I'm trying to design a fold-down table that is going to be attached to a wall with its legs folded under it when in down position. The problem is -- there is less space under the table top than is necessary for a leg that would reach all the way to the floor. Think top reaching floor when folded, so when unfolded it needs support that is as long as the top is deep. But wall mount (a horizontal bar with piano hinge) takes up space needed by the folded leg.

So to solve that I'm planning to fold part of the leg itself by connecting L-shaped assembly of 3 cubes all rotating against each other. Pretty much exactly like is done in this wooden cube puzzle.


When extended and unfolded leg would stand on the last cube, when folded cubes would fold flat under the top.

Question is, how to join the parts? Joint won't be load bearing, but should be fairly tight without wearing down wood after repeated rotating.

UPDATE: Below is a rough illustration of folded leg on the left and unfolded on the right. Difference between pictures is cubes are rotated 180 degrees around red axes.

folded (left) and unfolded (right) leg

UPDATE2: Here is how wall/top/leg(s) are related. Red arcs are folding points (piano hinges). Blue lines are of equal size. So first leg folds up to the top, then top folds down to the wall. Idea is that folded top lays flat against the wall and looks pretty, hiding leg assembly under some trim (thus I'm going for fold down instead of fold up). There will be a second leg on the other side as well (with a bar between them if needed).

enter image description here

I want the table to be fairly stable and support a decent load, thus top resting on the wall mount when unfolded and not just hanging from the hinge.

  • I think this is a question that would be greatly assisted by photos, diagrams, etc. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 17:34
  • @BrownRedHawk: indeed, added.
    – Eugene
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 17:49
  • 1
    I am still a bit confused about how this leg joint works relative to the table top. Also, if the gap behind the table is wide enough to allow the legs to cross you can avoid this leg joint by folding the legs diagonally.
    – Ashlar
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 18:14
  • I'd like to avoid crossing if possible, that might interfere with a moxon vise that is going to be integrated somehow. :)
    – Eugene
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 18:43
  • @Eugene It is possible to have a piano hinge at the wall, but have a ledge that supports underneath said hinge with small gussets to the ledge, versus 2 more legs. This would make the whole thing less complicated. Otherwise, I'd also suggest looking at 4 legged folding card tables, as it might provide some concepts that could be recreated fairly easily. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


Glue in some strong magnets and you have swivelling points.
That is an answer to your question.

But if I might dare change your solution, instead mount a hinge on the leg so you only have 2 parts instead of 4, and only 1 moving instead of 2.

Also; if the table is wider than its depth, and you allow for one leg to be further in, you can fold them sideways.

  • Ah, I totally missed the obvious solution. Thanks, I'll just do a hinge. Still, if there is a good way to do a rotating joint (for a more appropriate application) it would be nice to know it.
    – Eugene
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 20:26
  • I am still into strong magnets as swiveling points. Take a 20mm dowel (I just made the diameter up.) and a 20 mm forstner bit. Drill holes and cut the dowel to length and adjust the diameter so it just rotates freely. Put a magnet in one hole and magnet or metal on one dowel end. Glue the dowel to the other hole. Now you should have rotating pieces that sticks together well.
    – LosManos
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 20:00
  • 1
    Magnets as swivels have their place, they're a good solution for something like a keepsake box, but a workbench which has to withstand shock loading?
    – Graphus
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 7:27

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