Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm back & DIY Sewing Table

****I've updated these plans and placed them here:  Check it out ***

It's been a while since I posted.... and by a while, I mean I now have a 3 month old I wasn't even pregnant with the last time I posted. Welcome baby Isaac! Anyway, I wanted to start posting again. I got a few big boxes of fabric from co-ops I wanted to show off and, well, I spend a lot of time nursing in front computer, so why not?

This post will be a continuation of my last post, more about my sewing machine. I knew I wanted to have a sewing machine built into a table, but I didn't want to put out a ton of money for a custom sewing table. So I started looking for a nice cheap table, and I found the perfect one at Ikea. It was on sale for about $35, and was perfect for this project. I don't think they sell the size I bought anymore, but they do sell one a little bigger, found here. I was tempted to buy the bigger one for extra room to the side (very useful), but since we move a lot, I figured it'd be better to keep it small & cheap. You can follow these instructions for either the small or large table. Enough talk... here some pictures and instructions.

INGO table
2 pieces of 3/4" x 1" (around these dimensions) inch solid wood boards, one should be long enough to span the length of the table, the other can be a bit shorter (about a foot)
4 big screws & nuts (a little bigger than the height of the base of the sewing machine
1 piece of thick plywood or solid wood about 2" longer than the long side of your sewing machine and about the same width
wood screws

Tools: drill, hand saw, (miter box optional), jigsaw, coarse and fine sandpaper.

1) Buy the INGO solid pike table from Ikea. Pick up some lingonberries while you're there :)

2) Assemble it up to step 3, pretty much everything but the legs.

3) Pencil the shape of your sewing machine on top. Leave enough room to the right about to fit the support board (about 2.75" from the edge). It's personal preference how far back you put the machine, but I like to have the needle 8.5" from the front edge.

4) Use the jigsaw to cut out the shape and then use sandpaper to sand the edges. Test with your sewing machine to make sure it fits in and out (it should be snug, but you shouldn't have to fight to get it out). Keep sanding with
coarse paper at until you get it just right , then smooth it down with fine paper when you get it to size.

5) Cut the strip of wood the length of the space under the supports of short side of the table. Drill holes for the bolts to sit. Also drill sink holes for the head of the bolts. This is a good time to drill though the long solid wood board too. Place the bolts in the holes.

6) Drill sink holes for the wood screws on one board so the screws will reach into the top board, but not go through it. Drill all the way through those holes with a small drill bit for your screws. The other board can screw into the side without sink holes.

7) Screw the support boards to the table. One screws into the bottom of the table top, and one screws into the side. (The bolts should already be sunk into the boards)

8) Place the solid wood board on the bolts and screw it on. Put your sewing machine on the board and raise it up so that the machine is flush. It's a good idea to put some duct tape or bolt caps on the bottom of the bolts if ever think your legs will hit. I didn't bother, my legs don't even come close.

Hopefully the instructions helped. I know they're not terribly clear, but at least it's something. If anything, just study the pictures and you should figure it out. Good luck!

A good option to give yourself some cheap drawers is to just buy a rolling storage cart for about $12

Here's my friend's table she made following these directions.  She used the larger INGO table.  I love all the room she has to the side to work.

I would recommend a bit larger diameter bolts, but she has a lighter machine and these seem to work so far.

She made a nice cutout to the side so that the cord and switch were easily accessible.  I'm proud to say she did all the jigsawing herself, while her husband was at work :D

****I've updated these plans and placed them here:  Check it out ***


JustPam said...

Nice tutorial. I want to save this for when I make my table.

Angie said...

I really love this, but I'd still like to access the storage at the front of my machine, and I realize I won't be able to open it when it's in a table like this. Any ideas? Thanks for your thoughts - this tutorial is really awesome.

Cassie said...

I think the easiest way would be to make a second cutout on the tabletop just in front of the machine after you make the hole for the machine. Keep that cutout intact and save it. Then build up a small ledge on three of the sides underneath the table with a 1.5"x 1/2" (or so) strip. Then you can lay the cutout you saved there. Then drill a finger hole or cutout a small opening on one side to make it easy to get in and out. This method may not work if you need to have direct front access to the machine (not just access to the front from above), or if your machine has to be close to the front cross member (either because you already made it, or if setting that far back feels uncomfortable).

NAABR said...

This is great and works nicely with a flat bed machine.
But if you have a free arm look at the Sewperfect tables.
They use a plexiglass surround which you can buy from Dream World to fit your machine and your needs. It is larger so if you need to use the free arm you can remove the large plexiglass surround and have a big well so you can hem pants and make an armhole ect.... And you can also make it big enough for an emboidery unit. to operate.

If you have a machine that is buttom loaded like a Bernina or Juki, then instead of using a table like this you sort of make an open front sandwich and access the bobbin that was or if needed remove the plexi insert and have space around. See Unique Sewing Furniture.
You can use either industrial K legs, that have an adjustabel height or the Galant legs from Ikea.
two layers of wood Like a furniture grade Birch 3/4 in plywood. If you want it to be heavy duty then you can glue to layers together. and proceed as you have explained. Jig saw it out and make a plateform for the machine and the plexi table surround.
Just another way of doing it. Now that I see yours I am very encouraged to do a similar set up.
Thanks for posting this for us.

table top fridge said...

I really love this! I will save this for when I make a table.

talllmom said...

Ikea still lists your table if it is 29"x29". It is called Norden and is $79.00.

sew what. said...

The best part is the Mr. was at work. So many women seem to take pride in their husbands doing all the heavy lifting, I always wonder why. YOU GO GIRL!

Cassie said...

Haha. Thanks! To be honest, we've known since we got married I'd be the hands-on one. People gave us tools at our wedding, and sort of joked they were for me. Eleven years later and it's no joke. Socket set, miter saw, drill, circular saw... those are all mine. He gets dibs on the ax and chainsaw though :)

Cindy McMahan said...

Genius! I've just opened up a business on Yeah! Most of my products will have sewing involved. The sewing tables I've seen for sale are particle board and/or stupid expensive. This is a great idea....solid wood and strong. I'll be making my table longer to accommodate two machines. Thanks for the idea!

Cassie said...

@talllmom, The NORDEN table looks like it would be good for the project... but it's not the one I used. Mine was definitely INGO, and discontinued a several years ago. It's a shame, as it was really nice solid wood inexpensive option! Looks like LERHAMN might be another good IKEA table series that would work well. - Cassie

Sprytewood said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial - I followed it and made my own, though I used a piece of MDF rather than a table, as I needed something longer to hold two machines!
You can kind of see it in my blog here, But I plan to do a proper blog about it t soon!

Anonymous said...

My husband made one out of an old 6 ft. bedroom dresser, so I have the drawers for storage, and the other side where the machine sets, is an open shelf for small storage under the machine. Been using it for years, and love it.

Monica Richmond said...

I know its been awhile since you posted this,I hope you see my comment. I wanted to give you a huge thank for your detailed directions. Husband has a new project.
I have health issues. Live in chronic pain. By having a larger table for support and installing the machine lower, I possibly will be able to enjoy a little sewing from time to time.
I have never made a quilt before, but thinking about giving it a try someday, this would be berfect to help support a quilt and make sewing a little more comfort (even though i cant set for long, it is something to pass the day)

Anonymous said...

Build drop in at front of table..... Access your stuff

KSB said...

Hi there. Thanks for the post. Unfortunately, the link you shared for your updated plans is not working.

pam said...

I made the table and saved the cut out / added wood supports around the edges ,but not to close as to hinder putting it back in hole to make table 'SOLID TOP" again and added a 2 finger holes to lift and lower in place , this way i have a solid surface to cut, trim and lay out patters, or use as a desk for laptop when not sewing