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Wall Mounted Folding Table

Indra doesn't just enjoy making terrain, he likes a good battle too. However storage is an issue and while terrain can be stored in cupboards there's always the issue of the playing surface itself. To solve the problem, Indra built this neat wall mounted, folding table:

Wall Mounted Folding Table

Okay, so now for the bad news:

  1. You're going to need a few DIY tools and skills, namely a saw (to cut the wood) and an electric drill (to make holes for screws and in order to mount the table to the wall, plus of course the ability to use them. A hammer and the ability to use it could prove useful as well.

  2. You're going to need a suitable wall to mount it. Indra mounted his on a wall in the kids' playroom (Yeah, right Indra, we believe you that it's the "kids'" playroom), but you could also mount one so it folded down over a bed or a sofa. However the most important thing is that the wall must be able to take the weight. If your wall is solid, you'll be fine, however if it's plasterboard then you'll need to be sure you fix into the studwork and not just the plasterboard. If you don't know how to do this, or how to determine what your wall is, then you should probably stop reading right now and throw a green cloth over the dining table when you want to play. Seriously, you could cause quite a bit of damage to people and property if you get this wrong.

  3. The final bit of bad news is that you're going to need some materials that you are hardly likely to have hanging around so you're going to have to spend a few quid. Indra's bill at the hardware store came to 22.28 UKP and that's not including the legs (which he already had).

Wall Mounted Folding TableThe image to the left shows Indra's legs. Sexy huh? They are from an old camping table and as already mentions, Indra already had them. Obviously it will add to your costs if you need to go out and buy something or come up with another way to support your table. Indeed, if you want it to fold down over a bed or sofa then you will need to come up with a solution that spans the furniture while still giving the table the support it needs. Be sure to consider whether or not you can rely on the people who will use the table not to lean on it?

The image below shows the underside of the table and as you can see it uses a framework of batons with sheets of hardboard on top. This results in a lightweight table with a nice rigid playing surface. Indra use two sheets of 1/8" hardboard each measuring 2' x 4' (because he only had space for a 4' x 4' table). You could use bigger sheets however:

  1. If you're planning to use them as purchased then check that the corners and edges are good before you leave the store and take care not to bash them on the way home.

  2. If the sheets will need cutting then find a hardware store that will do it for you.

Making a long straight cut requires quite a bit of skill with a saw so follow the advice above and it's a job you won't need to do.

Wall Mounted Folding TableIndra used 3/4" x 1 1/2" batons to make his framework. How much you need will of course depend on the size of your table and if you are making it much larger, you may want to use thicker batons. You will certainly want to increase the amount of framework. An important point is to arrange the framework such that whatever you use as the legs for your table comes into contact with the frame as opposed to the relatively thin playing surface.

There's no getting away from the fact that you are going to have to use a saw to cut up the batons however, depending on how you make the joints, you don't have to be all that accurate.

Okay, so forget dovetails, lap joints, and dowels, this isn't woodwork class and you really don't need it. The hardboard sheet will help to hold everything in place once it's fixed so our framework doesn't need to be quite as solid as if we were going to cover it with polystyrene sheet or a chicken wire and plaster shell (as used on a lot of model railway layouts).

Wall Mounted Folding TableNailing should not even be considered as an option because, particularly at the corners, we'd be nailing in places where we'd be highly likely to split the wood. Drilling and screwing is the best option and by far the easiest way to do it is to use metal brackets like the ones shown in the image to the left. If you do it without brackets you'll be screwing into end grain so you really ought to use some PVA glue on the joint despite the contribution that the hardboard top will be making. Also, and this is the crucial bit, your cutting of the batons will have to be accurate. If you use the metal brackets then gaps (even so much as a 1/4"), are not going to be a problem (although you should of course aim not to have big gaps).

The hardboard can also be screwed into place (in which case you'll need to countersink the screws so they don't protrude), or you can fix it using 1" pins and a hammer. Putting a bead of PVA glue along the edge of the baton before pinning it to the hardboard will make for a really solid job.

Before going any further you'll be as well to spend some time tidying up the edges. This could involve sanding, painting, or an perhaps applying duct tape as Indra has done. Whatever it takes to get a finish that you're happy with.

The next step is to add hinges. These can go on the edges of the frames (as Indra has done), and if you have the necessary skill with a chisel they can be rebated such that you don't have a gap when the table is in use. An alternative is to have them as shown in the drawing below.

Wall Mounted Folding TableThe drawing (created by Andy Slater using Google SketchUp) shows the hinges in the centre of the board and illustrates the way in which a couple of additional lengths of baton can be added (glue it with PVA) if your batons are not wide enough to accommodate the hinges. Note that at the wall, the hinges would have to go on top of the table.

Wall Mounted Folding TableA couple of additional batons are needed to mount the table to the wall. To find the position for the lower baton, the one with the hinges, stand the table on whatever you are using for legs and mark the position of the baton on the wall. With this baton fixed in place, the table can folded up against the wall in order to determine the position for the top baton. In fact a couple of short lengths would work at the top as its purpose is to prevent the table from hitting the wall (which would tear the hinges below) and to give you something to which to fix a couple of catches.

All that remains is to add terrain, some figures, and a few mates, and there we have it.

Ready for use:

Wall Mounted Folding Table

Folded away:

Wall Mounted Folding Table

Ready for use:

Wall Mounted Folding Table

Folded away:

Wall Mounted Folding Table

Simple!

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