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My father has a Singer sewing machine treadle base that had a glass table top and he wanted me to make him a new top out of Walnut.

The Top is 36" x 22" x 3/4"


My hardwood dealer had an 11" wide board of 4/4 Black Walnut with an interesting figure and sap wood combination that was perfect for the job. I cut the board into thirds and slip matched two of those pieces to create the 22" wide table. The third piece left me enough stock to make the breadboard ends.


I set up a straight edge and used a cross cut back saw to establish the edge and then used a chisel to pop off the waste. Final clean up of the tennon was done with a router plane and a shoulder plane.


A coping saw made short work of establishing the three tennons on each side.


The breadboard ends were mortised, drilled for draw boring, and then pegged with shop made Walnut dowels.


Everything was cleaned up with a smoothing plane and card scraper.


No sanding needed.


General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Satin Top Coat.


It's like magic every time.


I applied two coats to the bottom of the piece and a total of five coats to the top. 24 hours between coats and a light sanding with 400 grit paper each time.


The last coat was thinned by about 50% with mineral spirits and applied very lightly. After that coat had 24 hours to dry I went over everything with 0000 steel wool to get rid of any dust nibs.


I attached it to the base with four 1" wood screws.




If you have any questions, leave a comment below, and I'll be happy to answer.

Gallery

Comments

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The walnut top is a great way to accent the original sewing machine base. I really like the breadboard ends and shop made plugs. All of the color and patterns in the walnut really come out nicely with the Arm-R- Seal.
 

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Gorgeous wood, nicely done and your father I'm sure will be happy to brag that his son did that for him!
 

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Beautiful. And thank you for all the photos.
 

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Man did this come out good. Those breadboard ends are beautiful and the finish is superb. Congrats.
 

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Tim, nicely done. I too liked the photo work you did on this posting. I can remember my mother using one of these old singers to sew and re-hem my pants. It made such a smooth sound when it ran. You did a lot of careful work on the finish and the results really paid off. The walnut top is stunning and the breadboard design is just as it should be. It is designed to last as an heirloom should. Good for you. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Tim,

Great job on this project! I purchased a similar base last year with the same idea of building a new top. However, other projects have been taking priority.

Question for you or anyone else here: Is there any way to account for wood movement without using breadboard ends while still using solid lumber? The original top didn't have them (just veneered ply) and my wife doesn't care for the "breadboard look". I was considering elongating the holes in the base and using screws.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Wow! This cast iron sewing machine base and that beautiful walnut table to makes a wonderful table. It's a real eye catcher and it displays a lot of fine craftsmanship.
 

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Wow - that is beautiful! You did a wonderful job on it.

I am thinking of something like this for my grandmother's old machine that we have in our living room.

Thanks for the added motivation and ideas.
 

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Thanks to everyone for the kind words. I'm glad you like it.

- Wooly_Woodworks
Screws with slightly elongated holes will work just fine.
 

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Very nice. Those old Singer stands make nice table bases. I've got one too. Used QSWO for the top.
Love the Walnut on yours…
 

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Hi,

That is a beautiful build with fitting into the balance of the base.

Congrats!

Steve
 

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Very Nice & Well Done Tim! Thanks for all of the Details!
 

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Great job on project and a nice picture blog. Really nice work.
 

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Very nice Tim! I like that you took the time to cap the ends. I did same project for the wife's birthday last year with cherry (photo attached).
 

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Really kewl refurbish, love the walnut grain, such a great project
 

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Both of your table tops look fantastic!

I've noticed a lot of people have been using these treadle bases with live edge slabs lately, and IMHO those look anachronistic (I don't mean in an interesting way). I'm glad to see the bases could serve as part of handsome tables besides with the original sewing machine.
 
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