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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I been wanting to build a Zen Table Garden for a friend.

The idea would be a coffee table styled table with the table top on a horizontal hinge that would allow the table top to work like a lid. under the lid would be the Zen Garden while the table would be rectangular, the Zen garden would be square in the center of the box. On the left would be compartment for a mini rake, and the right a compartment for the rocks.

The table top would have a glass insert so the Zen garden is the only thing that is displayed though the glass.

My questions are:
  1. Best way to place the table top on a hinge
  2. would the table top be too heavy and flip the table over, how to counter this
  3. Tempered glass, Plex, or regular glass (how thick)
  4. how to seal the glass on the table surface, or secure it

Thanks for the help, I own a Dremel and some other tools, but I can get my hands on almost any wood working tool.
 

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Welcome! That's a great idea, I've thought about trying to make one myself.
So you know how a normal table has the apron around the edges, and the top just sits/is attached to that? Well, to make what you're thinking of, you could just slap a plywood bottom on it, add some dividers for the compartments, and then put your top on hinges instead of screwing it on. I'm sure there are plans available somewhere.
For the glass, I would use tempered, which would make it heavier, but is a good idea for safety.
To counter the weight, and make it less likely to tip over, I would either use hinges that limited the swing, or just put a chain to hold it less than 90 degrees and a stick to prop it open.
You could probably get away with just sealing the glass in with a bead of silicone. Maybe epoxy, but I'd get confirmation from some of the smarter (than me) folks around here.

Good luck with the project!
Acer
 

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I'd make the top rail and stile type design if you want the glass to be inset and hinged like that. Or, just go with a solid piece of glass/plexi and screw the hinges directly to the glass. Any glass shop where you're going to get tempered glass large enough or plexiglass thick enough for a coffee table will be able to drill screw holes for you. (You need tempered glass or plexi if it's for a coffee table.)
 

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Making the glass/plexi easily removable would also be a design consideration. Make it easy to remove that annoying piece of sand or something stuck to the bottom of the glass/
 

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i'd try

A piano hinge and a lock hinge on one side easy to install and avaliable at big box stores if you dont have a woodworking store near by
 
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