope my nephew enjoys using it.
The basic design is a single board held up by hinges and chain. I also added a shelf that can be handy to hold chalk when upright, and adds stability when down in table-mode.
I had to do a bit of problem solving here and there so there are probably some easier ways to do things. I am pretty proud of some of my improvisations you will see throughout the instructable.
Time: ~1-2 days
-(1)16x72in pine board
-(1)2.5x72in pine board
-(2) 2in L-brackets
-(2) large eye-hooks
-(2) 3in door hinges
-(1) slide-bolt lock
-Toggle-bolt screws (optional)
-Clear-coat finish polyurethane (optional)
-About 6 ft of chain
-Cork-board cork (optional)
-A friend to help (optional, but preferred)
-Assortment of washers, screws, nuts and bolts come in handy too
Step 1: Prepping Your Lumber!
I recommend taking the time to fill in gaps, holes and cuts with a putty filler and sand it down smooth. It didn't take me long to remember how many splinters one can get from un-sanded wood.
Since I don't own a router, I simply took the sander and rolled it along all the edges to eliminate sharp edges and splinters, this table is going to be used by a 2-yr old after all.
Since this wood is going to have to withstand being abused with finger-paints, watercolor, and probably some amount of glitter; I ended up sealing it with 3 coats of clear-coat wood finish. It took a few days since I let the layers dry 24hrs before adding another coating, but I recommend doing it to ensure a long life of your table.
I did all of this to the large board as well as the skinny one (sorry for a lack of pictures, I trust your imagination)
Step 2: Easy Part: Making the Chalk Board Side
For an extra design touch I taped off the edges to give it a nice frame around the board.
Then simply painted it with the nifty, canned chalkboard paint. Three layers seemed thick enough to stand a lot of abuse since it's pretty thick paint to begin with.
Step 3: Assembling the Table
I lined up the small shelf board along the inside edge of the larger board and secured it in place with the L-brackets. This secured it well enough for me to be able to drill holes and screw the boards together from the back to get a solid hold.
That was easy, give yourself a pat on the back!
I also drilled holes through what will be the front end of the table (opposite of the shelf). I then fit a bolt through and used it to hold the chain to the end of the table. it works best to use a washer if you don't have a screw big enough to cover the chain. I however was too lazy to go to the store for 5¢ washers. So I made some fashionable, make-shift washers out of some bottle caps (I encourage copying this technique to impress friends and family).
I screwed on the hinges after finding where they will line up with the studs in the wall (its important to know where your studs are!).
Finally, I glued some cork-board onto the underside of the shelf. I found that the hinge overhangs a little bit, and this helps close the gap created when the table is in the down position. It also allows the board to have a softer impact on the wall.
Step 4: Installing Your Creation on the Wall
I marked off and drilled the holes for hinge before I lifted the board up to the wall. The 3in hinges were wider than the wall studs so I used some heavy-duty toggle bolts to make sure the hinges don't pull out of the dry wall.
I then installed the eye-bolts into a stud on either side of the board. I had then almost level to the height of the board when its in the up position. I'm sure there is a perfect placement for the eye-bolts for the most strength, but so far I haven't had any problems.
I hooked the chain to the wall by opening and re-closing a link, and there you go! Now its on the wall.
Now for the final, and probably over-complicated step.....
Step 5: Locking the Board to the Wall
The problem with the slide-lock is that it was too wide to sit on top of the board. I'll try to describe what I did as best as I can, but I think pictures will make more sense.
To bend one side of it, I screwed it down to a block of wood and used a hammer to gently tap it to a nice 90º angle. Unfortunately the locking mechanism still stuck out over the board, so I stabilized it with some left over corkboard cork.
I wanted to make sure the screws weren't going to scratch up the wall, so I made little rubber drops with a hot glue gun.
Finally, I had to compensate for the distance away from the wall from the hinges, so I pushed the receiving end of the lock away from the wall with some cork.
It was a lot of work but it works like a charm!
Step 6: Finshed!
Now you can enjoy drawing out plans on a chalkboard, then quickly converting it to a handy work space!
Good luck and enjoy!