My version of the flip-top cabinet

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Monty

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Monty
This cabinet is inspired by some flip-top cabinets I've seen on the web. I wanted something like Slambubba's cabinet (which comes from one of the Wood Magazine "Idea Shop" plans).



The main thing I don't like about that design is that you're limited to only two big tools. Because the cabinet has a back panel, you can't have a tool on the other side of the flip top, or you wouldn't be able to "flip it". I wanted a cabinet to hold three tools, so that design really wouldn't have worked for me. If one of the rotating panels has a tool on the other side, you'd have to either leave the back panel off (less stable), or make the depth of the panel much wider to provide clearance (thus greatly increasing the depth of the cabinet).


An alternative approach is to design the cabinet so there is no back panel. That way you can have a tool on both sides of the top. I got that idea from pconroy's cabinet.



I thought that if you made a double-wide cabinet like that, it would be too unstable... maybe not, but I thought so. Regardless I was afraid to try it.


So anyway, I got the idea to combine the two concepts... sort of. I just turned the axis of rotation 90 degrees. That way I could make the panel that holds two tools WIDER to give clearance for rotation, without making the whole cabinet a lot deeper. Hopefully that makes sense... well, here's the pics:


IMG_0873.jpg


IMG_0877.jpg


IMG_0884.jpg


IMG_0881.jpg



It works well, and it's pretty darn stable. And it's even kind of fun to flip those tops over! :eusa_danc I plan to make an elevated platform on the left (smaller) top to provide an infeed support for the planer. Then it's just a matter of applying a finish.

The biggest problem with this cabinet is the same for all flip-top cabinets - you get the convenience of a versatile worksurface without breaking your back changing out tools, but the storage space inside the cabinet is sacrificed. Of course, only time will tell if this design holds up, but so far it seems good.

There are more pics of the construction details and progress in my gallery.
 

D L Ames

New User
D L Ames
Nice cabinet Insomniac. I really like the way you incorporated two flip tops back to back in one cabinet.:icon_thum I made a flip top cabinet about 6 years ago similar to the pconroy example you showed. I have my planer and belt disk sander mounted to it and it has held up very well for me. Great job coming up with the design and putting it all together.

How is that new Rikon BS holding up? I am seriously thinking about upgrading to one this month since Woodcraft is offering them for $100 off the regular price. Have you had any interface with Rikon's customer service yet? I am just wondering how well they stand behind their products. I believe I read somewhere that they have only been producing tools for about 5-years.

Dang.........did I get off topic or what? Thanks for sharing the photos and comments on your cabinet.

D L
 

Steve D

Member
Steve DeWeese
Nice modification on the design, that's a great use of space. My planer waits under the extension wing on my TS and it's a pain every time I have to get it out. Now you have me thinking about where I could do something similar. Great work!
 

DavidF

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David
Nice job insom, that looks like a lot of work! Now then how about a flip top between my #4 smoother and my Scraper to save time when changing tools - I might be on to something:eusa_thin
 

cskipper

Moderator
Cathy
I love the cabinet. It is something I will definitely point out to DH this evening. We've been trying to figure out how to arrange the tools I use most vs. the tools he uses most. Thanks for the idea.
 

Monty

New User
Monty
Thanks for the comments. The tops both rotate on a piece of 1/2" steel rod that I got from Home Depot - I got a piece that was 36" long, and cut it to length with my jigsaw. The rod goes all the way through the tops, and engages in the side rails like this:

IMG_0861.jpg



The tops are just two pieces of MDF laminated together with glue/screws. I cut a 1/2" wide, 1/4" deep dado in each half before putting them together. That resulted in a 1/2" x 1/2" fit for the steel rod, with no wiggle room. The rod slips right in with a light coating of parafin wax, and rotates easily. There is a strip of hardwood inlaid into the sides of the swivel tops to provide more rigidity and strength to the tops. The plans from Wood Magazine (link above) describe in pretty good detail how to do all this.

I wanted the top to rotate around the steel rod, and the rod needs to stay put. So I filed a flat spot in the rod and drove a screw down into the plywood, like this:

IMG_0856.jpg



The tops are held in position by a pair of 1/4" lynch pins in each end.

The cabinet was not really that much work to make, just pain trying to figure out how to get started. Once I got started though, I was done within a week of piddle time. Up until this point, I've been lifting those tools up into place each time I needed to put them to use. However, I'm finally starting to get the idea that I need to take care of the ol' back (DAMHIKT! :rbedface: ), so I figured it was worth the effort to give those benchtop tools a permanent home that I could live with.
 

Monty

New User
Monty
Fivestring: you need to get you one of them shop stretchers! I think I seen one on eBay! ;-) :lol:

DL Ames: the Rikon is great. So far I've had no need for customer service. I has been pretty easy to tune up and get going right out of the crate so far. I will put together a little "review" of this thing once I've had some more time with it. In the meantime, you can have a look at the detail pics in my gallery if you want, and read some of the several recent articles/bandsaw reviews in the WW mags. I'll be happy to answer any questions as well. And $100 off is definitely a good deal!
 

sapwood

New User
Roger
Neato Insom:!:

Though it scares me when you develop independent thoughts and ideas!

We're quite proud of you:icon_thum

Sapwood
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
I am very impressed, you actually do make things. And really nice looking, WELL engineered things. You've been lying about your lack of skill all this time. That is one of the best ideas I've seen in a long time. I may be back with some questions later as I plan to stealing the concept. Great job:eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap Dave:)
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
OK, I am back with my questions. First, I know it works, but in the pictures I can't see how. Did you determine the "platform" size by taking twice the height of the spindle sander? And the planner/spindle sander section rotates counter clock wise? Why only 3 tools, couldn't you use 4 if everything was sized properly? Is it all plywood? How balanced are the platforms, if the tools are centered over the axis I would think that moves prety smoothly, but a difference in the weight of the two tools could throw it off balance. I am thinking of making something like that for either my grinder and buffer or my scroll saws, or a 4 tool set up if it can be done. Fill me in on your secrets o' great creator of cool tool cabinet. Thanks, Dave:)
 

D L Ames

New User
D L Ames
Dave,
I believe he can only use this for three tools because if he added a fourth one it would interfere with the infeed side of his planer.........unless of course he works with really short boards.:lol: I guess if the planer was turned 90 degrees then you could add a fourth tool. Insom mentioned earlier he was thinking about adding a raised platform on the empty side to serve as support for the infeed side of the planer. He did great job coming up with the design this cabinet.

D L
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
Ah, elementary dear DL <Sherlock Holmes voice off>, I didn't think about that, I was focused on how I was going to steal the concept for my own use. So if I didn't make one that housed a planner or something that needed that clearance, I could do it with 4 tools i.e scroll saw and sanding station (like Insoms), and grinder and buffer machine. Thanks for helping me to grasp the concept. Dave:)
 

D L Ames

New User
D L Ames
You're all over it now Dave:icon_thum I must admit I had planer on my brain when I wrote the previous response. I built the flip-top cabinet featured in Wood Magazine about 6-years ago and I mounted a planer and disc/belt sander to mine. Now your comment has got me to thinking how I could build another one to hold some of my other tools. Hmmmm:eusa_thin ...........and if I determine I don't have enough tools to fill all the spaces then I guess I could always go buy another tool to fill the void. :eusa_shhh ...........we might be on to something here.

D L
 
R

rickc

DaveO said:
First, I know it works, but in the pictures I can't see how. Did you determine the "platform" size by taking twice the height of the spindle sander? And the planner/spindle sander section rotates counter clock wise?

I too, am interested in how you determined the amount of clearance you needed for the tools. I have one of the Sears 3 tool rotary bench, but to switch position, you need to move at least one, if not both end pieces. Plus, it is a pain to move. I am going to have to do something about/with it, and was really impressed with both the function and appearance of your cabiniet.
 

Monty

New User
Monty
Thanks for the additional comments -- looks like I could just let you guys keep answering your own questions!!! :lol:

The reason I only wanted three tools was simply because I wanted clearance to work with the planer. I made an infeed support today:

IMG_0892.jpg


IMG_0888.jpg



And yes, that wider panel can only be rotated in one direction - in the direction of the shorter tool (the BOSS). I specifically designed the dimensions to allow clearance for that tool, since it was the shortest of the three I needed to mount in the cabinet.

IMG_0905.jpg


IMG_0906.jpg



The dimension is based on the height of the tool + 1/2 the width of the flip top + a little "fudge factor"... all that x2. Looking at the picture below, hopefully it makes sense where those numbers come from...

IMG_0923.jpg



In my case that added up to:

16-1/2" + 3/4" + "fudge" x2 = 35-1/2"​


Again, this illustrates the whole reason I wanted to turn the axis of rotation 90 degrees ... the cabinets would have had to be AT LEAST 36" deep otherwise (or not have a back panel, as I mentioned in the first post). Incidentally, if you have an oscillating spindle sander like mine that you want to measure for, make sure you measure the height of the tool with the spindle in its highest point of vertical travel!





And yes, I actually DO make something other than dust!!!! :p
 

D L Ames

New User
D L Ames
Man Insom, the more I look at that thing the more I like. You did a superb job on it.:icon_thum

BTW..........you make great saw dust too.:lol:

D L
 
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