Musings of an Amateur - Building a Sewing Table #1: Getting Started on the Legs and the Frame

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Blog entry by JetDriver posted 02-18-2016 05:44 PM 1206 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Musings of an Amateur - Building a Sewing Table series Part 2: Sanding and Cutting the Table Top »

My wife recently purchased a sewing machine and in the run up to that we were trying to figure out a sewing table for her. The idea was to keep it cheap but as she’s on the shorter side and finds many standard tables a bit uncomfortable we wanted something that fit her frame. We looked at various ideas and Ikea Hacks but ultimately decided on taking and idea for a farmhouse table and modifying it into a sewing table for her.

The table will be 70”x24” when done and 27” high which we have determined is perfect for her. It uses 2×4’s for the frame and 2×8’s for the top. The legs are pressure treated outdoor stair posts from home depot that have been cut down to the right length. The frame will be assembled with screws and a Kreg pocket hole jig. To put the table top together I’m borrowing a biscuit jointer and using the biscuits and glue and pipe clamps. Once the table top is together we will figure out the right spot for the sewing machine and then I’ll use my jig saw to cut a hole in the table so that it can end up flush when I’m done. The sewing machine itself will sit on a plywood platform hung from 4 bolts in the cross braces that will enable me to precisely adjust the height of the sewing machine in the hole.

So I got started yesterday cutting the legs down to size and cutting the 2×4’s to make the frame. My plan was to get the basic frame assembled and then measure and cut the cross braces. I’m using my miter saw as a chop saw for this and started by cutting of the bottoms of the posts. The tricky part then became cutting the tops so that all four ended up the same length. Given that the posts started life as 4×4’s they aren’t light. As you might imagine without some sort of stop block and given their uneven shape all four posts ended up being every so slightly different in length. I probably could have ignored it but I wasn’t happy with where I was at so I started trying to trim the long ones down to the same length as the shortest one. While the differences were getting smaller I wasn’t really getting there.

So as you can see below I decided to clamp all four together and break out my orbital sander and use that to create four flat even tops. I know it’s not the perfect or probably “proper” way to do it but it ended up working out pretty well and by the time I was done laying a straight edge across them showed that the table top would sit pretty tight so I was happy with the result.

Next I cut 2×4’s to make elements of the frame. It was when I was getting ready to cut the second pair of rails that I realized I should be cutting both rails at the same time to ensure they both ended up the same length. Lesson learned but the good news was the first pair came out just fine. Finally I broke out the pocket hole jig and drilled all the holes to attach the frame pieces to the legs.

My workshop which had been added on to the garage by the previous owner is long and narrow at 15’2 by 7’6. All along the back wall is a 2’ deep workbench that he built from 2×4’s with a plywood and hardboard top. I’ve started thinking about ripping this out and building something that has a miter saw station set into it with the ability to have a hard stop so I can create repeatable cuts. Right now considering my time constraints a remodel of the workshop will have to wait but I do think I’m going to build something that can fit around my miter saw to provide in and outfeed support and a stop after I finish the table before I tackle the next project on my wife’s growing list.

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View Reaperwoodworks's profile


94 posts in 2088 days

#1 posted 02-18-2016 07:25 PM

That list will never stop growing. I’m reorganizing my shop now and everytime I’m out there working my wife will come poke her head in to check on the progress. She’s like a jungle cat, just waiting for her time to pounce and put me back to work on her stuff.

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