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.