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Weird Question: Using a Lap Desk for a Small Sewing Machine

Weird Question: Using a Lap Desk for a Small Sewing Machine

Old 10-09-2022, 11:33 AM
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Default Weird Question: Using a Lap Desk for a Small Sewing Machine

Hi!

I have decided to get back into quilting after a long hiatus from the hobby but I have some physical challenges now that make sitting at a sewing table very hard. Can you use a rolling lap desk for a small sewing machine? Also, has anyone ever done an alternative sewing machine workspace?

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and very severe arthritis in my back and hips in the summer so I'm looking for alternative places to put a sewing machine on. I just bought a small Janome machine that I'm going to use for putting blocks together (I always hand quilt my quilts) and I was thinking that I could put it on a rolling lap desk and use it while I'm sitting in my favorite living room chair.

My mother-in-law just called me and she is going to give me an old heavy duty rolling typing table that she has in her attic to try my idea out. The machine that I bought only weighs 5 pounds so I think that the typing table could handle that kind of weight. I was also thinking that I could put some kind of non-slip material on the surface of the typing desk and the bottom of the machine so the machine doesn't slide.

What do you all think of that kind of setup?
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Old 10-09-2022, 11:55 AM
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I use one of the folding wooden TV trays from Wal-Mart, but I still have to sit up to sew. I would not be able to use a lap tray because I am OCD about seeing my stitching path and that would be too far down. But that's just me. You may love it. There are other foldable tables that allow a rolling, armless, office chair easy access for seeing the details of your sewing if you wanted to go that route.
https://www.amazon.com/HUANUO-HNTT-B...Q%3D%3D&sr=8-6
https://www.amazon.com/Fancasa-Porta...ae8f9840&psc=1
This could possibly be a good fit for you.
https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...4-be83d68222e9

Well dang....I found so many interesting possibilities on the Amazon site that I decided just to post the whole page.
https://www.amazon.com/adjustable-sm...le+small+table

Last edited by Barb in Louisiana; 10-09-2022 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 10-09-2022, 02:28 PM
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I think Barb's suggestions are really good. I'm not sure about a rolling table. I'm thinking it might tend to, well, roll around with the vibration. You could probably use a rolling table if you were able to block the wheels. IDK
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Old 10-09-2022, 06:19 PM
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You can at least try it out and see if it will work for you.
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Old 10-10-2022, 04:32 AM
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TransportGal, the price is right for the rolling table to do a test. You can use the shelf liner cushiony stuff on the tabletop, and it sounds like the little machine should stay put unless you sew super-fast. If it will be on carpet, it should not have a problem staying in place.
Keep us posted on how it all works for you.
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Old 10-10-2022, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
I think Barb's suggestions are really good. I'm not sure about a rolling table. I'm thinking it might tend to, well, roll around with the vibration. You could probably use a rolling table if you were able to block the wheels. IDK
Patrice, the old, rolling typing tables have a lock on the wheels although I don't know if it would hold up to a sewing machine vibrating. It did always work for typing.

Sally
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Old 10-10-2022, 10:18 AM
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Transportgal, You might want to see if you can find a hospital bed tray table. If you could find and older, heavier one I'm pretty sure it would work with your lightweight sewing machine. I have a very old one that I use next to my sewing machine for various uses(not actually sewing on). It would allow you to possibly position it to one side of where you are sitting so it is in front of you and adjust the height so you could sit and sew easily.
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Old 10-11-2022, 03:15 AM
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Assume you will sit in a living room chair & be leaning back slightly then machine may sit too “flat”. If so, back side can be propped up with 2-3 wedge rubber door stoppers from hardware store.
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Old 10-19-2022, 07:25 AM
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Those typing tables have been used by garment sewers for sergers. Sturdy, the fold up surface and wheels make it easy to roll out of the way. And since the sergers are often have a bit taller base, the lower height works well. But that lower height brings up the question of if you can roll it close enough to work comfortably with whatever chair you will be using. It's well worth trying it though.

I too would be keeping an eye out for an old hospital bed table. Nice and sturdy, adjustable height (I think?), room to put your tools and maybe a light if needed, not so top heavy that it and the machine might be too awkward to move out of the way.
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Old 10-22-2022, 12:05 PM
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Well I use a power chair and the best table I have found is my over the bed table that had belonged to my Momma. I can adjust the height to fit over the go-stick on the chair arm and I sit and sew all day. I do have a stick that my one maintance guy built to steady the table and sit on the open side of the table. It can be removed when I want to use my laptop while in bed at night.

This works great for me. I do like the idea of something to stop the items from slipping--my laptop moves all over the table so that will also get sofe kind of non-slip bottom.

Last edited by MaryKa; 10-22-2022 at 12:16 PM.
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