How to Build a Drop Down Wall Table

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 piece of 36 by 36 3/4 by 3/4-inch plywood

  • Framing square

  • 2 piano hinges 12 inches long w/screws

  • 2 wooden shelf supports 12 inches deep

  • Variable speed drill

  • Phillips head screw tip

  • Stud finder

  • Carpenter’s level

  • 2 1/2-inch drywall screws

  • 1 piece of 36 by 24 by 3/4-inch plywood

  • 1 piano hinge 36 inches long w/screws

  • Magnetic door catch


Install catches on the shelf supports if they won’t stay folded against the wall piece.


Do not leave power tools within reach of children.

Do not apply a finish to the drop down table without proper ventilation.

Add hinges and supports and you have a drop down table.

For those who live in small apartments or would just like to free up some floor space, a drop down wall table is perfect. They are easy to build and install, so do-it-yourself consumers can take pride in their work knowing it saves them money and space. Keep the table relatively short and narrow (around 36 by 24 inches). This keeps the table from taking a lot of space when in use. Wood choice depends on your woodworking experience, but plywood works well.

Step 1

Put the 36 by 36 3/4-inch plywood (wall piece) on a worktable. Measure from one 36-inch edge (becomes the bottom edge) and make several marks at 12 and 12 3/4-inches. Set the framing square on the marks and draw lines across the 36-inch width of the plywood. These lines represent the placement of the tabletop.

Step 2

Make a mark at 12 inches from either side of the wall piece. Place the framing square on the marks and draw a line up to the bottom line of the tabletop lines. Next, secure the 12-inch piano hinge to one side of the shelf supports so they will fold away from each other against the wall piece when not in use. Install them on the lines on either side of the wall piece.

Step 3

Locate and mark three studs in the wall for the installation of the drop down table with a stud finder. Measure up from the floor to the desired height of the tabletop and mark the wall accordingly. Place the carpenter's level on the mark horizontally and draw a 38-inch line on the wall (2 inches wider than the wall piece). Align the tabletop line on the wall piece with this line when securing it to the wall.

Step 4

Measure to the right from the center stud mark on the wall and make a mark at 18 inches. Place the carpenter's level on the mark vertically and draw a faint line on the wall. This indicates the right side of the wall piece.

Step 5

Hold the wall piece on the wall using the vertical line of the right and the horizontal line for the tabletop as guides. Secure it with the 2 1/2-inch drywall screws. Pull the shelf supports out and lay the 36 by 24-inch piece (tabletop) on them.

Step 6

Install the 36-inch piano hinge to the top of the tabletop and the wall piece with the provided screws. Next, install the magnetic catch on the outside edge of the tabletop and the top of the wall piece according to the manufacturer's instructions.

references & resources

Michael Straessle

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.