Flip Top table in progress

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Blog entry by cranesgonewild posted 03-27-2011 09:43 PM 5817 reads 12 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a project I started back in September. I would pick at it from time to time in between other projects, and honey-do lists. My garage is 12’ x 20’, so I need to really think about where things go to make everything fit. I really needed a table for my planer and table top router. So, when I saw this project on the Wood website, I had to make it. This rolling cabinet also serves as my out-feed table for my table saw.

Rarely do I ever follow plans exactly, and this is no exception. I made it to fit my needs. The plans are for both cabinet tables to flip. That wasn’t necessary, because I wanted one cabinet to hold the router table. The router table is flush mounted in the cabinet. And when I need a flat surface, I just lower the router. I decided to mount my Wolfcraft router table because that’s what I had. I didn’t feel the need (yet) to buy a ‘fancier’ router table insert. Because I was using this router table, I had to widen the cabinet by 8”. Therefore, to keep everything looking esthetically pleasing, I widened the planer cabinet as well. Underneath the router, I plan to make something similar to a Norm Abrams router cabinet.

For the planer cabinet, everything rotates on a 1/2” steel rod. The sides of the MDF top are reinforced with maple for strength. As for the locking mechanism, the plans call for a piece of metal that pivots on a single screw for the four corners, which I never liked. This stopped me in my tracks for a few weeks. I searched the internet for something different, and couldn’t find anything that was strong enough in case I leaned on the table. The best thing I could find was a knob and rod setup that would protrude past the outside of the table. It would be strong, but I didn’t want that. Then one day, it just came to me in a Eureka! moment. I could use a simple door latch. This is very strong because it’s held down by four screws in each corner. And they’re cheap! I made a video on how they work. I filmed it with the iPhone, so it’s not the best quality.

The whole thing rolls on four locking swivel casters, which are rated for 300 lbs each. I don’t know how much it weighs, but it’s heavy. The entire cabinet is made up of maple, MDF, pine (for the braces underneath both cabinets), and particle board. The dimensions are, 70 1/2” x 32” x 34 1/2” high. My table saw is 34 3/4” high, which is just perfect. I have one regret about the cabinet so far. I decided to use particle board for the sides and back because it was cheap and my mindset was that it was a working cabinet, and it doesn’t have to be pretty. But, after all the work I’ve put into this so far, I wish I would have gone with a better wood. Maybe later on, I’ll use wood veneer and cover it. What do you think?

-- I'm a Fungi --

7 comments so far

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4585 days

#1 posted 03-27-2011 10:06 PM

i think you did an excellent job on this
making it out of fancy wood
wouldn’t keep it from getting banged up and having that used look
save that for finished pieces
some shop cabs may yet have more changes coming
as the needs and tools grow

well done

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 4071 days

#2 posted 03-28-2011 01:41 AM

that is a wonderful project congrats


View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4048 days

#3 posted 03-28-2011 01:08 PM

great idea for smaller area shops

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View mafe's profile


13344 posts in 4333 days

#4 posted 03-28-2011 10:19 PM

So nice!
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 4187 days

#5 posted 04-24-2011 01:35 AM

Great job you did Chad.

I donĀ“t care too much of the fancy wood. Yes however on the tidiness of the shop. And you made a fancy table here.

-- Back home. Fernando

View bigike's profile


4058 posts in 4532 days

#6 posted 04-24-2011 03:10 AM

cool job very nice addition.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View SHAGGY44's profile


6 posts in 2570 days

#7 posted 07-10-2015 11:06 AM

WOW. Thank you for taking the time to post the photos and the video. I have begun looking into flip-top cabinets as I run out of floor space (my shop is about the same size as yours). You did a superb job on this. I especially appreciated the method you figured out to lock the top in place (door hardware). I am a returning-novice, so need all the help I can get!

-- Newbie Craig, Southern California

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