HDM Cabinet/Enclosure

I’ve mostly finished up my HDM cabinet. I wanted a door that gave me headroom when reaching into the machine, but also didn’t require me to step way back to swing it open. Luckily my garage has 10’ ceilings, so came up with a design using pivoting arms to swing straight up.

It’s 32" (H) x 45" (W) x 40" (D), on a bench that is about 40" above the ground - which makes everything super comfortable for my 6’3" height - I’d have to jump to bump my head. Most of its 3/4" baltic birch ply, with a cherry face frame and 1/4" polycarbonate window. The entire door is heavier than I’d really like, I probably could have gone with 2" frame rather then 4" and 1/2" ply on the side rather than 3/4".

I added counterweights to the pivot arms to make it open easily. Because of the weight of the door, and lack of leverage the weights/arms have, there is about 50lb of counterweight in total. You can see some weightlifting plates on the top arms - the bottoms have concrete-filled-pvc pipes hanging from paracord. I’ll likely do the same on the top arms before my wife notices I stole the plates from our gym room.

I still need to work out a nice way to keep it held open - but a spring clamp or just jamming up the arms works. Maybe electromagnets so I can release the door automatically on cycle-start! I’d need to figure out a way to make it soft-close for that though - but I’m sure there options using kitchen-cabinet soft close pistons.

video of it opening


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Nice looking set up. I see your old Craftsman lathe. I bought a Jet lathe extension from a guy over around Dallas Texas. He had a metal lathe that he made Briarwood smoking pipes on. He had quite a setup to make those pipes. Of course he smoked a pipe as he worked. Kind of like Popeye the Sailor Man.

I like your counter weight setup on the doors as well. Some people use those gas cylinders but yours will never wear out.