So we really needed a work space down in the shed to house both a laptop and a large monitor for my design work that could be folded up to protect against the kids' basketball and floor hockey games that happen all winter long. Here's what we made:
So this post is going to be a little light for a full-on "HOW TO" but we weren't planning on showing a step-by-step when we made this thing so hopefully we can cover enough for someone to work from if they're really interested in making something similar.
Here are a couple shots showing the desk open and closed so you can see the two different views we get of this piece.
We used a couple of piano hinges to allow for the fold down action. They give you nice clean lines and are really strong. This was important because in researching fold-down desks we found that many of the options available out there look beautiful but are actually pretty rickety when you sit down and really use them like a real desk.
Here you can see how the fold down works. We used magnets to hold everything closed to keep things looking clean. The first small fold is important as it acts as a spacer to keep the top of the desk level as it sits on the fold-out supports underneath.
The supports underneath the desktop fold out from the bottom section of the desk. We thought this gave a bit more support along the whole length of the desktop rather than just at two points which is what happens when using the more common cable support system to hold up the desktop.
We laid out the desk in Illustrator before cutting anything to gauge size and to make sure we could fit all the pieces most efficiently onto a sheet of plywood. We were doing this on the cheap so we just worked with Birch plywood and hardware from Home Depot but did drop a little bit of money on nice magnets from Rockler.
Here is a screen shot of some of the plans. Now go try to make one.