A Funky Soda Shop Countertop: The Right Materials Make All the Difference
The Project: A Funky Soda Shop Countertop: The Right Materials Make All the Difference
Recently, the owners of a uniquely-designed soda shop came to us with a creative challenge. They were proud of their family-friendly shop and wanted to accommodate both adults and children in their fun atmosphere. One idea of theirs was to design a custom soda counter that could be raised or lowered to the sitting height of the customer. This would allow both children and adults to sit and enjoy their food and drinks comfortably. Plus, it would provide a little extra novelty. We were thrilled to take on the project.
Must-Haves for this project included:
- A quality table that could be raised and lowered
- Decor that matched the theme of the shop
- A product just the right size for the space available
This project forced us to combine functionality and retro style.
- Our first challenge was to design tables that could be manually powered, as there was no electrical power available for the tables’ location.
- The mechanism used to raise and lower the countertop had to be both concealed and small enough to allow for comfortable seating.
- The table needed to be comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and in keeping with the decor theme of the shop.
As we planned this project, we discovered that the secret of the design relied on its materials.
The right materials for a fully-functional product.
Solution 1: We chose a strong plywood core for this project. Plywood retains its rigidity compared to other wood, and it’s less expensive than particleboard. There are other advantages to using plywood:
- Plywood holds screws and bolts tighter.
- It’s less prone to breaking.
- It’s a better option when there’s a chance for water damage.
We chose laminate and trim to match the colors and theme of the shop.
Solution 2: Next, we chose materials for the legs, which turned out to be the most difficult to source. They had to be of sufficient quality to carry the weight of the table and capable of a telescoping motion, so they took additional in-house engineering and machining. We achieved the right effect with hollowed chrome table legs, perfectly in line with the shop’s style, and hidden leg lifts to allow the table to be raised and lowered.
Solution 3: As we considered the mechanics of this job, we came up with a couple of solutions before choosing the method that would work the best. Ultimately, we decided to use a hand crank connected to the pneumatic lifts that were concealed in the table legs. The end result was a lift system that was both easy to operate and controlled in its movement.
Solution 4: Next, we needed a way to make the handle for the crank as unobtrusive as possible. We concealed the handle by building an apron underneath the main countertop and then installing the crank inside it. We put the handle housing on glides so it could easily be pulled out for the operation. When putting away, the handle nested inside a housing unit that covered the mechanism completely.
The Final Product
Sturdy support and a great topic of conversation.
We’re proud to say that this countertop turned out great. The chrome telescoping legs provide sturdy support. The manual crank is concealed and raises and lowers the counter in a controlled manner, even when the table is loaded with food and drinks! The entire project was designed to fit into the themed environment of the soda shop. It can be used by kids and adults alike, and it provides a fun topic of discussion in this family-oriented spot.