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Thread: Inquiry into a lift table for my sewing machine?

  1. #1
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    Inquiry into a lift table for my sewing machine?

    I usually do not share personal info on public forums but I need some input on some adjustments I need to make so I can continue to sew (piecing and garment sewing). I have chronic thoracic shoulder pain in my back. This has been progressing from bad to worse for several years and I finally sought medical help. I was diagnosed with overuse of these muscles in the shoulder from spending time at the sewing machine. This is not just found with people that sew but anyone who sits in certain positions at desks etc. I will be doing PT twice a week for a month and then exercises from now on. My question is concerning any type of lift table for my domestic machine , I am going to try to sew standing up. My husband thinks this will help and we are looking for a table that can be extended up and down so I can sit or stand. Fortunately this pain is not so bad when I use the longarm unless I have to reach a lot during basting. I will be able to remedy that somewhat by rolling the quilt sandwich closer to me. Any help and recommendations concerning this is appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    Have you looked at the stand up desks?

    Cari

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  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Being that you will be taking physio, talk to them about the importance of continuing to sew, and what would be advisable. Even better, if you could get an occupational therapist involved, as s/he would be able to help figure out how the ergonomics for your particular issues.

    Some stand up sewing and quite like it ...... probably a bit awkward at first, but we can all learn new tricks!
    That being said ... before you go to the expense of a different set up, I would really recommend working with the trained professionals and be sure that what you change to is better for your overall condition, and not run the risk of making matters worse.
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  5. #5
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    Aphysical therapist is not trained in ergonomics, you should ask you doctor to recommend an Occupational Therapist.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingcandy View Post
    Aphysical therapist is not trained in ergonomics, you should ask you doctor to recommend an Occupational Therapist.
    Yes, as I mentioned ... an OT would be best.

    However, while not fully trained in this regard,
    a good physio would know what should be taken into consideration.
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  7. #7
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    I sew on the Bekant sit/stand desk from Ikea that Mombygrace linked to. I love it, and find I have much less shoulder and back pain since I got it. If you get the power-adjustable version, I have found that it will sometimes not raise smoothly if I leave my machine sitting towards one end. It will go up an inch, then stop. Taking the machine off for an hour, or setting it in the middle of the table instead of more over one leg, fixes the problem.

    An adjustable table like this is also great for cutting at the perfect height, and really anything else you do. I use mine at 5 or 6 different heights on a regular basis, just depending what I am working on. I like that I can adjust it half an inch if I want... sometimes the smallest change can make a huge difference.

    Like others have said, try to see an OT as well as the PT. The occupational therapist will be best equipped to give you ergonomic advice.

  8. #8
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    good for you getting PT. Definitely check with an OT on your sewing set up. I have shoulder issues, have had surgery on one, and have to make sure that I'm not doing the same thing (sewing vs. LA vs cutting) for too long our my arm gets numbness in hand---all related to shoulder. I had my son cut down the sewing table so my elbows are at right angles. I can also put my travel machine on my cutting table and stand--it takes a bit to used to sewing that way, but I really do think it's easier. And my cutting table is an adjustable drafting table so it's high enough that my elbows are at the magic right angle. I'm trying to do a better job of using my drafting stool at the LA (knee issues) and bring the work to me instead of stretching. And one thing I would recommend if you don't have it yet is an electric Accuquilt Go! it has saved me lots of pain.

  9. #9
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Check the Arrow website, they make an adjustable table with electric motor for adjustments and it goes high enough to stand and sew. I think it's called the Tasmanian or something like that. As I recall it's pricy, but might be what you're looking for since you can adjust it with the sewing machine on it so you could change position frequently and easily if needed. It's large enough to put a sewing machine at one end and use the other end for a good sized cutting mat and ironing surface.

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    Martelli makes an adjustable table, I'm not sure how high it goes but it is another option.

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    I bought the martelli table and love it. It goes up high enough that I am sure you could stand. It can even be adjusted by raising just one side. This is a cutting table too, so reaching the far side is much easier. The table is well made and comes with lots of goodies. I bought mine at the Houston show. I am just a happy customer, no affiliation with the company.

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    I have both the large and small Ikea adjustable tables. I use the large one for my cutting table, and the smaller for my sewing. I've not tried sewing standing up, but I have the table adjusted so I don't have to hunch over to see what I'm sewing. The smaller table is about 27" wide and the machine has to sit rather far forward, and I notice a bit more vibration because of that. Not enough to be bothersome though. However some machines may cause a lot more vibrations than my Juki 2010 does.

    I do love the extra room I have behind the machine, I don't like stuff falling behind and piling up around my feet when chaining pieces.

    We've brought in people to help with ergonomics at work. So I've used what I learned there to apply to my home situation. I also have a long arm, and raised that up a bit more than was is "recommended".

    Part of my problem is my eyesight - I was hunching so I could see better.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  13. #13
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    Thanks to all who responded. I have gotten professional advice, my husband's occupation is in safety in the work place and he is trained in ergonomics. The PT is also very knowledgeable and talked with me about my limitations going forward. I had already been doing many of the things that he recommended . I will check into the standing tables that have been suggested. I mainly wanted to hear from those that were using standing lift tables as to one that will work with a machine.

  14. #14
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    and those are a generous size even though expensive
    .
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
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  15. #15
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I would check out the Martelli adjustable tables, very pricey but they are nice
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

  16. #16
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Don't forget about the chair you use for sewing. This is an individual fitting thing. For some chair arms are desirable, for others, not so much. One distinguised national teacher used an expensive office chair. I felt lucky it din't fit my body, because it was so expensive. I ended up with a Swopper. It was what the secretaries in the expensive office furniture and design place used. I love it because I have better posture with it and it is height adjustable.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dakota Rose's Avatar
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    I adjusted my machine by putting 2 rubber door stoppers under the back of the machine. It changed the angle just enough to make me stop leaning so far forward when I sew. I was getting very sore tight shoulder muscles and especially between my shoulder blades. It really helped a lot. I know you need more than this but it might help a little no matter what height your table is.

  18. #18
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    Macybaby- I looked at both of these tables at IKEA yesterday. Both are nice; have you had any issues with the electric one? I use a stand up desk at my job and really like it (not to mention the wellness aspect of not sitting all the time)
    Thank you

  19. #19
    Senior Member K-Roll's Avatar
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    I've been jonesing for a standup/adjustable desk - and here's a comparison that may help. Now I am jonesing for a Jarvis, and saving up for a basic model. I don't need the 'add-ons'. Only trouble is, I will have to get rid of something in order to welcome it to the house!

    http://www.reviews.com/standing-desk/
    "The only war that matters is the war against the imagination." - D. DiPrima

  20. #20
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    K-roll, I saw that comparison article and I too am leaning toward the Full Jarvis. It seems to be the best for the price. I read too many reviews that did not recommend the Ikea desk. This is too much of an investment for a poor performing product.

  21. #21
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    Lindad - I have the manual tables. I bought them more so that DH could put them higher when he was working, but for the most part they don't get raised/lowered. If I was looking for something to raise and lower several times during each usage, I would look for something different.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

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