My kitchen was tiny, but I needed more counter space. This is my first decent home improvement project, so I wrote a up a really detailed description of how I did it so that I could learn and so that it would serve as a "how to make a folding counter" guide for others. I hope it doens't sound too obvious since it's really not that hard, but I wanted to include everything so people who haven't done stuff like this can follow along. You should be able to scrounge most of the parts for free (except maybe the hinges?), but even if you buy all the parts from the hardware store it's still under $20.
Step 1: All Steps in One (sorry But It's Easier for Me That Way)
- Two 3' by 8" pieces of wood (3' means 3-foot and 8" means 8-inch)
- two hinges with enough screws to fasten them to the wood
- two or three L brackets (a.k.a. 90 degree brackets)
o screws that fits into each wall anchor
o a drill bit that is the size called for by the wall anchor (on the wall anchor package, 3/16" in my case)
- one wood-screw for each hole in the brackets that will need to fasten to the wood
- A screwdriver
- A drill (optional but helpful)
- Tape measeure (just generally helpful)
I pushed the boards tightly together. I put the center of the hinges just to one side of the crack. I was meticulous about getting the hinges straight so that my counter would swing properly. To get the screws intothe wood, I first drilled a small hole with a tiny drill bit (1/16").
Then I attached the counter to the wall
I started by attaching the brackets to the wood (again it helped me to drill a tiny hole where I wanted the screws to go in to get them started). I lined the brackets up so that the perpendicular part would be at least even with the edge of the wood. I did this part on the floor.
When all the brackets were attached to the wood, I held the counter in place on the wall where I wanted it to go and marked where the holes should go on the wall by poking a pencil through the bracket-holes. Then I drilled holes using the drill bit that was sized for the wall anchor. I hammered the wall anchors in. Finally, I had someone hold the counter up while I screwed all the screws into the wall anchors through the brackets. As I screwed into the wall anchors they expanded making a snug fit in my drywall (you may not have drywall).
The hinges attach the wood together, but you must attach the wood tightly together to get it to unfold flatly.
Placing the hinge to the side of the crack makes things work out better in my opinion.
Here's the counter folded out.
It's pretty stable for chopping, but the wall-side board is more stable than the other one.
( Leave Your Comments)
Step 2: Suggestion for Improvement
20.06 ...At Tanglewood... They are held from above by chains, with one block of wood pivoting into place to hold it up when it is in the \"up\" position. Then it is released, and the chains are taut (forming a triangle between the chains, the wall, and the plank of wood), supporting the weight of the shelf and whatever is on it. They held multiple violins, percussion equipment, etc, so they can certianly be strong. Like Jeff said, it can then be one big piece of wood, instead of having a hinge in the middle. It would obviously stick out as far as the wood is thick (~2\").