Introduction: Floating Folding Desktop
I made this desktop using off cut laminate floor boards that I had left over from my flooring installation earlier this year. I wanted to build a space saving desktop for my bedroom so I decided to make a folding top using these really cool folding self brackets. The table top is split into two sections, the far side of the table that bolts to the wall to hold desktop items and the work space that folds down to save space.
General woodworking tools and supplies
- Table saw, chop saw, circular saw, circular saw guide, drill, pocket hole jig, wood glue, C A glue, screws
Other tools and supplies
-hacksaw, epoxy, spray paint, drywall anchors
Step 1: Scraps
I used almost all the off cut laminate floor pieces that i saved as well as some short lengths of 2x4's that I had lying around. I Also had some 1/2" Mdf sheets left over from a 4ftx8ft sheet
Step 2: What I Had to Buy
1/8" thick 1' wide aluminum angle bars, these where used as a perimeter to the table top to cover the exposed ends of the flooring pieces
Two stainless steel folding shelf brackets I found these on Amazon they are rated for around 350lbs between the both of them
Two heavy duty shelf brackets (these wouldn't be entirely necessary if you where able to make the 2x4 supports longer than I did but, I wanted to use up scraps rather than buying any more)
Step 3: Preping the Laminate Pieces
Because these are off cuts pieces, one side of the board is missing the
click and stick edge to attach the boards together. We will only be using the front and back tongue and grove to attach the rows so, the side tongue will have to have be removed. I chopped each board as long as possible through the table saw.
Step 4: The Table Top
I laid out all the laminate pieces that I had to determine how large of a desktop that I would be able to make, in my case I was able to make a panel that was 30x48".
Once I had all of the boards laid out arranged to get the largest surface area, I cut a large mdf sheet down to the size I determined. From here I started gluing the laminate pieces to the mdf sheet. I'm using Wood glue to hold the boards to the boards to the mdf and C A glue to hold everything in place just until the wood glue fully cures. I add one full row of laminate pieces at a time (flat to flat) untill I reach the edge of the mdf sheet. then I start the next row using the tongue and grove feature on the front ad back of these boards. The laminate pieces are glued in place to overhang every edge of the mdf sheet. These are then trimmed using a circular saw flush to the mdf sheet and to final dimension.
Next I cut the panel into two pieces. One piece (12x48") will serve as the back side of the desktop, this will always remain upright to hold my monitor, speakers, lights, etc... The other piece (18x48") will be attached to the folding brackets and will be used as a work space to hold my keyboard and mouse but also folds away to take up less of my bedroom.
The underside of the Panels where given a coat of paint.
Step 5: Aluminum Angles
To cover the exposed ends of the panel I am using some aluminum angles that I got cut to size from my local metal supplier. I had to knockout the corners on each four of the side pieces with a hacksaw to fit them together with the length pieces. I first cleaned up each angle with scothbright and gave them all a coat of spray paint. All of these where epoxied and clamped to the edges of the desktop panels overnight. (If I where to do this again I would have ordered longer pieces of aluminum and cut the ends at a 45 degree angle to have them join together as a miter)
Step 6: 2x4 Supports
Using what 2x4 off cuts I had had on hand I was able to make two supports for the back side of the desktop and one cross beam to hold them together.
I cut 4x boards to 7" (these need to be at least the length of your folding brackets but, the longer you can get these the stronger your desk will be) and 4x more boards to 9" (these boards need to be as long as the back side of the desk when assembled in a square shape with the 7" boards) I used a long 2x4 and cut it to 41" to hold the supports together and span the width of the tabletop
I use my pocket hole jig to drill out all the 9" boards, and the 41" board. Then I use glue and screws to form the 7" and 9" boards into a rectangle shape.
I took each of these rectangles to the router table and gave each edge a 45 degree bevel as I thought it would give the desk a cool angular look.
All of the 2x4 pieces where given a coat of spray paint.
Step 7: Putting It Together
I predrilled some holes on the topside of the 2x4 supports to screw into the table top.
The holes were transferred to the mdf sheet and I predrilled that as well to prevent any splitting.
After bolting the supports to the underside of the desktop panel, the 41" 2x4 is screwed in between the two supports .
Step 8: Putting It on the Wall
I measured out the spot I wanted it to go on the wall and used drywall screws to bolt the back of the supports directly to studs where ever I could, and drilled out for Drywall anchors where I couldn't
Next I attached the Folding brackets to the front of the support pieces trying to keep them centered on the 2x4's and the top of them flush with the underside of the desk panel.
Then I put the front desk panel in place and line it up as best I can. this is then screwed to the brackets.
After getting the front desk panel in place I felt like the entire thing was probably too heavy for the supports to handle, so I picked up some heavy duty shelf brackets at a hardware store. I gave them a coat of matching paint and screwed them into the wall. Now the desktop feels pretty solid, but if you are able to make the support pieces longer than I was you could probably get away with out having to buy any other brackets.
Step 9: Finishing Up
Now you can start getting things organized to your liking.
I'm happy with how this project turned out, I wound up with very little laminate flooring left over and now I have a space for a home office computer.
I bought one of these long power strips from Harbor Freight to power my pc, monitor, lights, etc.. It fits pretty nicely in the supports.
In the future I plan to make some sort of magnet desk pad to keep the keyboard and mouse in place when the table is folded away, but for now I just store them on my chair. I'd also like to make a chair mat that folds away when not in use.
I haven't yet spilled any drinks while folding the table away yet, but I'm sure that its bound to happen at some point so I guess look out for that If you decide to build one of these too.
Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge