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Thread: "Portable" tables, heavy vintage machines, weight and vibration

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    "Portable" tables, heavy vintage machines, weight and vibration

    I've been looking at "portable" tables. The sewing circle I belong to has the plastic 4x8 tables, and there's a lot of bounce when more than one of us gets sewing. Add to that the fact that I use a Vintage machine, and I can generate a lot of bounce myself.

    I'd also like something that fits things other than the FW for use in the living room when watching TV. The fw is good, but not for quilting, FM or otherwise.

    The sew-Ezi table doesn't look like it will support the weight of a vintage machine (they have templates for the 3/4 size and FW machines, but nothing for a 15 or a 201 for example.) I read about extra bracing required for some of the modern heavy machines, and also details of the tops cracking with modern machines.

    So, I'm thinking I can "build" something that will work for me. The thought:

    1. Must accommodate several machine bed sizes
    2. Must be able to manage a full size cast iron machine
    3. Must not vibrate itself or the house apart
    4. Must be relatively "portable"
    5. Must be able to tolerate the weight of up to 20 lbs of cat at the same time as a sewing machine

    I think that the first is "easy" to deal with. This would be via inserts, like the Sew-Ezi, and the Sew Steady products I already have a line on the Lexan for this.

    Vibration gets worse with the weight of the machine, so dampening might be worth looking at, I was thinking of a rubber mat of some sort on the base that the machine rests on.

    Portability could be handled with "screw off" legs... they're not as convenient as the folding legs, but they're sturdier and less likely to bend and break the top like the couple of reports I saw on the Sew-Ezi table.

    That just leaves us weight. I'm thinking I may want to have a portable table and a separate "Living room table" in that case. I can't expect anything I can lift to support more than 50 lbs of cat and sewing machine.

    So, I think that a short table (say 26.5" - 27") plus a "topper" of about 3.5" to "recess" the machine into makes a lot of sense, which makes me wonder why all of the tables I've seen are a top with a "drop down" for the machine. Would this make a difference in vibration? What other benefits would there be to a "Drop down" vs a topper?

    What would be an "ideal" depth and width for this? Too long and it will take up too much space and be too hard to move around, too short and it's not particularly useful. Depth I was thinking somewhere in the 20" range, this is in keeping with the Singer table (19"x33") I currently have, but it is worth noting that the cat had an objection to its lack of depth, which she voiced by falling off it the other day with no help from fabric or human.

    Thoughts?
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99-, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  2. #2
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    I think the drop down tables must take out the vibration because none of the drop down tables and machines I own have vibration issues. I have a treadle machine that has a 15-89 machine, and a desk type one with three drawers that has a New Home 445 which is VERY heavy, and I have had just the light weight cheap one that my New Home was in first and none of them vibrated.

  3. #3
    Senior Member didi's Avatar
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    Here's a thought. I had a threadle that I wasn't using, so I took the top off, put the marble on it and it sit in my living room, nice deco. When I want to sew on one of my portables. FW, 15-91, etc. I use the shelve lining rubber, sit the machine on it and sew away.

  4. #4
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    I have the SewEzi table with my portable Singer 15-91 set in it and it is very sturdy. The SewEzi table was originally bought with the hole cut for my Babylock Espire but I found I could also set the vintage singer 15-91 down in it with the portable case bottom included. It works fine. It is not wobbly. So now I can use the table for 3 of my machines - the Babylock, the Featherweight, and the 15-91. I ordered the acrylic inserts for the Espire and the FW. Also, I ordered the plastic wedges that adjust for machine height that they call the Optional Change System and I use these with the various machines. I am very happy with my table.

  5. #5
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcfay View Post
    I think the drop down tables must take out the vibration because none of the drop down tables and machines I own have vibration issues. I have a treadle machine that has a 15-89 machine, and a desk type one with three drawers that has a New Home 445 which is VERY heavy, and I have had just the light weight cheap one that my New Home was in first and none of them vibrated.
    Isn't that funny. I've never actually seen a table configured the way I was thinking, they're all suspending the machines like what you describe. I have a "Desk" here that I picked up from the government surplus. It's got a built in Keyboard tray that's about 4.75" from the top of the desk. I was thinking that for the stay at home table, I would cut the hole in it to fit all of the machines, then use a blocking system of some sort to "shim" the machines up. I'll report back on the vibration from that set up.

    Quote Originally Posted by didi View Post
    Here's a thought. I had a threadle that I wasn't using, so I took the top off, put the marble on it and it sit in my living room, nice deco. When I want to sew on one of my portables. FW, 15-91, etc. I use the shelve lining rubber, sit the machine on it and sew away.
    Hey! Thanks for mentioning that. One thing I forgot to mention is that I'm trying to do some FMQ, and I find that the machine being level with the table makes it a lot easier than when the machine is perched on top. I've been using the table for my 15-90, but the opening is much too large for some of the machines I'm using, so I was hoping for a more "custom" fit.

    I will definitely see if I can find the shelf lining I know is somewhere in the house. That should help a fair bit with travel and vibration.

    Quote Originally Posted by cflykins View Post
    I have the SewEzi table with my portable Singer 15-91 set in it and it is very sturdy. The SewEzi table was originally bought with the hole cut for my Babylock Espire but I found I could also set the vintage singer 15-91 down in it with the portable case bottom included. It works fine. It is not wobbly. So now I can use the table for 3 of my machines - the Babylock, the Featherweight, and the 15-91. I ordered the acrylic inserts for the Espire and the FW. Also, I ordered the plastic wedges that adjust for machine height that they call the Optional Change System and I use these with the various machines. I am very happy with my table.
    Do you have the extra brace? I didn't see it on their site, but I read about it being necessary for the heavier machines. Do you find there's any additional noise at all with the shims? (Optional Change System)

    What's the table top made of? Is it a resin, or is it a painted wood or wood product?
    How do you think the table would do with the 28 lb 15-91 on it, and a cat or two? That's my biggest concern...
    Last edited by ArchaicArcane; 02-20-2013 at 02:51 PM. Reason: To, too, two, it's all the same right?
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99-, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  6. #6
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    RE your questions...

    "Do you have the extra brace? I didn't see it on their site, but I read about it being necessary for the heavier machines. Do you find there's any additional noise at all with the shims? (Optional Change System)"
    I don't have the extra brace. I purchased the extra set of shims. I use varying number of shims for the different machines and don't notice any noise.

    "What's the table top made of? Is it a resin, or is it a painted wood or wood product?
    How do you think the table would do with the 28 lb 15-91 on it, and a cat or two? That's my biggest concern... "
    I think it's made of pressed board with a thick plastic coating. It's very smooth. It does okay with my 15-91 but I don't know how big your cats are??????????????? My DH says the table is pretty strong.

  7. #7
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Sorry for the delay, ... thanks for your answers I'm surprised you didn't have the brace, I had read that it was a necessity for the heavier machines, but if you're not feeling vibration or having issues with the stability, that's good to hear.

    My cats aren't terribly big, just under 7 lbs for the 16.5 year old and 12 for the 14.5 year old. I worry about the take off and landing mostly. Having been the landing pad and the runway a few times, I know that there's a lot of force there.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99-, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  8. #8
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    I'm wondering how you would do with a solid table that has shorter legs and one of these sewing mates that can adjust to all of your machine beds? http://sewingmates.com/ i haven't gotten one yet but am SO tempted! It would be worth a lot to have one acrylic surface table that adjusts to multiple machines. These folks are within driving distance of me so at some point I may stop to see the tables in person.

  9. #9
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    LOL! I'm not sure how many times I've seen that sewingmates table and it never once occurred to me that it was adjustable of all machines. I've been thinking I could lower a table, and then recess something like that. I would love to know what you think of the tables in person. I could order one I suppose, once I save up a little more cash.

    In the meantime, I've picked up an old computer table out of the government surplus, doodled an outline of every machine I have on the top of it, and cut a hole to accommodate them all. I have Lexan waiting in the wings for me to cut it. I just have to "get to it". I was supposed to do it this weekend, but then I got distracted by reorganizing the sewing / machine shop room, and buying another machine.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99-, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  10. #10
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Well, it took me longer than I'd planned, but it's mostly finished.
    I posted it in the main forum so it would be seen by more people, then realized, I'm not the only one who rarely steps out of the V.A.M.E forum.

    Height adjustable desk that can recess a machine - it's true!

    If you're as confused as I am with the responses. it's because there are now two threads one in the tutorials section, one in main.

    Height adjustable desk that can recess a machine - it's true!
    Last edited by ArchaicArcane; 03-14-2013 at 12:54 PM.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99-, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

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