Fold Down Table - to Save Workshop Space




About: Maker On YouTube

I have a very small workshop. Something I'm lacking is both floor space and usable table space. So a fold down table should give me the best of both worlds.

I have a video showing the process here:

Materials Used:

  • 89mm CLS Timber
  • 18mm Plywood
  • Lift Off Hinges
  • Butt Hinges
  • Screws

Tools Used:

  • Magnet Driver Bits

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  • Table Saw
  • Mitre Saw
  • Drill & Driver
  • Jigsaw

Step 1: Cut CLS to Size

I already had some 89mm wide CLS timber so I decided to rip it in half on the table saw. It not only makes the structure slimmer but it also gives me double the material to work with.

I've created a cut list if you would like to make a table to the same dimensions.

With the pieces ripped in half I could cut them to length on the mitre saw.

Step 2: Construct the Table

The joinery will be simple butt joints, screwed together.

I added 3 supports in the middle to help prevent the plywood top from sagging in the middle.

I cut some 18mm plywood to match the size of the frame and attached it to the frame with screws.

The leg construction is really simple. It consists of 1 x 40cm piece, which will attach to the wall with hinges.

2 x 36cm pieces and 1 x 79cm piece which is the leg support. Again, these are screwed together with butt joints and the corners are supported by some 18mm plywood. Its surprising how well adding plywood to the corners helps to stiffen up the whole structure.

Step 3: Add Hinges & Mount to the Wall

Because my shed floor isnt flat or even close to level I opted to use lift off hinges. These will allow me to lift the legs over the bumps in the floor when I open them and fold them away.

The table top itself just gets 3 butt hinges along the back. I made sure the barrel of the hinges was flush with the top.

Attaching the legs to the wall is nice and easy but attaching the table top to the wall on your own is more difficult.

This is where the magnet driver bits come into their own. Holding the table top against the wall and driving in the screws is very difficult on your own. Ideally having someone to help you would be the best bet. However, using the magnet driver bits made it really easy to do. I could just click the screws onto the bit and drive them in place. brilliant!

Step 4: Add Latch & Done!

I made a simple catch to stop the table top from falling down. Its just a block of wood with a hole in it. An old allen key does the job of holding the table in place.

That's the table done. Its very simple but it does the job. I have managed to give myself more table space while still keeping my much need floor space.



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    19 Discussions


    5 months ago

    Great Instructable! This is exactly what I need for my garage because like you I need to maximize my space for multiple use! Thanks for posting! You now have a new follower!

    Vitalij X

    Tip 6 months ago on Step 3

    Have you tried to make table top closing down to the floor?

    It would free space at top for more shelves and keep table parts together.

    And attaching table top to the wall will be a lot easier this way. You can even attach legs to the table top to save holes in the wall.

    1 reply
    AverageJoesJoineryVitalij X

    Reply 5 months ago

    I did originally plan on having the table fold down and have the legs fold out of the table top. It limited the sizes I could work with though because the legs needed to be able to fit inside the top. I would also lose some of the central supports. Another option was to keep the legs hinged to the wall and have the table fold down to cover them. Again I decided against this because I would take up twice the depth away from the wall. The wall space above was less useful to me so I opted to have the table fold up.


    Tip 6 months ago on Introduction

    I would add rubber cap things (dont know the name in english) for the legs to deter movement (a bar that can be pull down from the table could serve too). Also o the legs at the part where it meets the wall (maybe 1-2 cm away from the wall) It would be convenient to make the frame so that its another leg/base pole in order to give it more strength and be able to sustain heavier stuff on top.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 months ago

    Some great ideas there! Would definitely add more strength to the structure.


    6 months ago on Step 4

    I like the simplicity and utility of this built in bench. One improvement I can imagine would be to add some sort of lock to lock the legs in place while in use. Maybe some sort of dowel protruding from the leg that would match up with a hole on the table top. That way the legs are less likely to get accidentally kicked out from under it. Still a clever table I will definitely keep in mind for the future.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thats something I definitely should have added. I'm thinking of adding a hole to the top of each leg and then adding screws to the underside of the table top. The screw head will sit in the holes and I can use them to the level the top if need be.


    Reply 6 months ago

    That is a great improvement on the suggestion! Not only do you lock it in place, but you remove any wobble it might have from an uneven floor.


    6 months ago on Step 1

    Great idea but for added stability, I would have either made the back apron shallower or the other ones deeper, and I would have had the legs under the table. With your set up, a slip of the foot or accidental stumble will destabilize that nice table. Or notch out the leg or apron.

    I am going to make a larger one for my sewing room. I was going to use drop down legs, but this is better.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thanks! Im thinking of adding a hole to the top of each leg and then adding screws to the underside of the table top. The screw head will sit in the holes and I can use them to the level the top if need be. It would be great for use in a sewing room. I did think of drop down legs but Im glad I went with this design instead.


    Reply 6 months ago

    That will destroy your leg in time. Use a dowel on the table top and a larger hole in the leg, or reverse this and put a plate with a hole under your work table. Dowels are strong.


    Tip 6 months ago

    Nice, Neat. The legs should have some sort of a lock.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thanks! You're right, I'm thinking of adding a hole to the top of each leg and then adding screws to the underside of the table top. The screw head will sit in the holes and I can use them to the level the top if need be.


    6 months ago

    While a nice idea, I find that once a space is opened in my garage, it is quickly filled with something else. This table requires that you keep the space around the legs open in order to fold them outwards thus eliminating the benefit of providing extra garage space. A stationary table that you just stash junk underneath might actually work just as well, or better.