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Save space and serve with verve with this stylish-yet-sturdy folding table.
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Prepare The Parts
Referring to the Project Diagram, crosscut these parts to the specified lengths from your 1 x 2s: leg stiles (A), leg rails (B), long support cleats (C), short support cleats (D), tabletop cleats (E), tabletop slats (F), and hinge cleats (H). For ease of assembly, crosscut two 11-1/4-inch-long pieces from your offcuts (or 3/4-inch-thick scrap) for spacers, and mark them to avoid confusion with the parts. Then, from a 1 x 6 cedar board, cut the wall cleat (G) to size.
On a flat work surface, lay out the leg stiles (A) and leg rails (B) using the 11-1/4-inch-long spacers to position the inner pair of leg rails. Clamp the assembly together, keeping the outer leg rails flush with the ends of the leg stiles. Then, drill mounting holes, where shown, and fasten with 2-1/2-inch deck screws. Position a pair of 1-1/2-inch butt hinges on an outer leg rail 3/4-inch in from the outside edges of the leg stiles. Mark and drill the mounting holes, and fasten with the screws supplied with the hinges. Next, trim the spacers to 11 inches long. Now, in the same manner as for the leg stiles and rails, assemble the long support cleats (C) and short support cleats (D), positioning the inner short support cleats with the spacers. Drill the mounting holes, and drive 2-1/2-inch deck screws.
To assemble the tabletop, position the tabletop slats (F) on your work surface with the best face down, 1/8-inch apart, and ends aligned. (Note: For easiest assembly, rip 22 1/8-inch-wide by 3-inch-long strips from your offcuts for spacers to align the slats. Insert the spacers between the slats near each end.) Position the tabletop cleats (E) and cleat assembly (C/D) on the slats, where shown. Verify that the outer slats are aligned with the ends and outside edges of the tabletop cleats (E) and the cleat assembly is centered side to side (2 inches in from the outer slats). Then, drill mounting holes, where shown, through the tabletop cleats (E) and cleat assembly (C/D) into the slats. Fasten with 1-1/4 inch deck screws.
Position the leg assembly (A/B) flat on the support cleat assembly (C/D). Align the outer edges of the leg stiles (A) with the long support cleats (C) and the unattached hinge leaves on the outer leg rail (B) with the outside edge of a tabletop cleat (E). Mark and drill the hinge mounting holes into the tabletop cleat, and drive the screws. Now, position a pair of 1-1/2-inch butt hinges on the inside edge of the other tabletop cleat (E) 1/4-inch from the ends, where shown, for attaching the table to the upper hinge cleats (H). Mark and drill the hinge mounting holes; drive the screws.
Apply Olympic semi-transparent stain, Redwood #704, to the project following the manufacturer's instructions. If you wish, you can prime and paint (instead of staining) the wall cleat (G) and bottom pair of hinge cleats (H) a color to match your house.
To mount the table to your house, clamp two hinge cleats (H) to a face of the wall cleat (G), flush with the top edge and ends of the wall cleat, where shown. Drill a pair of mounting holes through the back of the wall cleat into each hinge cleat, and fasten with 1-1/4-inch deck screws. Next, screw-mount the remaining pair of hinge cleats (H) to the wall cleat assembly, where shown, driving one screw of each pair into the wall cleat (G) and the other screw into the lower hinge cleat (H).
Using a level and tape measure, make marks on the side of your house 39-3/4 inches from the ground for positioning the wall cleat assembly (G/H). Align the top face of the upper hinge cleats (H) with the marks. Drill mounting holes for suitable screws through the wall cleat and into the house, where shown. Fasten with screws. Note: The type of fasteners you'll need depends on the house construction. You may need wall anchors or masonry screws depending on the situation.
Fold down the table leg assembly, and position the free end of the tabletop on the wall cleat assembly, tight against the house with the tabletop cleat (E) resting on the upper hinge cleats (H). Using a helper to hold the table in place, screw-mount the lower leaves of the butt hinges (attached to the tabletop cleat) to the front edges of the upper hinge cleats. To close the table, hold the tabletop level, raise the leg assembly until it contacts the tabletop bottom, and rotate the folded assembly against the house.