"Fold up" ironing board (reverse engineering) #2: Building a functional mock up

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Blog entry by jeff_wenz posted 09-05-2010 02:01 AM 8893 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: measuring the model and planning any modifications Part 2 of "Fold up" ironing board (reverse engineering) series Part 3: Parts list »

So I know I need to work out the sliding mechanism. 3 goals here:

1. Make sure the components fit into the space I’m allocating for it.
2. Ensure all the pieces work and it is easy to slide up and down.
3. Make sure the ironing board is level in the down position.

Here are all the components (minus the door which I will build as part of the Murphy bed complex).

I built a wall (16” stud mockup) and starting assembling the pieces I had cut from my measurements in post #1. The hinges are 3 1/2” door hinges. The pipe is 1/2” galvanized pipe which has an outside dimension of 3/4” strong.

Goal #1 is accomplished, it all fits! Now I need to make sure it works (goes up and down) and it slides easy enough so my wife doesn’t get frustrated. I decided I would use 3/4” maple and route the groove that the pipe slides in. This was the most intimidating part for me. How to make a snug enough groove that wasn’t too sloppy? Well, they say imitation is the best form of flattery, so I decided I would imitate the pipe thickness by using a pattern router bit. I grabbed some 3/4” scrap material and would use that to create the outline of my desired groove. I then used a plastic circle template as my shim to increase the width of the groove so the pipe had a little wiggle room to slide. I then brad nailed the pattern to the maple and began routing. Note, I intentionally made the groove longer than what I knew I would need so I could trim the maple top length in order to achieve goal #3 (ironing board is level in the down position). This step, which I was the most intimidated with became a rather easy task using the MDF strip templates and the pattern router bit.

Now that I have the grooves for the pipe, I need to incrementally trim it so the ironing board is level when in the down position. If the board is pointed down towards the floor, then the board needs to be shorter. I just took my time and snuck up on this by using my Wixey angle box.

Note, I decided to use maple to route the groove in. However, I intend to attach ¾” plywood with biscuits & pocket holes to the rest of the side to get my height of approximately 47”. This is what it eventually looked like.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

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