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Thread: Tips to make old desk into quilting table

  1. #11
    Super Member jgriinke's Avatar
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    I don't see why the cutting into the top wouldn't work. Or, instead of cutting into the front - cut out a rectangle a little bigger than your machine - give it more space in front, so you can move your machine back when you need to change the bobbin. I have an old office desk that my DH did that for me. I do have a machine with a drop in bobbin, so I don't have the problem of changing bobbins.
    I did have to do away with the drawer under the cut out, but with all the other drawers it has - I've had no problem finding new spots for the stuff that was in there.
    I also, never bothered with a plexiglass piece to put around the machine.
    Just do what works and enjoy it!

  2. #12
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    I have one now. It is an OLD desk. Husband cut out a hole for my serger. It sits in the drawer. Don't know if he had to re-inforce the drawer or not. Perfect height.

  3. #13
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgriinke View Post
    I don't see why the cutting into the top wouldn't work. Or, instead of cutting into the front - cut out a rectangle a little bigger than your machine - give it more space in front, so you can move your machine back when you need to change the bobbin. I have an old office desk that my DH did that for me. I do have a machine with a drop in bobbin, so I don't have the problem of changing bobbins.
    I did have to do away with the drawer under the cut out, but with all the other drawers it has - I've had no problem finding new spots for the stuff that was in there.
    I also, never bothered with a plexiglass piece to put around the machine.
    Just do what works and enjoy it!
    Can you post a picture? I just can't figure out how to mount something to hold the machine in place lower

  4. #14
    Member kpross's Avatar
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    Since you know the drawer makes for a good height for your machine, I would cut a rectangle hole in the top, not to the edge, and place the machine down on the drawer. (If you go to the edge, I'm afraid it would be uncomfortable when you are quilting and leaning over the machine.) I would attach a board or metal straps, whatever you can, under / across the bottom of drawer, to support the drawer and machine. You will then be in heaven - machine at proper height for quilting and the L-shape in the perfect spot to support your quilts. How would it be to remove the front of the drawer? Then you could access the bobbin from the front, but keep the sides and bottom of the drawer in place to help support the machine. If that doesn't seem feasible, as others have said, you can just make the hole large enough for your hand to fit in and access the bobbin from above. My machine is placed in a hole in a quilting table a family member made for me, and the hole is sufficient to reach the bobbin. I traced the rectangle hole and the outline of my machine on a big piece of newsprint, took it to the local glass shop, and they made me a plexiglass insert that fills the space between the table and the machine. It works out really well. While I was at it, I had them make a solid insert, without the hole for the machine. So, when I need the table for sandwiching, I can remove the machine, put in the solid insert and have the large surface I need. It also works well as a tracing table when I put a light on the shelf under the plexiglass. Good luck! Please post pics when you finish. ETA: the glass shop only charged me a few dollars for the plexiglass inserts - a bargain when you see how much custom sewing machine inserts are!

  5. #15
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    Can you place foldable legs under the drawer for support? Then you can use the drawer safely without cutting anything.

  6. #16
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pasovasz View Post
    Can you place foldable legs under the drawer for support? Then you can use the drawer safely without cutting anything.
    Hmmm.. maybe I could find or make a small table (or shelf....) that is in the front and then just build up around the machine to make it flush with the desk top. I can see this as a total possibility!

  7. #17
    Senior Member tangledthread's Avatar
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    Could you stack some 2x4's together and raise the "floor" for your feet instead of trying to lower the table? Would your chair raise enough? Then just make a plexy glass table for your machine?
    You may be only one person in the world,
    But you may also be the world to one person.

  8. #18
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    We are planning on making this modification to the 2 desks in my sewing space too. And, I was getting ready to ask this same question. Interesting feedback.

    Question. Some of the smallish sewing tables for sale that have cut outs, but no electric or air lifts, have a system that uses a hinged platform with some type of adjuster thing (my friends has a chain). Can you buy these hinged platform contraptions? Cause that would be a really simple solution. But, I have not seen them for sale anywhere.

    One of my desks has a keyboard 'drawer'; but, it won't support a machine.

  9. #19
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    I did the same thimng with a computer desk. The front of the drawer tilts down on hinges. You could do that so you can get at the bobbin. I store small things along the sides. Good luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by elizajo View Post
    If you're talking about modifying the L shaped desk sitting to the left of your sewing machine, it looks like it has a single drawer. Many years ago, I cut a hole in my husband's sturdy1960's era desk for my Kenmore. I placed the piece that I cut out down in the drawer and set my machine on top. It brought the machine bed flush with the surface. I don't remember if it needed a scrim or two. That machine had a drop-in bobbin, so I didn't have to remove the machine from the desk very often except for cleaning. Now I sew with a vintage Bernina 830 with vertical bobbin access below the bed of the machine. If I didn't want the inconvenience of pulling the machine out of the recess each time I needed to change the bobbin, I would have to remove the drawer completely. Then you would have the complexity, relative to the construction of the desk, of bracing a shelf below the desk surface.

  10. #20
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    Cutting a hole(just slightly bigger than your machine size in the top would be easier. Brace it with 2x4 frames or metal straps attached to maintain the stablity of the machine. Keep the drawer and adjust the size of the drawer space as the hole would require.

    On the left side of the desk, get a large piece of clear heavy duty plastic and make a light box type structure to even our the surface height.

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