Murphy Dining Table?

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Project by Craftsman on the lake posted 12-25-2017 03:11 AM 1148 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My second daughter, creative, unique…. She first wanted a fold down desk Seen here. Then it was a collapsible dining table. All she knew was the dimensions of it. The rest she left unto her Father, me.

She has a small dining room. But it has to do triple duty as office, nursery, and dining room. She works mostly at home, has an 8 month old and entertains. So she needs to be able to change the room for each use.

The table was a trigonometric challenge (aka: nightmare). I managed to get an 8 ft long table into a five foot cabinet. It consists of two sections, one about three feet long and the other 5 feet long. Together, about eight feet. The table drops down with the assistance of an 80 lb. gas cylinder. Two legs, one near the end and the other near the hinge also both move down and up with the assistance of much smaller gas piston cylinders. An angled locking mechanism locks both of them in place.

The key to the table is that on the end of the flat panel table leg are two casters. The table actually rolls out until it is flat, then the end leg that is on wheels, flips down and the table lifts up. You then put the center leg down.

The cabinet has two upper doors and two lower doors making it look like a cabinet. The two lower doors stay open after the table is deployed. The two upper ones close over the table hiding the view of the inside of the cabinet. One person can fairly easily extend the table, lift the end (the gas cylinder takes most of the weight) and lock the legs in place, as when you start flipping them down the gas cylinders finish the job.

The wood is oak with cabinet grade oak plywood for the table top and oak framing around it. The cabinet itself is Home depot oak plywood with oak trim. The guts underneath are various species. A lot of pocket hole joinery was used. The finish: seven coats of Armor-all polyurethane on the table top and three coats on the rest.

Am I glad this one is done. In your head, and on paper, it should work. You can’t afford the time or materials to remake it a lot to make it work. This time it worked the first time with very little tweaking. Whew…

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

6 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3367 posts in 4166 days

#1 posted 12-25-2017 04:40 AM

That’s a great solution! So glad for you that it worked out on your first try. I would have had $40,000 worth of wood and several years of trials to get it to work! SketchUp helps but it’s not a cure-all for difficult projects like this one.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4068 posts in 1036 days

#2 posted 12-25-2017 11:51 AM

Nice engineering and a good-looking table to boot. Well done!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View leafherder's profile


1830 posts in 2406 days

#3 posted 12-25-2017 07:02 PM

Looks good, very versatile but you lost this History Major at “trigonometric”. I leave the engineering to the engineers and just say beautiful craftsmanship.

-- Leafherder

View Michael Donnelly's profile

Michael Donnelly

25 posts in 2417 days

#4 posted 12-26-2017 03:39 PM

That’s some darn elegant engineering. Impressive design and execution.

View Calmudgeon's profile


281 posts in 1881 days

#5 posted 12-27-2017 07:35 PM

That’s a creative, good-looking solution to create a multi-purpose space. There’s a certain satisfaction to solving engineering problems like that on your own.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View a1Jim's profile


117690 posts in 4031 days

#6 posted 12-27-2017 07:38 PM

Great idea nice work

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