Thursday, May 24, 2012

Make your own Sewing Machine Cabinet Table


When I got the Bernina I realized I had to have a cabinet for it.  I was trying to learn free motion quilting and the extender table thing just wasn't working for me.

But the cabinets can be quite expensive.  So I improvised.



What you need:

1   A sturdy desk with a removable top drawer
2   Piece of 1/4 inch plexiglass for the insert
3   Router
4   1/2 inch piece of plywood for the machine base
5   A boyfriend, hubby or dad willing to do your bidding

I knew I couldn't pull off my plan, but fortunately my boyfriend could.

The only critical dimension is the height of the drawer opening.

Measure how high your machine's throat plate is from the table top - the drawer will need to be at least this tall or else the machine will sit too high.

When you're looking for a desk, look closely at what is supporting the drawer. There needs to be a way to set a sturdy base for the machine to sit.

We used a 1/4 inch piece of aluminum plate for the machine base (Chris is a welder with access to cool stuff like aluminum plate).


Determine the size opening you want for the machine and make the cut.  The opening is then routed the depth of plexiglass that will be the insert.


Can't for the life of me remember how Chris did the detail cutting on the plexiglass to snug the curves of the Bernina, but he did a fabulous job!


The plexiglass is cut in a 'u' shape so there is room to easily access the power and foot peddle plugs.

Nice flat surface to work on!


16 comments:

  1. How do you access the bobbin compartment and shuttle???
    I also have a Bernina and my husband and I are trying to figure this out!!
    Thanks
    maureenemullins@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Maureen,

      If you look at the 2nd picture, the bobbin is accessed through the front ... through the opening where the drawer used to be in the desk (that's why I picked a desk that had a drawer so I'd have access to the front of the machine). The machine sits down into where the drawer was ... we built the machine support on the runners for the drawer.

      Hope that helps! It's really a wonderful sewing cabinet. Very sturdy, functional and looks nice too.!

      Happy Holidays to You!

      Denise

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  2. LOVE this idea!!! I have dear friends that are willing to make me a similar table for my Bernina 1090. I have a few questions for you, if you would be so kind to assist. Do you have to leave your bobbin compartment door open all the time or is it just open for this picture? Can you access the bobbin area by lifting off the plexiglass insert? What do you do when you need to use the freearm? How many inches away from the front edge of your table is your needle? Is the center brace back far enough to not interfere with your feet? finally, what is the height of your table? Do you feel comfortable sewing this way now? I really appreciate your help as we are doing this long distance, so want to get the most accurate information possible.

    Many thanks,

    Karla

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karla,

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE my sewing table.

      I do always leave the bobbin door open, just cuz I'm a little bit lazy and see no reason to close/open it all the time. You could access the bobbin from the top by removing the plexi, but it is an odd angle ... going through the front is much easier for a front facing bobbin compartment.

      I have never used the freearm feature of my Bernina ... but depending on what you were working on, you could just remove the plexi to work on a sleeve/pant leg/etc. Or just set the machine on top of a table if you were going to do alot of work with the free arm.

      The needle is 8 3/4 inches from the edge of the table. When we made the hole for the machine to set into, we just wanted to make sure that there was enough of the table left on the front edge for strength.

      We cut the center brace because it did interfere with my feet and the foot pedal ... it was originally a straight piece of wood, and we curved out a piece. You can see how much we cut away in the first photo.

      The height of the table is 29 3/4 inches ... it is a very comfortable height. I used my great grandmother's sewing chair with the table. If you find your table height is not quite right for you an adjustable height chair will help you make up the difference.

      I am very happy to help ... every girl should have a great sewing table! Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Denise

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  3. Thank you SEW very much Denise for your very helpful answers to all of my questions. Your answers will go far in helping my friends build my sewing table. In the 40+ years that I've been sewing, I've never had a machine set flush in a table or cabinet until a couple of months ago when I adopted a cabinet for my Singer 301. Oh what a difference they make! I can tell I'm also going to love having my Bernina this way, too!

    Happy sewing,

    Karla

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  4. Thank you! I should be able to use my mom's cabinet with a few improvisions. I have a bernina too Learning to quilt and I don't have a tabletop for it!

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  5. I just upgraded my Bernina. I didn't think I could use the FHS with a drop table and I knew the slide on tray wouldn't fit. But looking at your photos I realized all I have to do is cut a larger opening in my current table to fit the tray. Thank you!

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  6. WOW, but you do have a BOYFRIEND to treasure!!!! Hold onto him!!! Also it is a great idea
    for a sewing machine table and easy.

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    Replies
    1. LOL ... boyfriend is long gone. But fabulous sewing table remains! He is happy, I am happy so all is good. XO to the ones who got away!

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  7. I am coming late to the table, but cannot wait for talented hubby to make me a sewing table. He just needed to see your great instructive pictures. Thank you all you sew sew creative,willing to share people. Jojo

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  8. I am coming late to the table, but cannot wait for talented hubby to make me a sewing table. He just needed to see your great instructive pictures. Thank you all you sew sew creative,willing to share people. Jojo

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    Replies
    1. You will LOVE having a nice level surface to sew on ... glad I was able to help get you closer to it :)Denise

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  9. Where did you find the sturdy white table?

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    Replies
    1. At a 2nd hand / antique mall. It's solid oak and very sturdy. A quilty friend made one out of a more modern desk that was mdf (medium density fiberboard) and hers was great too. Good luck!

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  10. Think the original post said found fir a few dollars somewhere. I thought a garage sale maybe or 2nd hand shop. Good luck. I plan to use a table already have aND purchase some lumber. Let me know what you finally use. My talented hubby will be in charge of all that. He said it looked very simple to do. Problem is getting him to stop other bigger projects to do this one. Jojo

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  11. Good for you! Hope it works out well---to your satifaction. My table is some hardwood accrdng. to hubby, but not an antique. I am trying to decide what I am going to cover the hole with. Several things I could use, any suggestions? Be sure you document and post before, during, and completed sewing table. Wish I knew how to do that, I am not very tech savvy. Thanks for responding, Jojo

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