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Thread: Design advice? Laundry folding table

  1. #1

    Design advice? Laundry folding table

    Hi all,

    I'm a beginning woodworker / 1st time homeowner. So please forgive me for asking advice for a pretty simple project

    I'd like to build a table to house my laundry equipment and provide a folding surface.

    I have attached a photo of the area I have to work with.

    Here are the design parameters I'm working with:
    1. I'd like this to be a simple frameless cabinet style with a top, 2 sides, and a middle divider/support panel. These are already cut and resting on the machines in the photo.
    2. I'd like the top to attach to the wall so items cannot fall behind the table.
    3. The sides and middle support cannot attach to the wall because there are hoses, cables, and ducting that exit both sides. This will also allow access to the rear of the machines without pulling them out.
    4. I'm using 3/4" Baltic birch plywood.
    5. I'd like to elevate the side pieces off the ground to prevent water damage.

    Here are my problems. Any advice is appreciated!
    1. I can't install a bottom or back. Will attaching the table top to the wall and 2 sides be sufficiently sturdy?
    2. What is the best way to attach the top to the wall? I was thinking about screwing a 2x4 along the rear underside of the table top, and then fastening the 2x4 to the wall studs (maybe with a french cleat?) The 2 side pieces and middle divider would support the top from the floor.
    3. Since I can't install a bottom or back, how can I prevent the sides from racking or moving?
    3. For elevating the side pieces: any suggestions on good leg levelers for a 3/4" panel? The ones that attach by screwing in to the side are pretty ugly. Attaching from underneath seems best, but I can't find such a product so far.

    Photo Jul 08, 11 56 04 PM.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Tasmania
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    Fixing your top to the wall with a solid cleat is the key to keeping the structure solid. This will control all movement apart from the bottom of the sides on adjustable feet. These will move if they get kicked. My usual approach is to drill a hole in the floor and pin the end panel with a stainless dowel. In your case look for an adjustable foot that is for a table leg. Don't be afraid to throw away the bracket and just use the foot and threaded adjuster. To stop the movement of the end panel, glue the foot in place with silicone.
    Finally, you don't need a full panel between the machines. A 150 wide strip will do just as well. Cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Rochester, MN
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    I would be inclined to use a cleat on the wall behind the machines and metal legs with leveling feet at the front corners. Like this. You can add some stiffeners underneath the top. They can be glued so no screw holes from above. The top would be screwed to the cleat on the wall but the screws can be covered with a piece of trim. I've used carpet tape to stick down bits of trim when I wanted it removable with no visible fasteners.

    Edit to add, you could also skip having anything running to the floor and make brackets to support the table top. Or you can buy metal ones. A cleat on the side of the brackets in my sketch would allow you to attach them to the top with screws from below.

    I think I'd prefer the first option because it would allow easier access to the backs of the machines without having to pull them out all the way.
    Last edited by Dave Richards; 07-09-2017 at 8:19 AM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    I would be inclined to use a cleat on the wall behind the machines and metal legs with leveling feet at the front corners. Like this. You can add some stiffeners underneath the top. They can be glued so no screw holes from above. The top would be screwed to the cleat on the wall but the screws can be covered with a piece of trim. I've used carpet tape to stick down bits of trim when I wanted it removable with no visible fasteners.

    Edit to add, you could also skip having anything running to the floor and make brackets to support the table top. Or you can buy metal ones. A cleat on the side of the brackets in my sketch would allow you to attach them to the top with screws from below.

    I think I'd prefer the first option because it would allow easier access to the backs of the machines without having to pull them out all the way.
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks so much for your reply. Thanks also for the clear and informative sketches! They were very helpful. Did you make those just for me?!

    I like both designs you showed. I think I agree that the first option (with legs) is preferable.

    For the legs, I found cheap aluminum square tube from Home Depot (assuming 1" square tube is thick enough):
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-...2537/204273939

    I also found leg levelers that I think will work:
    https://www.elesa-ganter.com/product...s/series/nda-q

    But I'm at a loss on how to connect the square tube to the table top. How would you do this?

    Actually, the leg design makes me question if I should just slap 4 legs on it and forget about the wall connection.
    Last edited by Ken Cobbing; 07-13-2017 at 2:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Rochester, MN
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    3,312
    Hi Ken,

    Yes. I drew those for you. It was really not a big deal and took very little time to do.

    As for the aluminum tube, I think it'll be just fine. You could attach it to the apron pieces under the top with machine screws. I would make wooden plugs to fit into the tops of the legs so the tube doesn't get crushed when you tighten up the nuts.

    You could put four legs on but I expect it would be wobbly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    37
    Can you simply make a top that sits on the machines? Add a cleat that fits between to keep it from sliding left and right. Add a backsplash to keep things from going down the back. Keep it to the back by pushing it back when it strays. Formica would be better for the surface. Make the backsplash tall, maybe 16" so a stack of socks doesn't go over.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    Can you simply make a top that sits on the machines? Add a cleat that fits between to keep it from sliding left and right. Add a backsplash to keep things from going down the back. Keep it to the back by pushing it back when it strays. Formica would be better for the surface. Make the backsplash tall, maybe 16" so a stack of socks doesn't go over.
    Thanks for the advice, Tom.

    I did think about this option because right now I have the top panel sitting on the machines (as shown in the photo in the OP) and this made me think if I should just do away with the sides alltogether. But I think I've read that this is not good for the machines because of the vibration (especially the washer). It hasn't been an issue so far, but then I've not used the high-speed spin setting, and I also have all 3 panels sitting on top - so it is pretty heavy.

    In any case, I've since decided that I'm going to design a pull-out drying rack between the machines and the top, so the above idea is moot. Hopefully I can successfully execute the drying rack idea.

    I also decided to do full panel sides instead of the aluminum legs that Dave Richards suggested. I'd rather use Dave's idea, but I can't figure out how to firmly attach the legs to the top with my beginner skills. I think it will be easier for me to do full panel sides with a partial/small back panel (is this called a "stretcher"?) to keep the "legs" stable.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    601
    I rested a table (melamine) on top of washer and dryer as suggested by Tom rather than permanent attachment. I am glad I did because periodically I had to get behind the machines to fish out things that got lost, to clean and to inspect the vent connections, etc. Being able to remove the table was useful. Eventually got rid of it because it was less useful than we expected.

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