Looking for hardware recommendation. No, not computer hardware - furniture hardware!


I’ve got a problem. It’s not really a SketchUp problem, but I think enough people on this forum will have good ideas that I’m posting it here, in the Corner Bar Category, since it’s “Off Topic” to all the other categories in this forum!

I’ve built myself a Murphy Bed/Desk Combination:

And I’m currently using it as my desk - sorry, no current pictures, I don’t want to show the mess!

I also have a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 scanner:

The first photo shows the ScanSnap in it’s “closed” configuration (which is also the “Off” position, there is no On/Off switch!) which is how I normally keep it when I don’t need to do a scan.

I want to design a “holder” for this that will let me mount it so I can easily reach it when the Murphy is configured as a desk, and will move with the bed bottom when I pull it down for using the Murphy as a bed.

Strike that. I have designed the holder! But I’m missing one piece of hardware.
Here’s the holder:

It’s a concept model - I haven’t modeled the details. The big planar piece is the bottom of the bed which, when vertical, is the backdrop for the desk. The grey-ish box is a quick and dirty placeholder for the ScanSnap in the “closed” configuration. The REST of the model is the holder.

Here’s a gif of the motion I need between the two parts of the holder:

What I need is suggestions for the hardware that will connect the two pieces of the holder to accomplish the motion. Note that I can’t simply use a rod as it would have occupy the space where the scanner resides!


  • I don’t care (within reason) how big the “gap” is between the pieces connected by the hardware.
  • Scanner weighs 3 kg (6.6 lbs) so, assuming the “base” of the holder weighs 1 kg or less, each piece of hardware will handle a 2 kg load - in shear!
  • I’d be surprised if I change the bed/desk orientation more than 250 times over the life of my use of this furniture - and SHOCKED if I end up changing it 1,000 times!
  • The width of the pieces the hardware connects isn’t important. I’ve drawn them at 3", but it could be a bit larger if necessary.
  • The thickness of the pieces the hardware connects isn’t critical. I’ve drawn them at 3/4", but can accept any thickness that works with the hardware.
  • Near invisibility (except when viewed within the “gap”) would be nice, but not at all necessary. I value function far more than form in this case.

All suggestions welcome! If your suggestion is for a particular purpose specific device (like a cross between a lazy susan and a hinge), a link to where I might find it online would be appreciated.


I’d use a couple of machine screws passed through holes in the pieces. If you felt the need, you could add bronze bushings but they wouldn’t be required. Put a large nylon or delrin washer between the pieces for smooth action.


I just found something online that I think will do the job - with a bonus of near invisibility!

They’re “oversold” until the end of November, so I’m going to order a pair - and cancel it if someone comes up with a better idea here!


Yeah. If you want to spend that much. Sex bolts would work, too.


I don’t mind paying for a clever solution. The entire Murphy Bed/Desk setup is central to the design of the Tiny House on Wheels that I will (eventually) build and occupy. In the meantime it allows me to dedicate the 2nd bedroom in my Condo to be both an office AND a guest room - as well as providing a “practice” tiny space to pare down the “bulk” of my existence.

I’m also hoping you meant hex bolt, not sex bolt! :wink:

Before posting, I had a machine bolt based solution in the back of my mind. Not attracted to it as I worry about the threads eating into the bearing surface over time. As you say, a bushing could take care of that. It’s not a bad idea - and I might use it if I become impatient to complete this project before the Rockler thingies ship!


No. I meant Sex bolt.


Wow! That’s my “I learned a new thing today”! I’d seen stuff like that before, but didn’t know the name!

For my application, would you suggest using this as a bearing surface - waxed - with a bolt of appropriate size through the other piece? And perhaps a nylon washer between the pieces?


superglue makes an excellent bearing surface…

I use scavenged ikea hex head version of ‘sex’ bolts for lots of thing…



As I said before, a machine screw will be more than adequate and I already wrote that you should put a nylon washer between the pieces.


Is there any value, given the weights I’m contemplating, to having the smooth outer surface of the sex bolt extend the full thickness of the piece it’s in? Reason I is that I’m contemplating using roughly 3/4 stock, and from your link, I’d require a 3/8" barrel with a 5/16-18 thread if I want to have it take up the full thickness.

Oh wait! I just double checked. And what I said above would be true only if I wanted to use the phillips only, stainless steel, oversize head version. PLENTY of options for the combo truss head both in zinc plated and stainless!

Never mind …


It only needs to pivot in on part, not both.

Did you build the bed from your own design or did you get a plan for it somewhere?


Although I do like Dave’s idea. I would use shoulder bolts in place of his machine screws. The have a smooth shaft and would lock down so to speak on the shoulder. Plus there are ready made bushings to match the diameter.


I bought a hardware kit that came with plans - which I wasn’t expecting! I used the plans to model it in SketchUp with one major mod: I allowed for a 6" shelf along the back when open as a bed. I haven’t added that yet as correct height will depend on the mattress chosen - and I haven’t bought a mattress yet!

I had the opportunity to cut the parts on a ShopBot CNC machine at my local community college. They actually required using Fusion360 for generating the tool paths and G-Code, so I ended up modeling it a second time in Fusion 360!

Assembling it inside a Tiny House will be tight. Might be hard to use the screws I’m currently to hold the side panels to the top and back panels and the lower spreader (all of the base unit). So I plan to drill pocket holes from the INSIDE when I’m disassembling it prior to moving into the Tiny Home!


Actually, if I go that route, I’ll probably use hex head machine screws/bolts. And carefully chisel in a hex inset so the bolt is flush.


Of course that will work, but I was addressing your issue with the “threads eating into the bearing surface”.


You could use carriage bolts and pull the square shoulder into the plywood. Almost flush without the chisel work. Bronze bushing in the mating part if you’re concerned about the threads eating the plywood.

Or an oak dowel with a bit of tallow or paraffin would work fine, too. This isn’t a high speed, high wear connection.


I might add I suggested a shoulder bolt because they were designed specifically for applications such as yours, “a long, unthreaded, cylindrical shoulder that allows for the rotation of attached parts like pulleys, gears, moving parts of engines and mechanical assemblies”.


Shoulder Screws

Sex Bolts

Everything Else You Could Ever Need


If your scanner is within a reasonably normal weight range, this hinge should be adequate. I frequently specify Accuride hinges for cabinets and closets. I really like using them because they are durable, silent, designed to disappear within the units in which they are installed, and they function flawlessly.

Accuride Pivot Hinge (30 lb. capability)


I think all readers of this thread would enjoy viewing a video of the process you just described. I hope you record your effort when you begin this undertaking.