In our house I do the laundry. It always gets done. Sometimes it gets folded, and even less often it gets put into drawers and closets. The guest room is usually where the laundry baskets go to die, until I summon the necessary amount of “caring” to go put it away. This is rare, and usually only happens when I’m looking for a piece of clothing I haven’t seen in weeks.
“Lucy have you seen my collarless shirt from Fred Segal?”
The basement – where we keep the laundry machines – is DH’s domain and there is rarely any space to fold and deal with the laundry. This leaves me hauling massive baskets of army kit and regular clothes up to the living room so that I can fold it there. And then it goes into the guest room. In an attempt to put an end to the cycle of madness, I decided to build myself a folding and utility table for the laundry.
Keep in mind, this is a project I’ve had in the back of mind for a while (like all good projects) and after months of stewing up there I came up with less than stellar plans for how to actually execute the table. DH quickly pointed-out the structural inaccuracies of my design and we sat down to draw something that would actually work for my needs.
The table that we built fits nicely over the laundry machines for storage, can be rolled around if needed so that I can face the TV (for those big loads after the field), and it’s gosh darn pretty. I am NOT about bringing ugliness into my life, let alone the laundry room.
We made three panels that we then bolted together for easy assembly and disassembly. Given how often we move, we’d hate for it to get damaged in a move or left behind.
The dimensions on our blueprints for the laundry table are specific to our machines, so make sure you adjust your materials and cut list accordingly:
– Top panel measurements required: width of machines side by side + 5 inches (C piece). Because we’re using 2″ x 2″s for the frame you have to add 3″ to the length, and then an inch for clearance. Don’t forget to measure the depth of machines (A piece).
– Side panels: depth (A piece) and the height of machines, minus 4 inches to account for the 2″ of height from the A pieces (B piece). When you add the wheels, the table automatically gains enough clearance to be able to roll smoothly, so don’t worry about adding height to the measurements.
Be sure to adjust your materials based on the dimensions of your machines. Our material list includes:
Six (6) 2″ x 2″ x 8′
One (1) 1″ x 6″ x 8′
Four (four) 5″ bolts (plus nuts and washers)
One (1) 48″ x 48″ x 1/8″ panel of mdf * for side panels
One (1) 24″ x 48″ x 1/2″ panel of mdf * for top panel
About a dozen 3 1/2″ screws, about two dozen small nails.
Four (4) castor wheels in the size of your choice (at least general use, no smaller)
Total at Home Depot : 55$
Cut list for the project:
Six (6) 24″ pieces from the 2″ x 2″ – A
Six (6) 34″ pieces from the 2″ x 2″ – B
Three (3) 55″ pieces from the 2″ x 2″ – C
Two (2) 36″ x “24” pieces from the 1/8″ mdf
*We add an extra 2″ to the length of the mdf because we want it to cover the frame on the top piece. It all comes together beautifully in the assembly.
One (1) 24″ x 48″ piece from the 1/2″ mdf
One (1) 24″ x 6″ piece from the remaining 1/2″ mdf
*You’ll combine the last two pieces for the top panel.
One (1) 1″ x 6″ x 55″ from the 1″ x 6″ – D
Once you’ve got your cuts, it’s time to assemble the panels individually, before assembling the whole thing in place.
Step 1. Use the 2″ x 2″ to build out a frame for the top and side panels (see drawings). Drill pilot holes at the end of each A piece. Drill 3 1/2″ screws down the length of each panel for security (see drawings). Glue all the joints before screwing them together for extra stability.
Step 2. Add an extra B piece down the middle (length-wise) of the panels for extra stability and bracing.
Step 3. Drill pilot holes to allow countersinking of bolts for each panel: Drill 2x along the top of the side panels (along the A length), and corresponding holes along the edge (A length) of the top panel.
Step 4. Lay the panels on the ground and apply thin bead of glue along one side of each of the panels. Place the appropriately sized and cut piece of 1/8″ mdf. Nail down along the frame for added security.
Step 5. Repeat the process outlined in step 4, for the top panel using the 1/2″ mdf. Remember to add the two cuts to cover the top panel. This is one of the reasons we have a middle brace, to give extra stability where the two pieces meet.
Step 6. Add the caster wheels to the bottom of each side panel BEFORE you assemble the table. It is imperative that you make sure the wheels roll in the same direction on both panels i.e front to back, not side to side. Otherwise you end up with the equivalent of a shopping cart with a wonky wheel as it screeches along the grocery store floor.
Step 7. Assemble the table in situ using bolts. This is a two person job as one has to brace the table for stability while the other is beneath the table cursing and complaining, all the while bolting the two panels together. If a husband complains and the wife isn’t there to hear him, are his complaints valid?
Step 8. Cut the 1″ x 6″ x 8′ (D piece) to the length of the table (in our case 55″). Fix it to the bottom of the outside of the table. It’s easier to do this if you flip the table on it’s side and then screw the board into place.
We’re doing this to prevent it from rolling too far back when stored. This will save you from having your table roll into the cables and pipes and ducts behind your machines.
Step 9. Paint exterior in whatever colour you want! I had some Behr Pure White in a sample size laying around, and that was enough paint to cover the top panel (the side panels were already white). The next day I stencilled on some atomic stars in blue, and then outlined them in silver for extra contrast.
I used an existing shape and stencilled it onto some cardboard before cutting it out. I chose a piece of cardboard big enough to use with a roller.
Optional steps: adding a skirt to the table to hide the machines or side panels of the laundry table. I don’t know how exposed your machines are to the rest of your space, but if you’re looking to hide them, a nice skirt can do the trick! Just make sure you can pull back the skirt in order to access the drums.
Some people were asking about the wheels. I have front loading machines, so the wheels aren’t to ensure access rather provide convenience. However, if you have top loading machines, being able to actually load them would be a good idea, hence the wheels.
p.s please excuse the lighting in our basement- it’s horrible! I couldn’t get the exposure right to save my life! and photoshop was no help after the fact.
The final product is exactly what I wanted and I couldn’t be more happy with my new laundry table. This was an easy sunday project for two people with power tools.