This article describes a two foot square mobile cabinet, with a pivoting top so two tools can be supported. These are known as “Flip Top Tables” but my version uses an offset pivot point so a much taller drill press sits lower when it is rotated up.
Cost was about $130.
My design was featured in “Americas Best Home Workshops 2009”, a Wood Magazine publication.
Later that spring, an Ebay opportunity resulted in acquiring this DeWalt 733 planer.
But my shop is in one corner of a garage and I didn’t have a place to store the planer. It is 21 inches tall and weighs about 84 pounds.
Put the planer and the drill press in the same space.
A few hours of sketching and arithmetic showed that my drill press on a conventional flip top pivoting at the table surface would put the table 42 inches from the floor. The press chuck would be above eye level, too high for comfortable work.
So after many paper designs, I had the idea of making the top as a tray, with pivot points offset four inches vertically from the tray surface. This allows the drill press to sit eight inches lower when it is rotated up.
This photo shows the drill press attached to the finished pivoting tray. I added two small bolts at the rear of the cast iron foot as I thought the strain of supporting the drill press head might be too much when the machine was leaned over.
One of the four bolts holding the planer to the other surface is visible.
There is a lock screw at either side of the tray at front. They are big star knobs with 3/8″ threaded shafts running through to T-nuts inset in the cabinet side.
Note how the front edge of the tray is cut away around the cabinet support gussets. When the top begins to pivot, the cut away allows clearance for the tray to rotate.
The next detail shows the rear of the tray as it begins to pivot. The back is *not* cut away around the gussets, instead the gussets form a positive stop for the rear structure. Thus the tray will only pivot in one direction, and only 180 degrees.
There are T-nuts installed at the rear of the cabinet sides for the lock bolts when the planer is rotated up.
I used 3 inch casters to make the cabinet mobile. The bottom plate is a double layer of 3/4 plywood and there is an additional 3/4 block at each corner where the casters bolt through.
The entire cabinet is screwed together. I was going to do a dry fit, take it apart and glue everything, but it is very rigid as is, I don’t think glue is necessary.
This shows the table with drill press up. Note the base of the press is now 4 inches below the pivot points.
I was surprised to find that the planer and drill press balance each other very well. It takes only one hand to rotate the tray, which is carrying over 160 pounds. I did not think this would be the case as the drill carries most of it’s mass at the top, but the 4 inch offset evens out the weight distribution nicely.
This shows the rear of the cabinet. I had to cut away the rear gussets to clear the planer handles. I could have mounted the planer sideways for more clearance, or removed the handles. Also you can see a section of plywood added across the bottom for lateral stiffness.
Note in this position, the top is four inches above the pivot point. The planer is a bit high for a large, heavy board but at least it has a home, and I use the drill press a lot more than the planer.
The lock knobs have been inserted at the rear in this picture.
Here is a rough drawing of the cabinet. The dimensions are for my build, if you decide to make a table like this, you will need to work out sizes for the tools you plan to mount. The limiting measurement for my table was the height of the tallest tool, the drill press.
There is a short video on YouTube.
My offset cabinet has been very successful. I generally wheel it out in the driveway to use the planer, my dust collection consists of a broom and a leaf blower. It takes only about a minute to stow the drill press cord and lamp and then flip the top.