A twist of a catch releases this hinged patio table

Fold-down table: a twist of a catch releases this hinged patio table

David Ashe

This Outdoor Table Drops into place an instant, then lifts out of the way when it’s no longer needed. It makes a handy semicircular shelf near the barbecue grill or a perch for a potted plant. Attach it to an exterior wall or privacy fence.

Begin by laying out seven 36″ lengths of 1×6 lumber. Arrange another layer of 1x6s perpendicular to the bottom layer. Hold the wood pieces in place on your work surface and mark the center of the middle board. Draw a 36″ diameter circle using this center.

Drive No. 6 x 1-1/4″ flat head wood screws to connect the two layers to each other. Don’t drive screws too close to the circle you have drawn, or where you will cut the disk later. Also, drive the screws in an even pattern.

Using a saber saw, cut out the 36″ disk. Cut the disk in half. Referring to the technical drawing for measurements, cut out the 1-1/2″ slot from the lower semicircle, then cut the semicircle into two quarter circles. Unscrew the board indicated in the drawing from the lower right quarter; cut out an opening for the magnetic catch. Reattach the board. Sand all edges and corners smooth or use a router with a round over bit.

Cut a piece of 2×2 lumber, 32-1/2″ long. Mount it horizontally on the wall or fence, 42″ above ground level. Use wood screws on a frame surface, trying to find the studs, or lead anchors and lag screws if mounting to a masonry wall. Mount the lower left quarter of the disk flush with the left end of the 2×2, again using the appropriate fasteners.

Next, attach the lower right quarter to the lower left quarter with two 3″ butt hinges. Attach the upper half disk to the 2×2 with two 3″ butt hinges. Swing the lower support quarter out to support the table.

To make the table top catch, cut out a 4″ diameter disk from scrap 1×6 lumber. Cut a 1-3/4″ piece of 2×2. Assemble, as shown in drawing, using a 4″ wood screw and washer. If the table is being mounted to a masonry surface, drill out and insert a wood plug.

Swing up the table surface and locate the correct position for mounting the catch. Tighten the screw, but not so tightly that the disk can’t rotate freely. Finally, install the magnetic catch and the catch plate so the support leg will be held against the wall when the tabletop is folded away.

For more ambitious builders, The Workshop Blueprint Co. has designed a wooden privacy fence featuring the same fold-down table and a hidden storage cupboard. Plans cost $8 (postage included). Send a check or money order to The Workshop Blueprint Co., PO Box 65725, Dept. FG, West Des Moines, IA 50265. Request Plan No. 986.


14 1×6 (3/4″ x 5-1/2″) redwood, 36″ long 1 2×2 (1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″) redwood, 36″ long 1 4″ round head wood screw with washer 1 magnetic catch and catch plate 4 3″ galvanized butt hinges with screws No. 6 x 1-1/4″ flat head wood screws Fasteners to mount table to wall (see text) Stain, paint or varnish (optional)

COPYRIGHT 1993 KC Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group