Fold Down Bench

Whilst there are many ways to make a fold down bench (or lift up etc) with supports that fold down from the underside front or sides of the bench top, or swing out from the wall and so on, this article is about sturdy supports that are hinged to the wall underneath the bench top and swing outwards.
The inherent problem with this method, is if the floor is not level it leads to the supports binding on the floor when opening or closing, or not resting firmly on the floor in the out position.
This is easily and simply solved by using what I call a "floating hinge", where part of the central sections of the hinge are removed to allow movement in the vertical position equal the amount required to raise or lower the support for firm seating.
The first step is to make the supports so that when in the out position they rest firmly on the floor at both legs, the tops are horizontal and exactly level with all the other supports and then the hinges are adjusted to suit and screwed to the supports and the wall.

In the pictures shown the floor slopes away from the wall by between 7mm - 10mm, so a minimum amount of 10mm was removed from the hinge centres to allow the stands to be raised when swinging them back against the wall.
For general interest this bench top is made from part of a solid core door, is 55" long by 24" wide with a top height of 41", the supports are made from 4" x 2" timber, with a thin central leg for further support in case very heavy objects should ever be placed on the bench. Generally the recommended top height of a workbench should be 2" below the users elbow when the arm is bent at right angles and the person is standing erect.

Bench top raised

Bench top lowered

Support side of
hinge in the
lowest position

Support side of
hinge in the
highest position

This page was last updated  on 01 February 2006