Build a Foldout Desk and Craft Table

This easy-to-make desk is the perfect storage solution for a tiny office or playroom.

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Front view of the finished desk/craft table.

Materials and Tools:

miter saw
nail gun
screw driver
safety goggles
level
3/4" birch plywood
1x4 poplar
rope molding
wood glue
screws and nails
one piano hinge the length of your desk
two 2" folding hinge
two folding metal bracket

Figure A

Steps:

1. Cut the plywood to the desired size of your desk.

2. Use the miter saw to cut the molding at a 45-degree angle. You'll need three pieces of molding, one for the front and two for each side. The backside will be against the wall.

3. Glue and nail the molding into the front and two sides of the desktop. Shoot the nails into the flattest part of the molding so it will be secure. Sand down any rough edges.

4. Add the piano hinge to the back of the desktop so the desk will be able to flip up and down. Screw one side of the hinge to the desk and the other to a 1x4 piece of poplar the length of your desk (figure A). (The poplar board will serve as a cleat to secure the desk to the wall.)

Figure B

5. To make the legs, cut the 1x4 poplar to 3/4" less (or whatever the thickness of your desktop) than the height you want your desk to be.

6. Build a small rectangular box on the front underside of the desktop. The legs will be attached to this box and it will house the legs when they are folded up against the wall. Use the 1x4 poplar to construct the box. Make sure the length of the box will be able to accommodate the legs. Screw the four sides of the rectangle into the bottom of the desk.

7. Screw the hinges into the tops of the legs and then screw the other half of each hinge inside the box you've just built. Install the legs so that they fall on opposite sides of the box and they both fit in the box when the desk is down against the wall.

8. Add a folding metal bracket to each leg, screwing one side to the leg and the other to the inside of the box (figure B).

When this desk is not in use, the legs fold up underneath and the desktop collapses down against the wall.

9. Stain or paint the desk as desired. Let dry.

10. Attach the desk to the wall. Make sure the legs sit flush and the desk is level before securely fastening the cleat to the wall.

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