We have a bit of a problem around here. I do a lot of craft/blog/flip-house projects on my dining room table. It’s just easier for me to work on them in the house as opposed to the garage. The problem is the door going to the garage. It’s not my friend. It squeaks and apparently has it’s own secret language with my daughter that says something along the lines of… “mommy is going outside… you need her NOW!”.
I can’t sneak out. Never fails. So going in and out is totally NOT productive. Plus, if I’m in the house, I can be with her while being productive. It’s just all around easier.
Well, maybe not when it comes to eating dinner, because the table is covered in project pieces, paint brushes, and cardboard. Plus, it’s not exactly comfortable for me to be working on such a low surface. I also have a lot of supplies that I have to move in and out, and I needed a dedicated storage space. And then the lightbulb went off… I need an indoor workbench. But where in the heck would I put it?
We have a closet space under our staircase that I thought would be a great spot for me to roll a craft cart out of the way, but the doorway is only 28” wide. I originally planned to make a cart about 5 feet long and 26” wide, but I would have to pull it out of the closet and into the office. I was worried the length of it might make it hard to maneuver around. But I didn’t want to skimp on workspace. And then it hit me… drop leaves! Although in all honesty, the idea frightened me, I thought I would give it a try.
The design for this morphed a bit based on what I had on hand as I was determined to finish it during a snowstorm. Said snowstorm also delayed my drop leaf hardware, so despite my best efforts, I had to wait a couple of days to finish it. But boy was it worth the wait!
There are lots of drop leaf support options out there. I chose these based on the reviews and the fact that they had long release handles, which would make it easier to find them underneath the leaf without looking or having to feel around too much.
Note: You will probably notice that my middle shelf is made of 1x4s. As I said, I was making this in a snowstorm and was determined to finish it, so I used what I had on hand in my scrap pile.
2 @ 33” – side aprons
2 @ 21” – end aprons
4 @ 28” – legs (adjust for desired height of cart – I used 2 1/2″ casters, and the total height of my cart is ~ 36″)
4 @ 21” – shelf end supports
4 @ 30” – shelf side supports
1 x 4
4 @ 3 1/2” – caster supports
1 x 16 edge glued panel
2 @ 3’ – drop leaves – I just cut a 6′ board in half
1 x 12 edge glued panel
2 @ 3’ – table top
Plywood, mdf (can also use 1×4)
2 @ 33” x 21”
2 1/2” pocket screws
2 1/2” wood screws
1 1/4” wood screws
3/4 “ wood screws (for casters and drop leaf hardware)
2. Connect the two side panels using the 21” end aprons.
3. Create bottom shelf support. Use pocket screws to attach end shelf supports to legs, flush to bottom and outside of legs. Use 2 1/2” screws to attach shelf side aprons directly into legs.
4. Repeat step 3 to attach middle shelf supports at desired height.
5. Screw the 1×12 panels to top, overhanging each end by 1 1/2”.
6. Use glue and nails or screws to attach the shelves.
7. Flip cart upside down on level surface. Glue and nail caster supports to bottom of each leg.
8. On each side, butt a 1×16 panel up to countertop. Open up drop leaf support, line up with middle of leg and parallel to side of leaf. Mark screws holes. Use 3/4” screws to attach hardware to leaf and 1 1/4” screws to attach hardware to legs.
9. Screw casters into caster supports.
And done! I have to say, I’m in love with this puppy! I just did a big project with my Cricut (will be sharing soon!), which is in my office. Having a tall, large workspace pulled right up to my computer and Cricut was a huge help. I’m still giddy about it 🙂 I added a basket on the side for pencils and tools I use frequently.
My fears of creating a drop leaf were totally unfounded… this hardware made it simple and surprisingly fast.
I also have to say that the time it will be spending in the little closet, around which I created the design, will probably be minimal… but hey – at least the dining table will be free!
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