My kids are at an age that they need separate study areas instead of working at the the dining room table together. My daughter's room has enough space for a regular desk but my son has a full drum set taking up most of his bedroom. Since I couldn't find anything to buy that would work in his room, like most folks here on instructables, I decided to make my own solution-a fold down wall desk.
Because my son can fill any flat surface with Legos, books, and souvenirs that he calls his bits and bobs,a folding wall desk was the perfect solution. This way he would can keep the desk clean and fold it up at the end of each day. As you will see in the steps, I included a book rack for his school books and notebooks and a place for his pencils. I also used blackboard paint to give him a surface to write notes on or draw space unicorns.
After coming up with an initial design for the wall desk, I decided to make one for my daughter too. I also modified the design so the desk could be a converted into a drafting table. After completing the desks I realized a couple of things-that this wall desk could easily be redesigned to be a standing desk for an adult or older kid, and that I want one as a drafting table for myself! Why do my kids get all of the cool stuff!
Most of this instructable is post production shots because I didn't think to take pictures along the way. I promise to do better next time. I have included Sketchup diagrams and when I make my own supersized drafting, folding, wall desk I will post a followup instructable. Thanks.
Step 1: Son's Room
So this is my son's room. Normally that blue carpet is a foot killing field of Lego bricks. His drum set is in the corner to the right taking up half of the room.
Step 2: Stored Position
This is the wall desk in the stored position. The desk is the large 34" x 24" rectangle on top. It pivots on a 1 1/8" dowel rod attached along one edge with the dowel rod sitting in the frame that attaches to the wall. The wooden pin on the side locks the desk in the stored position. The pin comes out and can be used to store the desk top in an upper position when it is used as a drafting table as well. The legs fold in on piano hinges and the outer leg is the large rectangle underneath the desk. The other two rectangles on the sides allow for the legs to be inset a little.
Step 3: The Wall Desk in the Desk and Drafting Table Positions
This is the wall desk in the two positions. The dowel rod that holds the desk top in the frame and allows it to pivot can be seen in these photos. The slots in the wall frame allow the desk top to be placed in the different positions. I used 3/4" MDO plywood for the desk surface. The MDO provides a smooth writing surface for both the desktop and the chalk board surfaces. The rest of the desk is made of regular BC sanded 3/4" ply and 1/2" ply. The 1/2" is used for the large piece that mounts to the wall. the only reason I used the 1/2" here is to save a little weight when I screwed it to the studs.
Step 4: The Legs
The desk is supported in both positions by two legs that fold out. I made the legs from two layers of 3/4" ply laminated together to make them extra sturdy and to avoid the plywood from warping over time. The bottom of the desk surface has fours holes that allow the pegs in the ends of the legs to lock in place. I also installed a magnet catch to keep the legs from falling open when the wall desk is stored.
Step 5: Other Features
There is a book rack that is accessible when the wall desk is down. I drilled holes in the top edge of the panel that forms the front of the rack for pencil storage. I also added a bracket to the edge of the wall frame so a clamp light can be mounted.
Step 6: SketchUp File
Here is a video of my son storing the wall desk and turning it into a drafting table. I added it just to show how easy it is to use. Since I didn't take pictures as I made the desks, I drew this SketchUp file real quick. Like I mentioned, I will eventually make a larger one of these for myself and take better pictures. Until then, if you are interested in building one, you should be able to pull all of the dims you need from this file.
If anyone is interested in having one, but doesn't want to go through the trouble of building it, I would be happy to make it and ship it. I could even do custom sizes. Let me know in a PM or in the comments below if you would like to buy one and I'll be in touch. Thanks and enjoy.
Runner Up in the
Living Without Closets Contest