I have been inspired by photos of all your DIY recessed sewing machine tables, so I finally got the nerve to cut my desk I've been using for 25 years. I measured about four times, cut twice, still got it wrong! I fit the machine into the opening at least four times, but forgot to account for the power cord and foot pedal being plugged in! Long story short, the machine WITH the apron on it wouldn't fit into the opening if the power cord was attached. (Why do they call in an apron--the part that fits around the arm and holds all the feet, etc?) By the time I discovered this I had already built and attached the shelf under the table to hold the machine. If I took the apron off the machine, the opening was way too large and the machine didn't fit nice and tight. ARGHGH!
Whoever said that necessity is the mother of invention was right. I soon discovered that if I put the piece of wood I had cut out of the opening onto the shelf first, it raised the machine up to exactly the right height so that I could fit the extension table with its legs folded up, around it. I had to wedge the machine into the opening with a couple blocks of wood, but I am loving having the machine at a more comfortable working height. I just quilted a queen size quilt on the machine and did not have any issues with it dragging on the corners of the extension table.
Wood block to wedge left end, there is also one at the back, not pretty but it works
Right side, foot pedal can now be plugged in! You can also see the base of my high tech spool holder: coffee mug with a hair elastic holding the hook in place!
And my lovely new work space.
I love how the extension table hangs over the front of the desk just a tad. I can pull my chair up nice and close without my knees running into the shelf the machine sits in. (And that's another high tech gadget you see attached to the top of the machine with painters tape: credit card seam gauge.)