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Thread: Please tell me about your cutting table

  1. #1
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Please tell me about your cutting table

    I think I need a revamp. Currently I have a 2' x 4' piece of plywood over sawhorses. The size is perfect for my 24" x 36" cutting mat. However the sawhorses make the table too low and if I cut too much, my back hurts. I've read it should really be 36" high, like my kitchen counters.

    A couple of caveats. Due to lack of space I have to keep my table in front of a set of drawers which I occasionally need to access. Right now shifting the top off the sawhorses is pretty easy. I don't even have to lift it up, just slide it to one side.

    One option I've been looking at is a wheeled cart. Then I can move it easily to access the drawers. But so far the more reasonably priced ones are no where near the size I need on the top.

    I found a table that is 2' x 4' (perfect size!) on Amazon. The height is adjustable and can go to 36". It's only $40. However, this table has become less appealing since I thought of using a cart with wheels because it would be harder to move. Plus the carts have bins to store things underneath.

    Last, I use this table to pin my borders on and do some prep work. In those instances it's nice that it's low because I just pull up a chair and sit down. Any advice on how to do these tasks with a 36" high table? Bar stool maybe?

    Please tell me what you have and how it works for you. Thanks!!
    Last edited by KenmoreGal2; 01-22-2016 at 04:42 AM.

  2. #2
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    First I would suggest rather than go with the standard, generic, recommended height of anything, do a bit of research on ergonomics. Ideally, you want your 'working' height to be the distance from your bent elbow to the ground if I am not mistaken.

    Not that that is the configuration I have, mind you! I'd be wary of something on wheels due to lack of stability. They would have to have some very positive locking mechanism before I would consider a wheeled anything.

    If you could find, perhaps, a low-cost/free smallish bedroom dresser? Put locking wheels on yourself (Lowes/Home Depot carry these) you would get additional storage as well. See if your current bedroom dresser is a more comfortable working height for you than your kitchen counter. I have issues rolling cookie dough, for example, at standard kitchen counter height because I'm short so I know that would not be a comfortable cutting height for me.

    I have one of the tables similar to what JAF carries that the two sides fold down and is only about 12" wide when sides are folded. It is wheeled but I have it on carpet. Can not tell you at the moment if the wheels lock or not but I think they do. I like the size of the table when extended and use for cutting; ironing (with just towels on top); pinning borders; basting quilts. Height is not ideal for me but it's workable.

  3. #3
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Thanks. A quick google search for "ideal height of cutting table" brings me right back here, to the QB. (I don't know about you, but I find QB articles much easier using google than the QB search feature.)

    Here's a link.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...e-t170778.html

    This is a good place to start my research. I'd still like to hear what great ideas you all have come up with for your cutting tables!

  4. #4
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    I have a bona fide Joann craft table I bought. But I have the space. Are the drawers that you mentioned in a dresser that's a height you want? Could you put a piece of wood on top and secure it somehow to prevent slipping? You'd want some overhang so you can put your feet under.
    Last edited by zozee; 01-22-2016 at 06:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zozee View Post
    I have a bona fide Joann craft table I bought. But I have the space. Are the drawers that you mentioned in a dresser that's a height you want? Could you put a piece of wood on top and secure it somehow to prevent slipping? You'd want some overhang so you can put your feet under.
    Thanks for your help.

    The drawers are in a metal cabinet. I have another shelving unit on top of that holding a lot of fabric. So the top is already spoken for. Darn.
    Last edited by KenmoreGal2; 01-22-2016 at 06:26 AM.

  6. #6
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    Can you somehow reconfigure the area so the table would not be in front of the drawers?

  7. #7
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    Lower kitchen cabinet (can be found at recycle stores) add rolling casters ( would use the kind that lock). place your wood on top. Gives more storage under table, easy to move. I have a stool on casters that I cut down to the right height for sitting at my cutting/craft table (got it from a recycle store)
    Last edited by Gramie bj; 01-22-2016 at 07:35 AM.

  8. #8
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    To answer both questions - space is tight. I can't move the drawers. I was considering a lower kitchen cabinet. Good idea!

  9. #9
    yel
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    if it was me i would go to walmart .home depot or the local big lots and get 2 of the small 3 shelf bookcases and reuse the plywood i already have ....try it that way ...i am a little bit taller than most so i got a few 2x6's and built a base for the bookcases to set on ...perfect height for me and bonus extra storage

  10. #10
    yel
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    a bathroom cabinet is a bit shorter than most kitchen cabinets

  11. #11
    Super Member notmorecraft's Avatar
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    I use a butchers cart which has wheels on two legs easy to move storage underneath, I got it in IKEA and was about 40 sterling it's the ideal height.

  12. #12
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    When we remodeled, we had an upper cabinet left over. My husband added legs with castors. He then added the top. Love, love, love it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Gramie bj View Post
    Lower kitchen cabinet (can be found at recycle stores) add rolling casters ( would use the kind that lock). place your wood on top. Gives more storage under table, easy to move. I have a stool on casters that I cut down to the right height for sitting at my cutting/craft table (got it from a recycle store)

  13. #13
    Senior Member aeble's Avatar
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    I went a bit extreme because of the many uses of this room and had something custom built that folds down. The top and two sides of the picture frame fold out to become the legs of the table. When I don't need to use it it folds up and is a picture on the wall (sticking out a bit so there is storage in the cabinet behind the photo). I had a large cutting mat from Joanne's that I cut to fit the size of the desk top with a pair of kitchen scissors.

    I have yet to make a pressing board that I can fit on top. But am looking at making one using this youtube video as my guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LGb...&feature=share I think I'm going to add some loops to the pressing board so it can be hung in the closet when not in use.

    Don't mind the clutter in the photo :$
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    Super Member jazs2's Avatar
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    I bought mine from Joann's Love it.

  15. #15
    Super Member slk350's Avatar
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    I have one of those cutting tables from Joann's, it folds down to only 12" X 36". Doesn't take up much space. I think it's 36" high. Opened it holds my 33" X 58" cutting mat. Sometimes I cut on my DR table , but it does bother my back.

  16. #16
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    I use a long section of my kitchen counter that doesn't get used for cooking or food prep... so my cutting mat usually lives there unless we have company. Hopefully next year I'll be working on my own sewing room.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  17. #17
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    I Love my mobile kitchen island. Casters, storage below.
    sandy
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    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  18. #18
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. There were some great ideas.

    I'm lucky though. My talented hubby found some particle board in the basement and set to work building for me. He's essentially making a cube - 36" high, 24" deep and 48" long with one shelf inside. I'll plop my 2' x 4' piece of wood right on top because it's the perfect size for me and my space. He's going to put the whole thing on casters so we can move it to access the drawers occasionally. We will have locking casters in the front. Because he's being so nice about this, I told him he can use all the newly created storage space for his tools. Heaven knows if I get that space, I'll just acquire more unneeded fabric!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Reba'squilts's Avatar
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    I have a six ft banquet table that I got at SAMs. My husband made risers so it is the right height for cutting. I also use the Go on this table. For big occasions with lots of company...I take it upstairs without the risers and have extra space for people to sit at. It sits against the wall, so I do not need to move for any other reason. My sewing machine totes sit under the table.

  20. #20
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    I bought a fairly inexpensive desk (table) at Walmart and set it on bed risers. It is almost exactly the size of my cutting mat, the perfect height for me and doesn't take up much space in the corner.

  21. #21
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Looks like you have lots of ideas now for tabling ... and even have your husband working on it already. If you need more ideas, as to what to do with the under area of your new cabinet, take a look at the many previous threads of how other quilters personalized that area for storage that works. One of the best to me are those that have nails on the ends to hang their quilting rulers.

    Being that you like to sit up to your table, when pinning, you might want to consider enough overhang, so that the chair (and you!) can sit up to it, without your knees/legs getting in the way!!!

    For a chair, a stool can work fine or look at adjustable drafting chairs. I have one for my sewing machine, as I found that the upper limit of a regular desk chair, was still a bit low (ergonomics come into play again!). The drafting chair lowest is about the same as the highest of a regular desk chair .... and then you can go higher! When I need a chair at my cutting table, it works perfect.
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  22. #22
    Super Member butterflies5518's Avatar
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    I have a desk and placed a premade 4 ft counter top from Lowes on it for cutting. Since it has a rolled edge, it doesn't scoot around while in use (pushed against the edge of the desk and wall). The desk drawers are used for storage and knee area for additional storage container. If I change the color of the room, I can easily repaint the desk. I am in an apartment so it fits snugly into a living room corner without sticking out. My pegboard sits on top for upright storage as well.
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  23. #23
    Super Member Joanie2's Avatar
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    Without reading the other posts, I have an old large buffet type folding table. I am short but using it for cutting still hurts my back. I've solved that problem by simply removing the rubber feet from it and using 6 inch lengths of pvc pipe to raise it. I've added endcaps to protect my carpet. This way I can have a standard height table if I want to use it with my sewing machines to give me more free-motion space or add the legs whenever I want it higher. Cheap remedy that works for me.
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  24. #24
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post

    Being that you like to sit up to your table, when pinning, you might want to consider enough overhang, so that the chair (and you!) can sit up to it, without your knees/legs getting in the way!!!
    Shoot, forgot about that part when I told hubby my needs. I'd better update him.

  25. #25
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    Would not be hard to add casters on the bottom.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gramie bj View Post
    Lower kitchen cabinet (can be found at recycle stores) add rolling casters ( would use the kind that lock). place your wood on top. Gives more storage under table, easy to move. I have a stool on casters that I cut down to the right height for sitting at my cutting/craft table (got it from a recycle store)

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