Sewing Desk w/ detailed Sketchup Model

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Project by vrice posted 08-06-2015 03:06 AM 1305 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a piece designed and built for my wife’s sewing hobby. Basically she wanted a sewing desk with a fold down leaf, a recess for the sewing machine so the working area is flush with the desk top, adjustable shelves, one drawer and the ability to have the machine sit on top of the desktop when working on sleeves and legs and whatever else applies (not a seamstress).
So I came up with the design reflected in this Sketchup model.
The trickiest part was designing a mechanism to bring the machine up to desktop level. I considered buying a Sewing Machine Lift. Those bloody things are expensive, around $150. So I chose a different approach. You can see in the pics I created some metal tabs from 1/4×2 steel bar stock. I created slots in these tabs that allowed them to slide back and forth on some bolts that attached them to the underside of the desktop. I used teflon washers to allow me to torque these bolts enough to take out all the play but still allow the tabs to easily slide back and forth. To keep these bolts torqued down I put several rounds of teflon tape on them before screwing then into the brass threaded inserts. This teflon tape gives each a snug fit and keeps them tight. Works perfect. Then I simply created an insert that exactly (close as I could get it) fits the hole the sewing machine normally fits into. You just remove the sewing machine, slide out the metal tabs, place the insert in the hole and set the sewing machine on top. When done, reverse the process.
The only other non-woodworking challenge was providing access to the on/off switch and foot pedal jack when the machine was in the recess, and this stuff is covered up. I just purchased an extension cord thingy that has a switch and a jack extension cord. I mounted these on the back wall of the front cubby, one of the pics.
The last hardware related item is the hinges. I purchased some heavy duty ones from Amazon, one of the pics.
The case was constructed from 3/4 Oak ply, joined using pocket screws, biscuits and glue. All the relevant edges were banded with hard maple.
Then it was painted. I hate painting, but that was what the customer wanted. I definitely learned something here. That oak ply needed to be pore sealed first. I didn’t do that. My wife really doesn’t notice. But I definitely see it. Next time….
Apologies for some fuzzy pics. All I have is my iPhone and its not the greatest.

-- Vic Rice

3 comments so far

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3218 days

#1 posted 08-06-2015 11:47 AM

Great table. Thanks for the sketchup file. I will have a look at it. I built a clumsy big table with 2×4s about 20 years ago. While it has tons of storage it also takes up a lot of space. I may repurpose it for something else and build this. I get your comment on getting the machine flush. I never could make it work. I have to access the bobbin area from the front and below the table. Pretty uncomfortable.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3139 days

#2 posted 08-06-2015 01:02 PM

This turned out nicely.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View observer100's profile


421 posts in 1382 days

#3 posted 08-06-2015 02:01 PM

I will bet this is much appreciated every time it is used! Custom designed equipment is the way to go in the long run. Nice project!

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