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

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Height adjustable desk that can recess a machine - it's true!

    I was going to post this in the vintage machines forum, because that's where I spend the most of my time on the QB, but I hope that posting here can help more people out.

    A few weeks ago, I started planning out a desk that could accommodate any machine I have. It had to be able to recess a machine so the bed was flat with the table top. The biggest stumbling block I ran into was the height differences of all of the machines. A couple of days ago, I read a thread where someone mentioned they'd love this sort of thing, but had too many machines, it wasn't possible. So I "hurried" to get it all finished up so I could post this.

    The best part is, I did this on a budget almost anyone can afford (and if you can buy 2m of fabric, you can afford this! ) And this will save your neck, back, shoulders and wrists a lot of grief, so you can quilt longer. Yay!!

    As of tonight, I have only finishing touches to do on it: Some extra customization to the inserts, and shortening the "height adjusters" so I don't bang my knees on them.

    The victim,.. uhm,... I mean the "desk" is a government surplus buy: $10
    Modifications: $20
    Lexan for inserts: Sweat equity - a friend who does signs had scraps left, I helped out with some signage. Off-cuts should be cheap at a sign shop, or a glass shop.

    Total $$ investment: $30.

    With the 201 in it, and an insert
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    As a light table:
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    A view from the front:
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    A view of the "height adjustment" mechanism:
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    Height adjustment is accomplished via the following hardware:
    • 4 pentagon Knobs - or any knob you can get a good grip on to turn
    • 4 propell nuts - these are "sunk" into the lower platform that you see in the photo above
    • threaded rod
    • 4 nuts to fit the threaded rod - tighten these against the knobs so that they don't turn, and instead turn the rod up or down.
    • 4 wing nuts (not shown) - tighten these against the propell nuts to lower vibration
    • 4 cabinet nuts - use these as "platforms" for the moving shelf to sit on, install them on the top of the threaded rod.


    And most importantly, final approval from the quilt inspectors:

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    At least I think that's approval...

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  2. #2
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    Extremely clever! I love your inspectors. Did they let you finish it before they inspected it?

  3. #3
    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    Absolute genious idea....so clever are you!!!!!

  4. #4
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    That is so clever. I've always thought that I couldn't afford a recessed sewing table, but now you've got me thinking.

  5. #5
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Well, I'm really impressed! I'd even been considering cutting a hole into my dining room table since we certainly don't use it for eating.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Beautiful Idea! Looking into that for my new sewing table.

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    this is wonderful information. i put a copy of this in the tutorials forum for you.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  8. #8
    Power Poster
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    ​It looks wonderful!

  9. #9
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtsyOne View Post
    Well, I'm really impressed! I'd even been considering cutting a hole into my dining room table since we certainly don't use it for eating.
    ArtsyOne, does your dinning table have leaves? My hubby opened our dinning table as far as it would go, made a "new leaf" with the cutout for my machine. I can store it in the closet when not in use, and haven't distroyed the table. Sure is nice to have all the table space when I have a large item to work on.

  10. #10
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Wonderful idea!!!!!

  11. #11
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    Thanks so much for the great tutorial. I'm going to try it, hopefully soon. LOL

  12. #12
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    Love your cats

  13. #13
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesspug View Post
    Extremely clever! I love your inspectors. Did they let you finish it before they inspected it?
    The inspectors were onsite for the whole build, with the exception of the work that happened in the garage. For that, the dog was delegated. She was lazy though, she slept on her bed and ignored us. I can't count the number of times I had to pick a kitty up, put her on the floor, turn around and find another one on the desk.

    Stormi - the long hair with the really long whiskers - is 16.5 yrs old, she's a little more laid back. She's our queen, we do everything she says. Luckily, if it's soft, she approves. I put a bunch of rolled up fleece on my desk for her the day before last while I worked on a machine. She laid beside me the whole time. She's got some sort of weight complex though, because she's all fur, she's a tiny slip of a thing (just shy of 7lbs) and she has those enormous whiskers. Shadow is our ambassador. She wants to be in the middle of everything. She's 14.5 yrs. She walks around and yabbers at me. She'll also lay on my fabric behind the harp and yap at me through it.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    this is wonderful information. i put a copy of this in the tutorials forum for you.
    Hah! that's what happened! I saw some answers from last night in my email, and didn't see them when I clicked on this morning's email, and was confused. It's because there are two threads now. I'm flattered. Thank you very much!

    I started responding in that thread too. Oops. http://www.quiltingboard.com/tutoria...e-t216324.html

  14. #14
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    Humbird, your husband deserves an A+++++++++. Anyone could do this, even with an antique table and not destroy its value. Give him a great big hug if you haven't done so already.

    I want to do FMQ and am considering a new machine. The one I'm looking at won't fit in my existing cabinet. My local sewing machine dealer wants $600-800 for a table to fit the machine. This idea would let me use my lovely antique walnut dining table. If I put the "new" leaf for the machine at the right end of the table, there could be 4 to 6 ft. of space to the left of the machine, ideal for FMQ.

    Thanks for the marvelous idea!

  15. #15
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by booklady1952 View Post
    Humbird, your husband deserves an A+++++++++. Anyone could do this, even with an antique table and not destroy its value. Give him a great big hug if you haven't done so already.

    I want to do FMQ and am considering a new machine. The one I'm looking at won't fit in my existing cabinet. My local sewing machine dealer wants $600-800 for a table to fit the machine. This idea would let me use my lovely antique walnut dining table. If I put the "new" leaf for the machine at the right end of the table, there could be 4 to 6 ft. of space to the left of the machine, ideal for FMQ.

    Thanks for the marvelous idea!
    I hope the "new leaf" works as well for you as it has for me. My hubby used ply wood, (5/8 in? thicker than 1/2 anyway) and of course finished the edges, and several layers of varnish for the top so it is very smooth, and slick. Fabric glides on it very well. And yes, he go a hug!!

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