How to Build a Wood Tabletop for a Sewing Machine Table

Finished constructed sewing machine table diy home improvement project
Finished constructed sewing machine table diy home improvement project

We will show you how we built a wood tabletop for my sewing machine base.

Background

Neal and I found this Singer sewing machine base at an antique mall several years ago. We love old things and knew this would be perfect to use as a base for a sewing machine table. So, we got right to work adding a wooden tabletop.

rusted singer sewing machine base

On a personal note…

I love to sew and am thankful my mother taught me. Now that I am semi-retired and have a grandson, I sew a lot for him, especially outfits for special occasions. We converted the loft into my office and craft room. I wanted a place to keep my sewing machine so I could use it anytime without the hassle of getting it out and setting it up. Because Neal and I have moved around so much for my career, I was finally thankful to have a craft room/closet to leave my sewing machine out and use it as needed without having to unpack/pack up each time. I also have more time now that I am semi-retired.

Back to making my sewing table…and how to build a wooden tabletop

Powder Coated the Base

First, we had it powder-coated. We opted for this over spray painting so it would be more durable. I chose a black satin so it is not too shiny but hides imperfections. Also, black blends with everything.

vintage sewing machine base

Building the Wood Tabletop

Adding the Plywood

The next step was creating the tabletop. Neal had a leftover piece of plywood. We put the frame upside down on the plywood to get a feel for the size I wanted.

My craft room is quite small, so I did not want it to be too big but wanted it to be big enough to hold my sewing machine and have a little extra space for sewing supplies (scissors, pin cushion, etc.) as I am sewing.

We decided to attach the plywood (under the actual wood top) directly to the sewing machine base. We cut the plywood 12.75 x 22.5 inches. (Note: The finished wood top will be 18×26 inches. More on this below.)

Neal used his table saw as a working surface and his level as a straight edge. He used his circular saw to cut the plywood.

Cutting plywood with circular saw and using level to draw cut line

After Neal cut the plywood, I sanded the top, bottom, and all the edges. It would not be seen, but I did not want any rough edges to snag fabric or to get any splinters while I used it.

Heart Pine Wood for Tabletop

Now it was time to work on the actual wood top. This is leftover heart pine flooring that we had milled and installed throughout the main level of our lake house. (Side note: Our flooring was milled from large floor beams in an old yarn factory in Columbus, Georgia.)

We determined that we would need two pieces of wood for the top. Neal used his circular saw to cut the first piece of heart pine. To ensure a straight line, he used a square. (Neal typically does not wear flip-flops when we use tools, but he was working in his office and I interrupted him to make my tabletop. Our joke is that my projects sometimes become his projects.

Neal used the first cut board as his template by placing it on the second board (remember that it takes two pieces to make the top) and marked where to cut. He also made sure that both pieces (all four ends) were perfectly square.

Here is another view as he is getting ready to cut the second board. This wood is so beautiful!

cutting pine boards using square and circular saw

The finished wood top is 18×26 inches.

I sanded both boards  (top, bottom, and edges of each) with fine sandpaper.

Neal used a belt sander to round out the corners so they would not be so pointed/sharp. Here is a closeup of one of the corners.

rounded corners of installed table top

Installing Tabletop

Now it was time to bolt the plywood to the sewing machine base. Neal drilled slightly smaller holes in each corner before he inserted the bolts, washers, and nuts.

plywood bolted on top of sewing machines base

Now for the fun part where it all really comes together (and Neal can get back to his appraisal work).  Neal put screws from the underside in several locations to attach the heart pine wood to the plywood.

NOTE OF CAUTION: Be sure that your screws are not too long! You do not want them to come through and be visible from the top. Neal was very cautious to ensure that was not the case before he added several screws. We also added wood glue (on the bottom of the heart pine and on the top of the plywood) before screwing down this board.

So the first board is installed. And then we screwed the second board. Also, we used wood glue on the underside of the second board.

installing pine boards to make sewing machine table

In addition, we added wood glue to the seam where the two pieces of heart pine touched. Then we clamped it (pulling it tight) and gave it time to dry.

clamps holding heart pine boards (tabletop) on sewing base

Here is a picture of the underside so you can see the screws. Also, notice the heart pine wood (actual top) overhangs from the plywood.

underside of sewing machine table showing screws

The next step was waiting for it to dry overnight. Waiting is one of the hardest things for me. When I start a project, I want to keep working on it until it is completed!

The next day I removed the clamps and sanded the tabletop with fine sandpaper. This helped to further blend the two pieces of wood.

Polyurathaning the Top

Neal moved it to my craft room and there I put three coats of wipe-on poly on the tabletop. I did not stain it. Be sure to wait between each coat for it to completely dry.

The Final Result

Voila! Here is the final product! Doesn’t it look GREAT!

Finished constructed sewing machine table diy home improvement project

Thank you for reading this blog post. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions about how to build a wooden tabletop by commenting below.

Happy sewing!

17 Comments

  1. Sannygeway on 12/12/2018 at 12:41 AM

    Nice posts! 🙂
    ___
    Sanny

  2. Ines Mercer on 12/28/2018 at 10:05 AM

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Iron ThundeR on 01/29/2019 at 12:58 AM

    First offf I would like to say fantastic blog!

    I had a quick question inn which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and
    clear your head prior to writing. I have had a hard time clearing my mind in getting
    my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing but it just
    seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips?
    Thank you!

    • Suzanne on 01/30/2019 at 1:47 PM

      Thank you for the complement! I am still learning and improving. I allocate time each week to write. I have a list of possible projects at all times. I start by thinking about my latest project (the project I am going to write about next) a few days in advance of writing. I typically create an outline and then just sequentially tell the story of our project. Sometimes, it takes me a few minutes to get started too . . . to clear my mind. I think that is just a natural part of the writing process. However, I find the more I think about my topic days in advance and start making notes (I keep a notebook with me at all times to jot down notes), that helps. Once I get started, things start to click. Good luck to you and thanks for reading my blog.
      Suzanne

  4. Clint on 04/03/2019 at 6:09 PM

    I located your site from Google as well as I have to
    say it was a terrific discover. Many thanks!

    • Suzanne on 04/04/2019 at 7:31 PM

      Clint,

      Thanks for your affirming words. I enjoy blogging about our DIY and crafting projects.

      Suzanne

  5. Deena on 04/04/2019 at 4:27 PM

    Do you have any type of tips for writing articles? That’s where I always struggle and I
    just finish up staring empty display for long time.

    • Suzanne on 04/04/2019 at 7:39 PM

      Deena,

      I just write about our DIY projects, crafting, and life experiences. I think it is essential to write about what you know and be your authentic self. Good luck to you.

      Thanks for reading our blog.

      Suzanne

  6. Alejandro on 04/09/2019 at 10:55 AM

    Thanks to the excellent guide

  7. Susan on 04/17/2019 at 6:29 AM

    I enjoy the article

  8. Wayne on 04/24/2019 at 1:54 PM

    Thanks, it’s very informative

  9. Juli on 04/24/2019 at 3:50 PM

    This is truly useful, thanks.

  10. Nikia Krysl on 04/29/2019 at 4:45 AM

    Great blog you have here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing like yours nowadays.I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    • Suzanne on 04/30/2019 at 7:44 PM

      Thanks, Nikia! I enjoy writing about our projects! Thanks for reading our blog!

    • Suzanne on 04/30/2019 at 8:22 PM

      Nikia,
      Thank you so much for your kind words! We appreciate you reading our blog!
      Suzanne

  11. Lesley Calabria Brown on 08/11/2020 at 6:12 AM

    Hi Suzanne! Lovely job on the table! I also have one of these tables and would like to scale back the size of the tabletop. The size of your looks just right…space to work without taking up to much room. Would you mind telling me the dimensions of the finished top? Thank you so much for sharing this project.

    • Suzanne on 08/11/2020 at 4:31 PM

      Hey Lesley,

      Thank you so much for your affirming words. My tabletop is 18″x26″ and this size works well for me. Let me know how it goes with your tabletop.

      Thanks for reading my blog.

      Suzanne

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