Hanging Table Makes Room for Activities

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[Matt Silver] usually enjoys a cup of tea in the evening. Unfortunately, this habit can be frustrating and dangerous while sitting in bed. He rectified the problem by building this awesome space-saving table, which can be stored on the ceiling of all places! Depending on the supplies you might already have, this could be a relatively cheap build of about $40 or less. [Matt's] using pine board for everything, but notes you could save time and money by re-purposing an existing coffee table. You will, however, need to make the ceiling frame to support it.

At the heart of this build is our favorite rope—Paracord 550. [Matt] used a single piece to tie the whole thing together, which can cause the table to lower crooked, but [Matt] found he can keep it level by putting a hand on it while it descends. You also get mechanical advantage from the pulleys this way! If you’re not crazy about the potential unevenness, you could redesign the pulley and eyelet layout to allow for four ropes to ensure a reliably horizontal surface.

Why not pair this idea with the portable electronics lab we shared a few days ago? You could have a full series of drop-down tool labs in your workshop. Think of all the space saving opportunities!

15 thoughts on “Hanging Table Makes Room for Activities

    1. I avoid particle/fiber board furniture, it’s annoying stuff because you can’t drill it or mold it since it’ll fall apart if you do. Go for real wood or solid plastic I say.

  1. Good idea if you could keep it from swinging. Trying to read on a pendulum would be a nightmare. Every time you set your cup down, it would swing some. Rather need to set the ropes out an an angle, or use some type of leg under it so it has something to rest on.

    1. “set the ropes out an an angle”

      Are you thinking wider at the ceiling and taper into the table or something else?

      “use some type of leg under it so it has something to rest on”

      I like this idea. They can be permanent, if they’re short enough, or collapsible in a way, may be spring-loaded.

    2. i was thinking the same..
      maybe the ropes in angle would give more stability.
      but still, although for movies seems that it will be fine…if you need to touch the table for any reason it will never be as good as a table.

      I would like to read some comments from the creator after using it for some time.. (and of course or some more possible solutions: more ropes?)

  2. The design would be cleaner if the pulleys were mounted on the underside of the table. They could also be used for stub legs if you need a firm surface occasionally.

    1. Yes, but then it would also be something else to bump your legs on and knock things over as a result. As it is, in the ‘up’ position it can be used as an extra shelf and the pulleys occupy the same space the cable usually does. I’d like to think this was a conscious design decision.

  3. ooh, I like the idea with pulleys to reduce everything to just one rope. I recently built a workbench with hanging flourescent lights for starting seedlings. I currently have the lights hanging from chains and hooks and raising/lowering them is rather clumsy.

  4. I like it, there’s so much room for activities, but it could be a little “swingy”, as an alternative he could (judging from the picture of his bedroom) have hinged the table, on extending arms, from the wall above the bed, and control it with one rope to raise and lower, it would work kind of like the tray on a baby’s high chair.

  5. No, no. You’ve got it all backwards.

    The bed is hung from the ropes and pulleys. The table is anchored.

    This is the only arrangement that will allow me to sleep through most minor earthquakes.

  6. I left some comments on the ‘ible where this was originally published. I have a problem with things hung overhead without adequate safety measures. I see the wood-screw eyes as a problem They should be machine-screw eyes drilled all the way through the frame and reinforced. Better yet would be to use the same sorts of pulleys employed on the table proper. After some number of cycles, the paracord is going to be worn by pulling it through the eyes under the load of the table. I also suggested some sort of positive locking device to keep the table on the ceiling in case of rope failure or accidental release.

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