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Thread: Looking for ideas for a cutting table

  1. #1
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    Looking for ideas for a cutting table

    Hi there,
    I am setting up a sewing space in a small room. The bed needs to stay in the room. I need a clever solution for a cutting table that is the right height and that won't take up a huge amount of room. I've looked at the Sullivan Better Board that fits over an ironing board but I'm not sure an ironing board is sturdy enough to be safe to cut on. In Florida, I've used bed risers with a banquet table but I don't have that kind of space here. I suppose I could put a piece of Masonite on the bed and cut sitting down but I'm not sure how accurate that would be.
    I welcome your ideas...
    lots2do

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    my cutting table is two dressers, back to back, with a top covering both. that way, the drawers are still usable at each side. i made the top using kitchen laminate plastic... it's quite heavy. when i need to move houses, it just comes apart in pieces. the dressers are on casters. the whole unit is 34" tall, which seems just the right height for me
    Nancy in western NY
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  3. #3
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    I'd probably vote for some type of dresser/chest of drawers. If you could find one that is a bit short, you could put locking casters on it so you could move it away from the way and then have access to all sides.

    I have one of the folding craft tables that JAF sells (although mine was not purchased there). Both sides fold down leaving about a 12" center section. If you have room to have all or half of that open, it makes for a nice table. Again, it's on wheels so moves. By having both side sections folded down you could utilize the center section as a side table in the room if needed??

  4. #4
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    I agree with NJQuilter, look for one of Sullivans folding cutting table. It is a good table, compact but the right height for cutting. Trying to cut sitting down on a bed is a recipe for a disaster in my opinion. A danger mainly to you! You can usually find them on sale or you can use a coupon. I think I got mine at a Black Friday sale and have had it for over 15 years.
    here is one on sale at Walmart but Joanns carry them and you can find one online.
    http://www.joann.com/double-wall-car...dgMaAhGE8P8HAQ

  5. #5
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    Ironically, I also had the fold downtable that I got at JAF but when we moved I gave it to a guild. I don't think I have the space for it. The room is about 7' by 10'. I like the small bureau idea with locking casters. That suggestion lead me to looking at kitchen carts on line. We have quite a few antique and vintage shops in this area so maybe I'll get lucky! There's a huge piece of furniture in the room right now that needs to be moved out so I have some time to look for a solution.
    Thank you for your responses and Happy Stitching!

  6. #6
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I don't have any great suggestions, but, what about two ironing boards set up next to each other for a bigger space and stability? I have one of those white tables from Costco (or Sam's or Walmart), but realized it bows just a bit when cutting, enough to make me think my blade is dull. I had a piece of laminated board from IKEA leftover and put that on top of the white table and what a difference. Just make sure anything you use is perfectly flat and doesn't "give" when you press down on it.
    Alyce

  7. #7
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    I sometimes cut on my kitchen island. With a mat of course. I love it because I can walk all the way around it and it forces me to move.

  8. #8
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    Do you have room for a tall bed size square table? I have a square kitchen island unit on wheels with 2 drawers that I use as my cutting table. It is the kind with locking wheels. You could lock the wheels in place at the bedside for a bed size table and unlock it and move it to cut on. One of the great benefits to my rolling kitchen island unit is, it's a good height for cutting and it is like a rotating cutting surface because I can move it.

  9. #9
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    my cutting table is two dressers, back to back, with a top covering both. that way, the drawers are still usable at each side. i made the top using kitchen laminate plastic... it's quite heavy. when i need to move houses, it just comes apart in pieces. the dressers are on casters. the whole unit is 34" tall, which seems just the right height for me
    I also use a long dresser top too. It was my DMILs and it now holds fabric and with mats on top is a great sturdy place to cut.

    Make a trip to a second hand store and find a sturdy old dresser that could be used as a piece of furniture in the room and double for cutting. You can hide sewing in a few drawers when you don't want to see it. Double duty is the way to think about use of furniture.
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  10. #10
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    How often does the bed get used and what size is it? A friend of mine made a table that was wide enough to slide over the end of the bed ( like those hospital ones only bigger, with legs on both sides of the bed). If the bed is only used for an occasional out of town visitor and if it's double or twin sized, you might be able to do something like that. You'd have to figure out what to do with the table when the bed was in use, but if you are handy with basic tools or have a spouse or friend who is, it would be easily do-able.

    Or, you can just do like I do, small cutting surface in sewing room and nice big cutting surface in another room.


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  11. #11
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    If cost is a consideration, when I was away from home for 3 years caring for my FIL I brought a card table and picked up 4 bed risers to set the legs into. Perfect for my height, and quick to wisk out of the way if the space was needed for something else.

  12. #12
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    Have you checked Pinterest? I've seen some pretty creative ideas there. Are you pretty handy with furniture hacks?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lots2do View Post
    Ironically, I also had the fold downtable that I got at JAF but when we moved I gave it to a guild. I don't think I have the space for it. The room is about 7' by 10'. I like the small bureau idea with locking casters. That suggestion lead me to looking at kitchen carts on line. We have quite a few antique and vintage shops in this area so maybe I'll get lucky! There's a huge piece of furniture in the room right now that needs to be moved out so I have some time to look for a solution.
    Thank you for your responses and Happy Stitching!
    The room I use is 8 x 10 and has a queen sized futon; antique dressing table; chest of drawers; 2 end tables; plus the cutting table and sewing machine (along with a few tubs and other things) in the room! Granted, I have to slide sideways to get around things but it all works! Not pretty though!

  14. #14
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    The portable workshop table at Harbor Freight is ideal and goes on sale for $129 if you watch their ads. It has 2 drawers underneath the top, and then a lower shelf which could hold tubs. Check it out.

  15. #15
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    The question was asked earlier as to how often the bed is required.
    If infrequent, you might consider switching to a murphy bed, with a table that can be folded away when the bed is needed.

    Bonus ... the murphy bed could be used as a design wall when it is not a bed.

    Just thinking this through further ... the table could be built as an add-on to the murphy bed, so that when the bed is put down to be used, the table folds up, staying attached to the bed, when you want to use the bed. Much like a gate-leg table and some of the other "official" quilting tables that fold up small.
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  16. #16
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    My daughter has suggested a "Murphy table" for my sewing room but I haven't built it yet. I found a plan on the net and something like that might work. Especially if you could work a headboard out of it so it folded down over the bed.
    Lynda

  17. #17
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    Lightbulb The Norden Gateleg Table from Ikea with added wheels works in small spaces.

    I also have a small sewing space in a room with a bed. Love, love, love this birchwood table from Ikea. I went to harbor freight to buy the wheels with casters. Ikea delivers and assembles the table. The table is 60" long with both sides out.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by copycat; 07-01-2017 at 03:38 AM. Reason: page not found for posted link

  18. #18
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    I went to Ikea and found a tabletop I liked. Then I chose legs that were adjustable for height. Love it! We've adjusted the height a couple of times to get it "just right."
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  19. #19
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    Lots of really great suggestions here! Thank you all so much.
    The bed isn't used very much but we do need to leave it in there for company with kids. This is an older cottage, was a hunting place originally, with knotty pine walls so not the best space for a Murphy bed but those are really cool inventions.
    I wondered if a card table would be sturdy enough so appreciate that feedback. I love the looks of the gateleg table too.
    I poked around in our storage shed and I have a wire shelf from Target that might work with the Masonite on top. Target has locking castors to put on the legs which would make it taller.
    Then again, I can put bed risers under the legs of our dining table that's on the front porch. If I do this, I might have space for a small rocker (from my parents' house) and a reading lamp in the room.
    As DH would say:'So many choices.'
    One of our sons has decided to come up for an extended visit starting tomorrow. In itself that's good news but he can also help move the monster piece of furniture out of there. So, it looks like this will come together sooner than I thought.
    I better go work on more organizing...thanks again.

  20. #20
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    I've always like those little wooden kitchen carts too. Maybe I'll find a deal on one.

  21. #21
    Super Member roserips's Avatar
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    My mother made two different cutting tables and I use them both. First one is a large one using a interior door that she covered with fabric and placed on a frame that is counter height. The other is smaller using an up-cycled kitchen cabinet that she put a piece of plywood on the top and then covered with fabric and is great since there are drawers to use for organizing items in and a wonderful cutting surface that nicely fits my 24" x 36" mat. She also made sure to put wheels on everything so it is easy to clean and rearrange a room. Have fun creating your own cutting surface.

  22. #22
    Super Member llong0233's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the standard height for cutting tables (JoAnn, Hancock, etc.) is 38". Maybe check out JoAnn to see if that would work for you. I wouldn't recommend sitting to cut. If the Masonite was on the bed you would necessarily have to bend to cut as there are no knee holes in the bed! Interesting challenge. Let us know how you work it out.
    Quilting Makes Me Happy...

  23. #23
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    For several years I did not have space for a dining table in my tiny apartment and being a dedicated sewer, I got creative and bought two wood folding TV trays, and a small sheet of MDF slightly larger than my cutting mat, that fit under my double bed nicely and was not too heavy to move. When I needed to cut fabric, I set it up in my huge 'wheel chair accessible' bathroom to use. My ironing board also set up in the bathroom. (That bathroom was big enough to hold a square dance in!) Lol.
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  24. #24
    Super Member sJens's Avatar
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    My husband made a top that fits over my ironing board and that is my cutting table. It is sturdy and just the right size for my sewing room.

  25. #25
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    I use my kitchen counter which is 36" high, it's perfect for me at 5'9". I store the cutting mat on the back of the door hanging by a pant hanger. It's interesting to read all the ideas that others have come up with.

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