Hospital Overbed Table as Stand for Tabletop Stringer?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by varuscelli, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    I've been thinking about the feasibility of using a hospital "overbed" table as a stand for a tabletop stringer. I'm not really sure if these would be sturdy enough, but I have a couple of old ones that I use around my home and thought it might be possible to use one for a stringing machine stand. Whether they'd bear the kind of weight that some of the tabletop stringers have, well...it's hard to say. But the top could easily be modified to where most of the weight would be over the main post by adding another piece of board to the top. And they'd probably need locking wheels added.

    But one advantage, if one of these would work, is that you can stand very close to them, much in the same way that a regular stringer stand (as opposed to something like a utility cart) works. Your feet could easily step up to and under the actual table for closer work.

    Here are a couple of photos. These things are generally pretty sturdy with laminate/pressboard tops but fairly heavy duty metal framing and rising post (and even a small drawer built in for storage of tools). They can be easily raised and lowered to appropriate heights. I got these for something like $20 each from a surplus office furniture dealer.

    Anyway, just a thought.

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  2. kchau

    kchau Semi-Pro

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    you can try to rig them up with a support beam or something, but they seem pretty sturdy last time i ended up in the hospital
     
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  3. Audiodude

    Audiodude Rookie

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    Looks like it would be perfect. Most tabletop stringers fall below the 70 pound mark. That thing looks like it could handle quite a bit more that that, judging by the size and shape of the vertical post and the framework that supports the tabletop.
     
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  4. flash9

    flash9 Semi-Pro

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    Great Idea

    I like the built in Tool Tray! :cool:
     
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  5. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

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    I like the puppy.
     
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  6. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    Wow. I want one of those. :)

    Anyone found a good alternative to this? Same design/construction?

    r,
    eagle
     
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  7. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    Great idea. At $20, that's a steal. Nice clean look and it has a place to store tools. If you are stringing on carpet, I wouldn't worry about about locking the wheels.

    Probably the only drawback with those tables is that there can be a little movement of the tabletop, but this is just a very very minor problem.
     
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  8. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Some of the trays (all of them?) have built-in mirrors so that you can check out how you look while you're in stringing mode. Or you can flex in front of it or comb your hair or check your make-up -- you know the drill... :p

    Actually, you'd likely want to just pull the mirror out (if one's in there) to make more room for tools. But my 4-year-old daughter uses one of these tables all the time to draw on, etc., and she loves the mirror being in there. (Women! Even tiny ones... :) )

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  9. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    I think that second-hand overbed tables are fairly readily available, if you live in or around a major city. Hospitals get rid of them periodically and replace them with new ones, so they're pretty common on the second-hand or salvage market. A phone call or two to a used furniture place or a salvage place could be a way to locate one easily. I've got one used office furniture place where I've bought a couple of things (filing cabinets, etc., for my business) and the guy there just tells me to let him know if there's anything I'm looking for -- he says he sees it all, eventually, and will grab something if I need it. That strategy would probably work elsewhere, too.

    Yeah, that's true. I was thinking that the weight of the stringer would help with that to a degree. But I also thought about using something like a support leg on the unsupported end to help with that (even something like one of those saw horse ends that you use with a 2x4 to create a full saw horse). Since that would be wedge shaped, it might eliminate most of the movement. I dunno, it might still have too much wobble when you're working. This kind of table certainly wouldn't be as sturdy as a cart that has build-in side support, but still...it might be workable.
     
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  10. andrew_b

    andrew_b Rookie

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    Looks like a great idea to me.

    play well,
    Andrew
     
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  11. flash9

    flash9 Semi-Pro

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    Lowest Height?

    One thing I did begin to think about is how low they can go? If I remember corectly you will want the top it to be between 28-34 inches high.

    What is the lowest these table drop down to?
     
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  12. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    The ones I have go from 28 inches to 43 inches. Of course, the taller they're raised the less stable they become.
     
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  13. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Funny, most folks don't think about having a hospital-style overbed for use in their own homes, but we have two of them and they seem to be in use constantly. We use them in the kitchen sometimes as a mini kitchen island or butcher block, for my daughter to do coloring and crafts, they're great "TV" trays (which is sort of what they're designed as anyway), can be used as movable work surfaces for small projects, great for laptop PC use, etc. They roll around easily and don't take up a lot of space. Pretty handy things to have, actually.
     
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  14. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Something else that might work for folks with limited space might be a folding wall table (Murphy Table?). Or would something like that be too limiting as far as working around it?

    Here's a Harbor Freight one for about $40 (400 lb. capacity).
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    Here's something a bit fancier, but more like $100.
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  15. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Anthro makes these, but they're on the expensive side. They'll hold something like 150 lbs, though. But they look cool, so who cares about expense? :p

    Actually, Anthro (www.anthro.com) makes tons of great carts and tables, but they're also mostly pretty expensive unless you catch what you want on sale. (And mostly computer/office oriented stuff.)

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  16. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Here's another Anthro option that looks really practical (but once again, really expensive). This thing is usually $299 but on "sale" for $185 at the moment (I always get their "on sale" announcements since I've requested their catalogs before).

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    Oh, yeah...and the Anthro stuff is pretty sturdy as well (but did I mention expensive, yet?).

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  17. jonolau

    jonolau Legend

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    Seeing those 3 BIG guys on the Anthro is very reassuring ... but I may think twice about buying a display set. ;)

    I like your patio, I can imagine many a barbeque has been organized there ...

    The hospital table looks like a really good idea. As you know, I went for a bedside table from Ikea that cost me US$40 brand new. It also had a small drawer which is useful for the tools. The base of my crank had two threaded holes, so all I had to do was go to the harware store to buy 2 x 3 inch bolts of the same diameter, drill 2 holes in the table top and bolted it on for security. Since I don't wheel it about the house much, just a couple of yards from the storage area to the open, I put some Magiglide on the legs to push it about the room.

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