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Project Information

My wife, Avril, is a keen patchworker, and although she has in the past concentrated on hand-stitched items like quilts, with problems due to arthritis nowadays she is having to use her sewing machine more. I had already made a pine top for the unit upon which her machine stands, with an 'upstand' at the rear to stop items falling off the back.
She asked if it could be possible to sometimes widen the top to give her more room. Whilst I could remove the 'upstand', I could not think of a way to attach a flap so that her quilts would slide over a continuous smooth surface, there would always be a step - as shown in diagram A - upon which cloth might catch when the flap was down.

I considered traditional table flaps, but even with their Knuckle Joints (?) that would require expensive special router cutters, and there still would be some steps. I puzzled over the problem for some time, but eventually realised that by cutting the flap and top ends at 45 degrees, as shown in diagram B, a smooth transition could be achieved. There is obviously less thickness of wood available to accommodate the hinge fixing screws, so they needed to be quite short. However, the piano hinge could be wider (moving the screw holes further away from the thin edge) and there are lots of fixing holes in piano hinges!

I was so pleased with this solution, I naturally wanted to share it - which in this case is with the world of Lumberjocks. I'm sorry that the pictures of the top and flap are of poor quality, but it is the principle that I wanted to pass on in case others might not have considered it.

As an additional 'clever wheeze', there is an apron at the front of the top that prevents access to the underside of the top where the slats that need to be slid forward under the top to support the flap are located. I drilled two holes in the apron to allow a dowel to be inserted to push the slats forward. The clever bit was to put screws in the ends of the slats so that a rare-earth magnet stuck on the other end of the dowel could be used to pull the slats back again before the flap was lowered. The dowel is shown in the second picture.

Gallery

Comments

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Don,

This sounds like a very good solution to your problem. Thanks for sharing it.

L/W
 

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After reading your explanation it seems like a so very simple and obvious solution, and still I'm sure I could have been pondering tha sand problem for a long time and never thought about it.

Thanks for sharing your experience!
 

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I have the exact same issue with a future mobile kitchen task table that needs a flip-up extension. I pondered the same things you did and arrived at the same thoughts, why not a bevel with a piano hinge? I also have concerns about the screws and strength so I considered a hinge with wide leafs which could be folded over to attach to the under side of the top ( A lot of extra effort!).

Moving the screw holes further down seems like a great "fix".

Kudos!
 
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