Inset Sewing Desk - Oak / Walnut

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Project by Finn03 posted 03-30-2014 02:39 PM 1419 views 3 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife is a quilter and needed a decent workspace for her projects. I had looked at drop-down inset tables for awhile, and all were either expensive and cheaply built pressboard, or amish made and very expensive.

Not wanted to spend $600 on junk or $2500 on a quality table at the time, this was my alternative. I bought a solid old oak desk for cheap as the finish was old, stained, and top was dinged and not square.

I stripped the desk, cut and squared the top, and cut out an inset opening using a plunge saw and hand saws. Found a hydraulic sewing lift online (similar to Rockler’s, and the same lift in the expensive junk tables at sewing shop) and fitted to this desk. I the wrapped both the inset piece and the table top in walnut to fill the kerf and give some contrast.

New hardware and finish, and it works like a charm. The sewing machine has been upgraded since this photo, and what isn’t shown are the acrylic plates that fill the inset up to the machine base giving a flush / zero-clearance type top.

-- Shane - Dublin, OH

3 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23609 posts in 3669 days

#1 posted 04-01-2014 03:23 AM

WOW, Shane. Great project. I love it!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2739 days

#2 posted 04-04-2014 03:25 PM

Beautiful sewing desk! Great idea, saves the old desk and saves money. I’m sure your wife loves it.

View Finn03's profile


13 posts in 2087 days

#3 posted 04-04-2014 05:32 PM

She loves it. It’s much nicer, sturdier, and heavier than the $900 pressboard tables sold at the sewing and craft stores. With the machine dropped, and the insert back in place, there is ample table top space to function as a writing desk or for layout and cutting for fabric. Plus having the large workspace and zero clearance top flush with machine has been excellent for the large quilts she works on.

I think I screwed up though and got my dad in trouble, as my mom has asked him for something similar for years…now he has one on his project list.

-- Shane - Dublin, OH

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