Movable Countertop


From original questioner:

I am an architect and am trying to detail a connection between a round end fixed countertop/base cabinet and a corresponding movable countertop/base cabinet (on wheels). I have attached a conceptual plan and section that shows the kind of result I am looking for. The sketch shows a curved metal plate connected to the movable countertop that fits into a routed space underneath the fixed countertop. I would like the movable countertop to rotate 90 degrees. These sketches are conceptual. Does anybody have an idea how this would really work?

From contributor Ch

The concept in your section will not work for two reasons that I can see. First, the floor would have to be perfectly level so there is no deviation between fixed plane and moving. Secondly, the metal piece would rub on the dado and bind (or at least operate less than smoothly)...I imagine something with ball bearings would be best? Like a lazy Suzanne. I made a table sort of like this once. 3 tiers of joined column joined together with a lazy Suzanne, then table "leaves" that attached horizontally to those column sections. Think I still have a vid and pics if you like

From contributor Da

Use the underside centerpoint of the fixed top to attach a metal plate that holds the movable top at the correct position. Then set a bearing point just above the toe space, and do away with any wheels on the movable cabinet. Keep it light. Let that bearing point be the 3rd point of the triangle. Use a rubber coated ball bearing running on a very smooth and solid surface, and a center pivot bearing. The centerpoint could be one of those now obsolete TV shelf swivel bearings made to hold 300 lbs., just for starters.

I agree the floor will likely not be flat enough, and the wheels may leave tracks.

The routed rim can only work with engineered bearings and metal tracks, and then will still have weight limitations, etc. You should let it evolve away from that solution.

From contributor Da

Thats a cool idea. what if the routed channel had a curved aluminum channel facing downwards and then on the plate that is fastened to the moveable base unit there could be 3 ball bearings or pins that ride in the channel of the fixed top. You would have to fit the plate and pins in place and then slide the moveable base cabinet under and fasten it. If the bearings or pins were riding ,oose in the channel then any floor deviation would be acceptable as the channel and pin junction would have some vertical give to it. The second option would be to have a vertical shaft installed at the centerpoint of the rotation inside the fixed base cabinet which would allow you to make a bracket both top and bottom which you could fix to the moveable cabinet, thus eliminating the need for the wheels. Leave a gap say 1/4" between the fixed base and the fixed top to allow the bracket to swing. The stationary top could also be sitting on the top of the shaft for support. check out a lazy susan corner shelf as an example.

Hope it works out, pretty neat.

From contributor Al

We did a metal top that spins around an island to make a serving area, the floor made it difficult but it works. We used a bearing in the center.

From contributor ca

It will work- need spring mounted casters on the move able unit- a gate caster.

The track routed in the casework could work off polyurethane wheels (like skate board wheels) Need some type of safety in the mechanism in case someone decides to us the top as on object to pull themselves off the floor.

From contributor Al

Thank you for your quick responses. Sorry it took me so long to reply. This has been my weekend for photo printing. I am not looking for perfection. Hopefully, I can get wheels that height adjustable. I think that routing a dado is getting too complicated. I'm not sure I understood David Sochar's comment but it gave me the idea that if I attach a metal strap tot he underside of the countertop at the center point of the circle (and allow it to pivot there) I can attach the other end, in a fixed manner, to the movable cabinet. This seems like a simple solution. Possibly, not an elegant one. The problem with using words is that they are hard to convey the image to another person.