We found this Singer sewing machine base at an antique mall in Vestavia, Alabama several years ago. We love old things. We used it on our patio porch for several years. We used a rough (not polished) piece of granite as its countertop.
Because Neal and I have moved around so much for my career, I was finally thankful to actually have a craft room/closet to leave my sewing machine out and used it as needed without having to unpack/pack up each time. I also have more time now that I am semi-retired.
Below are two before pictures of the sewing machine base. Notice that it is very rusty.
First, let me digress and share that I was looking forward to having a sewing table in my craft room. My sweet mother taught me how to sew when I was a child. I grew up on a poultry farm in Maryland and always wanted to be a Brownie/Girl Scout. (I though the uniforms were super cool!) However, my mom informed me that we were farmers and thus I would be in 4-H. My Mom and Dad were our 4-H leaders. The first thing I remember making was a green and white (so fitting for 4-H) striped skirt with a bib. I competed in the Caroline County 4-H competition and I think I got a ribbon for my chic skirt. I also remember making a red and black plaid dress with a white collar and cuffs when I was in college. I spent a weekend making this dress while home from college. My parents came home from a trip and because I had not sewn for quite some time, I my Mom was amazed by my dress. I remember telling her, “If you can read, you can sew.” Well . . . that is not exactly true. My Mom still tells this story with great fondness. All this to say, I am thankful that my Mom taught me how to sew.
Back to making my sewing table…
First I took it to Josh at Dixieland Sand Blasting and Power Coating on Logan Martin Lake . He has helped me restore several old items by sandblasting and power coating. He does a great job every time! Below is a picture after Josh sand blasted and powder coated the sewing machine base. I choose a black satin. I like painting old things black and chose satin finish so it is not too shiny, but hides imperfections. The next step was creating the table top. 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 it. 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 actually cut the plywood. Below is the plywood after Neal cut it. 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. 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 is used his circular saw to cut the first piece of heart pine. (Isn’t my “Steve Jobs lookalike” so cute?) He used a square to ensure a straight cut. He typically does not wear flip flops when we use tools, but he was working (appraisal work) and I interrupted him to make my tabletop. He reminds me that my projects sometimes become his projects and I interrupt him more than I should. Oh well . . . 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! The finished wood top is 18×26 inches. Here are the two pieces side by side. 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. (He is sooo talented! ?) Here is a closeup of one of the corners. 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.
Here is a closer look. 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. We also used wood glue on the underside of the second board. 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. We added wood glue to the seam where the two pieces of heart pine touched. We then clamped it (pulling it tight) and gave it time to dry. Now, time to wait (overnight) for it to dry. 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.
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. Below is a picture showing the poly on half of the tabletop. Voila! Here is the final product! Doesn’t it look GREAT! Here is another picture. And . . . . drumroll please . . . here is my new sewing table with my sewing machine. Personal Note: Neal and my children (Ryan and Emmy) gave this sewing machine to me for Christmas when our children were very young (toddlers). Like me, it is old, but I love my sewing machine! Now I can sew anytime without having to set up my sewing machine. Oh JOY! Here is a picture with my stool. This stool is an old piano stool that I have had since I was a child. It works perfectly with my sewing machine. At some point, I am going to make a sewing machine cover and maybe some hanging pockets for sewing supplies. I already have the fabric I am going to use for my sewing machine cover. Stay tuned for another blog post . . .
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