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Old 09-03-2014, 14:02   #1
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Folding bulkhead table design ideas

I am designing and building a mahogany folding table to be mounted on the cabin salon bulkhead.

I want to build a 3" deep bookcase that the table will fold and cover when closed. Three shelves behind the 40" x 17" table.

The extension would hang down and fold level with the table to nearly obstruct the walkway from galley to head and vberth.

I was thinking about attaching table to bookcase bulkhead with piano hinge.

Why not support 40" end of table with line attached to ceiling so as to free up the space under the table to slide in and around the table? I have never seen this done before and am thinking there must be a reason why. I could keep a leg support on board for more support as needed but in my experience this table is not used when seas are rough anyway. More like a table at anchor for quiet dinner or cards, etc

Fiddles nice to have or not?

Looking for input on design. Thanks.
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Old 09-03-2014, 14:23   #2
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Re: Folding bulkhead table design ideas

My IP 380 had a bulkhead mounted fold-down table. Here's a sistership...



There's a hinged leg under the table, but I suppose you could use a non-stretching piece of line to support it from above.

Here's what it looks like folded up (different boat)...



We had room for books elsewhere on the boat, so we used the wall storage as a liquor/wine cabinet.
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Old 09-03-2014, 14:30   #3
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Re: Folding bulkhead table design ideas

Great pics, thanks. Mine will be only 16" wide and then 16" wider when we fold the extension out. Our beam is only 8'9" on a mid 60s Rhodes 32 footer.

Would love the simplicity of one surface instead of two though like yours.

Did it have fiddles, were they essential?
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Old 09-03-2014, 14:36   #4
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Re: Folding bulkhead table design ideas

No fiddles. When we used the table in rough conditions (offshore passages) we put a type of shelf liner down as place settings. It had a somewhat rubbery texture and prevented things from sliding around. Walmart sells it in rolls.
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Old 09-03-2014, 20:49   #5
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Re: Folding bulkhead table design ideas

I consider fiddles as essential for offshore boats, but they must be done correctly or they are no help at all. I have seen too many production boats that have fiddles that have the sloping face of the wood towards the inner part of the table. That simply gives a launching point to a sliding plate. The flat side of the wood should face the inside of the table. You might want to measure your plates before you cut your wood and make fiddles, since there should not be too much distance between the plate width and the distance between your fiddles. You should also measure the height of the rims of your soup bowls, since you will be using bowls much more often at sea than you will plates. Allow a little extra height for the nonskid cloth or bar mat that you will have on your table when offshore. Fiddles should be removable(or only installed offshore) by making holes in the table, and epoxy in copper tubing, and make the fiddles with brass rods that just fit the inside of the glued in copper tubing. Remove when in port, and install when offshore. A sloping fiddle will put a bowl of soup into the air, in a heartbeat. _______Grant.
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:23   #6
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Re: Folding bulkhead table design ideas

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Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
I consider fiddles as essential for offshore boats, but they must be done correctly or they are no help at all. I have seen too many production boats that have fiddles that have the sloping face of the wood towards the inner part of the table. That simply gives a launching point to a sliding plate. The flat side of the wood should face the inside of the table. You might want to measure your plates before you cut your wood and make fiddles, since there should not be too much distance between the plate width and the distance between your fiddles. You should also measure the height of the rims of your soup bowls, since you will be using bowls much more often at sea than you will plates. Allow a little extra height for the nonskid cloth or bar mat that you will have on your table when offshore. Fiddles should be removable(or only installed offshore) by making holes in the table, and epoxy in copper tubing, and make the fiddles with brass rods that just fit the inside of the glued in copper tubing. Remove when in port, and install when offshore. A sloping fiddle will put a bowl of soup into the air, in a heartbeat. _______Grant.
Picture a skateboarding ramp, perhaps? A helpful, real-world post: I've seen "sloping side facing inward" too many times on production boats, and it was only reading a 1970s Ferenc Mate boat on small yacht improvements that I grasped why it looked funny.

While you could use a line or even a pulley for a table, you could also router out a divot or slot for the folding leg option to nest in, or if you plan on dining during the hard stuff, you could rig hooks or a barrel bolt to keep that leg from jumping free.



An idea that used to be popular but which seems to have fallen from favour is the idea of suspending a dining table from line. The table moves (more or less) with the boat, staying (more or less) horizontal. You can then stow it up against the headliner, I suppose, or clip it to the bulkhead
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:32   #7
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Re: Folding bulkhead table design ideas

Great picture.
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Old 10-03-2014, 08:18   #8
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Re: Folding bulkhead table design ideas

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Great picture.
It's the first one I could find that showed what I meant.

It's related to a similar idea for rigging lee cloths for sea berths: you have two blocks to tension either corner of the lee cloth and then secure the tail in a clam cleat or tied off.



I think it just hearkens back to the idea that line and rope have a place inside the boat as well as on deck.
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