1

I'm currently attempting to make a table that folds in order to be easily stowed away. I'm currently looking at either a Self Supporting Sewing Machine Hinge, a Folding Flap Table Hinge, or Adjustable Folding Door Hinge.

In addition to these, I was hoping to have an elbow style hinge that would be on the outside of my rectangular table the spans the joint where the hinge is on both sides of the table. Ideally it locks at 180 degrees, along with the rest of my hinges.

One of my issues is that I am unsure of the weight limits of these hinges as they are unlisted. Is the best way to determine this to buy them install them in some test wood and stack weight on them until they break? Is there a guide somewhere, or some math I can do to calculate this?

Additionally, for future projects, what's a good way to identify a hinge I see in the wild and its limitations? Other than searching online.

  • Do they have to lock or is this just a desirable feature? Many many folding tables in the past didn't rely on hinges that supported the weight and the various designs are worth considering to simplify the hinge choice. Also cheaper! "Additionally, for future projects, what's a good way to identify a hinge I see in the wild and its limitations?" Become a hinge expert. Honestly I don't think there's any way other than being an authority on hinges, or knowing where you can look them up which you already know is an option. – Graphus Apr 6 '19 at 9:25
  • @Graphus I suppose they don't have to lock although it would then complicate my design pretty significantly for them not to. My goal was to be able to have a very simplified build and was hoping I can transfer the complexity of folding/support into the hinges. Are there any good examples you know of for folding/collapsible tables or relevant mechanisms that I could draw from? I've dug around some before posting and hadn't found too many relevant examples unfortunately. – Karoly S Apr 8 '19 at 16:36
  • "was hoping I can transfer the complexity of folding/support into the hinges" well that's totally doable in principle but as you've identified the difficulty is in locating hinges that support the necessary weight (and all hinges in this rough category tend to be on the expensive end, which is itself a downside). – Graphus Apr 8 '19 at 18:05
  • For the traditional way this was done a search term that will prove useful is 'drop leaf table' or 'drop leaf table design'. The trad joint for this is the rule joint, which you could then look up separately as an opening to further relevant info. "it would then complicate my design pretty significantly for them not to" Doesn't have to, FWIW the simplest supports for table leaves are just battens that slide out from underneath the main field of the table, couldn't be simpler to make and really simple install (plus hidden from view even when employed). – Graphus Apr 8 '19 at 18:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.