Monday, February 9, 2015

DIY Sewing Table: Updated & Improved

My handy husband worked this weekend to get my sewing table adapted for my new, bigger machine. It's turned out well, and I've been dying to tell you about the new method we used.

Make your own sewing table update

Back in October of 2014, he created a sewing table for my 6600 out of an old dining room table someone was getting rid of. If you haven't read it before, check it out now, I'll wait. How to Make a Sewing Machine Table: Great for Machine Quilting. There's some great tips and variations given in the comments too.

That post is my second all-time most popular post! Second only to my "How to Free Motion Quilt: The Basic Motion and Tension" post. I think it may also be my most popular pin on Pinterest. So I want to make sure to share this update.

When my hubby created my sewing table, he had a huge advantage in that the Janome 6600 was a flat-bed machine. That is, there's no free arm and it can be set into a table by cutting out a rectangle with rounded corners and building the support underneath. Nothing has changed regarding the support; make sure the machine is secure and the table is solidly built.

DIY sewing table -mark the insert location
Marking the table for the insert.

But the new machine has a much more elaborate foot print with its free arm. We could have set it in the table without exposing the free arm and the hole would be more rectangular, but the sides of the removable machine base curved so it wouldn't be level.

Here, the router bit has been lowered to cut the initial opening. Then it was raised to 1/4 inch to inset the insert.

Since working at Sew Simple, I realized I could use the same acrylic inserts in my table as the fancy sewing machine cabinets they sell. Even better, once the outer dimension of the insert was cut, I could replace the insert with an insert for another machine, should I get a different machine in the future.
Using a board to guide the router for a smooth, straight line.

You can get these inserts through various cabinet dealers and they will be cut to fit your machine. We happened to have an extra insert for the 8200 at the shop, but the brand we carry is Horn of America. Very nice cabinets, should you want to buy your sewing table! An insert should run, depending on size, somewhere between $65 to $90 dollars. I'd say it's worth it to avoid cutting out a complicated machine hole.

Almost there! Just gotta even out the right side and do some serious dusting.

The insert is 1/4 inch thick. So working with a router is necessary to get the surface down 1/4 inch. There are probably other ways to do this, depending on skill level and tool availability. A hole just the size of the outer dimension of the insert could be made and additional supports added underneath to hold the insert up.

A nearly perfect fit! Nothing that a Supreme Slider can't take care of.

My husband chose to cut a smaller hole and router out the remaining material as he didn't want to weaken the "engineered wood product" surface of the table we used. It worked like a charm!

All set to sew!

The last thing was to drill a new hole for the knee lift. He says this was the hardest part! Once the machine is in place, it is hard to line the hole location with the right place on the machine. Now my table is all set up and I am ready to free motion quilt my heart out!

He was not thrilled to find I had taken this picture, but I thought he deserved to be in this post. Check out that dimple, ladies! He looks pretty robust for a guy who had about all the chemo a body can stand, praise God!
If you're a Pinterest user, would you please pin the top photo? There were so many pins and repins of my original article and I want folks to know there is an updated and improved version.

30 comments:

  1. Great post. Your hubby is talented and adorable!

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  2. Applauding your hubby for his help. I asked Mr. Podunk to make the very same thing about 3 weeks ago....he's building a chicken coop instead. I guess chickens are more important ( ;

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    1. A man will choose a protein source over non-edible fiber every time!

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  3. Just showed DH cuz I'll be needing some type of set-up in our winter quarters next year (for my Sweet 16....yup! it was HIS idea to bring it along --with my Juki----- and figure out something!!!!)! Bless our guys for getting excited (too strong????) about what it is that we do!!!!!! Hugs.............................

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    1. You're a lucky lady! You are going to love your new get-away, quilting group and all!

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  4. consider it pinned…. wish I had a DYI DH as that will never happen at my house… He did have a large acrylic side table for supporting my quilts made and I love it… but routering is out of his lexicon…

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    1. This was the first time he had used a router and woodworking is not one of his strengths. He prefers metal work where he can always weld in more metal when needed. Thanks for the pin.

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  5. Wonderful job! And your hubby looks great! I wish him continued good health! Amy you could try using those rubber pads on the feet of your machine to raise it up just ever so slightly to get the height to match. They also help with the vibration when you get sewing at a good pace sometimes. Or even a piece of one of those rubbery drawer liners. Enjoy your new machine!

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    1. The height is good, (I used shims of thick cardstock) but the edge of the 8200's free arm is beveled. I put my slider on it today and it's fabulous!

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    2. You might also try the cork placemats from IKEA to raise the machine slightly. It may also absorb some of the sound and vibration.

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  6. Great job and your husband looks great. I used a dish drying mat under mine, folded in half and it's a perfect fit and helps with the vibration noise.

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    1. This sweet machine doesn't have much vibration at all! Very quiet too. But the edge of the free arm is beveled and that's what I was referring to with the Supreme Slider. I am pretty certain if the hubs had to make the cut-out for the actual machine, it wouldn't be pretty.

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  7. I love that pic of him working on your table for you! He's awesome. :)

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  8. Pinned! My husband doesn't have to tools to make me a table, but he has been helping me get my sewing area more efficient! So nice of you to share this project with everyone!

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    1. Do you think he could come up with a self-cleaning sewing area? That's what I need!

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  9. Excellent! Thank you both! Pinned it :)

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  10. Don't you just love the Horizon?!?...I have had it for 2 yrs now (but by the sounds of your blog you know way more about the features than I do, as it is only my piecing and binding machine!).

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    1. It is a sweet machine. Plenty of room for my projects and is so quiet.

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  11. I would love to have a table made like that, but its beyond my senior budget. Praise God your handsome hubby, (love the dimple) is doing well and that he is cancer free!!

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  12. I love the table ...but how do you use the free arm how do you raise it up? Just curious. I use my free arm alot but love the way your table is made.

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    1. A lot of the time I just leave it in place. I just take the insert out from around it. But I don't do much garment sewing. If I were, I would just set it on the table.

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  13. thank you for the pictures and comments! Just how does the knee-lift work?

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    1. There's a lever that you can put into a hole on the front of a knee lift-equipped machine. When you push your leg against it, the presser foot comes up. Super great for re-positioning fabric and bringing up bobbin thread when free motion quilting. Some are mechanical and some are electronic. Mine is mechanical and I like it better than the electronic as it gives me more control over the foot. The electronic is either up or down, whereas the mechanical knee lift will allow me to lift it just a tiny bit, like when I'm fiddling with a corner of binding.

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    2. Thank you! I thought it was to lift the machine to use the free arm... I also use the 6600, so I must have that hole, but never used it.

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  14. Has anyone else had my problem and figured out a solution? I have a 30 year old Bernina that I love for straight stitching. Problem for sinking into a tab K e is that the bobbin opening is on the front edge of the arm instead of on the top. Any suggestions? I was glad to see the knee wand solution because I like to run my machine with the knee.

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  15. Has anyone else had my problem and figured out a solution? I have a 30 year old Bernina that I love for straight stitching. Problem for sinking into a tab K e is that the bobbin opening is on the front edge of the arm instead of on the top. Any suggestions? I was glad to see the knee wand solution because I like to run my machine with the knee.

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  16. Has anyone else had my problem and figured out a solution? I have a 30 year old Bernina that I love for straight stitching. Problem for sinking into a table is that the bobbin opening is on the front edge of the arm instead of on the top. Any suggestions? I was glad to see the knee wand solution because I like to run my machine with the knee.

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  17. Has anyone else had my problem and figured out a solution? I have a 30 year old Bernina that I love for straight stitching. Problem for sinking into a table is that the bobbin opening is on the front edge of the arm instead of on the top. Any suggestions? I was glad to see the knee wand solution because I like to run my machine with the knee.

    ReplyDelete