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Thread: HELP!! Possible Drop Leaf Addition? HELP!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member cny_sewer39's Avatar
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    HELP!! Possible Drop Leaf Addition? HELP!!

    Good Evening Every1,

    I hope that all is well with you & your families. I have a desk that has 3 drawers on the left side. I sew and quilt on this desk. I found it at a thrift store in Snowflake, AZ for $5.00. It was painted gold. I sanded all the old paint off and stained it. Here is my question (for you). Do you think I could put a drop leaf on the back? I went to Home Depot on Monday, and a customer service rep, said that the wood would split. The wood cover behind the drawers is maybe a 1/4" thick. I would like to make the back of the desk longer for quilting. I can not afford to buy a beautiful desk that has all the ""bells and whistles", nor have my husband build me one because we don't have the tools. I was hoping to do it myself. I am asking all of you because ALOT of your DH's have built you some PRETTY AWESOME sewing furniture. I turned to you all because I value your opinions and advice. I will post some pics so that you can see what I am talking about.

    I eagerly await your suggestions and feedback. I would also like to hear from any gender that is on the board.

    Thank you all in advance for your help with my dilemma.

    Have a blessed day.

    debra

    PS.-I also was thinking of taking the laminate off and cutting a space to fit my sewing machine into. I would like the sewing machine to be fluss with the desk. I also forgot to download the pic of the back of the desk. Not sure how to do it. Thanks for help.
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    Last edited by cny_sewer39; 03-28-2012 at 06:16 PM. Reason: Forgot to add something.
    cny_sewer39

    Sew Much Fabric, Sew Little Time...

  2. #2
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    I am no expert, but what if you use cabinet hinges?
    Sharon

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    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    A long piano hinge would be screwed into the particle board that is the base for the laminate. Some particle board is strong enough to hold it. I assume you will be putting legs on the extension. That would help with the weight. As far as the top, you can cut through the laminate so it doesn't have to be removed. How are you going to support the machine?

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    Senior Member Earleen's Avatar
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    They have what they call a piano hinge that is long and would go the whole length of the top.
    Earleen The best helping hand is at the end of your arm.

  5. #5
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Why couldn't you attach a 1"x 4" x length of desk or a 1" x 4" x length of desk piece of wood at the top of the back, the narrow edge flush with the desk top; and then attach the drop leaf with a piano hinge?

    Jan in VA


    This view is looking from the back of the table with the tan being the board added to hold the hinge and drop leaf.
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    Jan in VA
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  6. #6
    Senior Member All Thumbs's Avatar
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    Wonder what would happen if you got a heavy piece of lumber same size as your desk top, only longer/deeper and then glue and nail that piece over everything. ?? I suppose you would have to put legs on the extended part, however. I doubt that it would be good for bearing down upon to rotary cut things. Do not think it a good idea to try and cut hole for machine. What would hold the machine at that location? Wish DH were home right now I would ask his suggestion. Years ago I sewed upon a church-like luncheon table and it had plenty of room to each side. Then I would put ironing board to the back side at same level when I needed extra width. Just a thought.....good luck.
    When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me". Erma Bombeck

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    I have a 5 dollar desk that my husband cut a hole just right for my serger and it sits in the drawer. Had it for 35 years. If that is a piece of board on the back half of your desk, why couldn't you put another on the other side and let you drop leaf rest on those boards. that would take the weight off the desk onto the vertical boards. What do I know? Grin

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    Where there's a will, there's a way!!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member cny_sewer39's Avatar
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    Good Evening Again,

    I had planned on putting some type of legs on the underside of the drop leaf to help hold the weight. I have a cutting table, so I don't need to use the extension for cutting out anything. YA. YA. Thank you all for the suggestions. Please keep them coming. I know that are alot of wonderfully smart people on here & I know my QUILTING FRIENDS can help me come up with a solution.

    Thanks again.

    debra
    cny_sewer39

    Sew Much Fabric, Sew Little Time...

  10. #10
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    Yes you can make a drop leaf. Home Depot is so wrong with what they told you.
    just make sure you use enough hinges if not one long one And attach a leg for support that would swing away when folded
    Gods Blessings
    Happy Quilting

  11. #11
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    Have you thought about one of the folding tables that have a plastic top. I think they come in a 3' x 4' size. If it anywhere near the same height as your desk that might work and you could fold and put away when you don't need it. It may be less expensive than the wood needed to make the drop leaf. I think they are available at Costco, Sam's Club and maybe Walmart, & Target.

  12. #12
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    One one of the free shows last weekend, the quilter had used two dressers with drawers on either side and put a piece of plywood on top. You might be able to find something that would support the top and use as storage as well, or just add legs, sawhorses, even computer paper boxes on either side for support. Like the idea of putting part on desk and rest on backside that All Thumbs suggested. That would make it sturdier, less likely to separate.

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    Ditto with Jan's suggestion. Screw a long 1 x 4" along the entire back. Set it a little down from the top of the current desk so when you swing the back up the edge of the drop leaf will cover the added mounting board and be level with the top of the desk. Do add legs to the leaf for support. Better yet- check thrift stores and watch Craigslist or Freecycle for a sewing cabinet, desk or table for conversion. You can find them very cheap or even free. Eleanor Burns has something on her website showing how her son converted a table years ago.

  14. #14
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    What might be easier is to get a tabletop double the size of your current desk (or more), attach two legs to the far side, and use the current desk as a support for the front half. So the new top is resting on top of your current desk, and is perfectly flat with no seam. You might find a wooden poker table at a thrift store, or a small breakfast table that you could take two legs off of. If it's slightly bigger, like a couple of inches all around, it wouldn't matter.

  15. #15
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    Why couldn't you attach a 1"x 4" x length of desk or a 1" x 4" x length of desk piece of wood at the top of the back, the narrow edge flush with the desk top; and then attach the drop leaf with a piano hinge?

    Jan in VA

    This view is looking from the back of the table with the tan being the board added to hold the hinge and drop leaf.
    This is also what I has in mind. And of course you would need legs to support the leaf when it was set up. As for cutting a "hole" to drop your machine in to make it flush with the desk top, yes, it can be done. My DH made one for me. Only mine is in a large leaf that I put in the dinning room table when I need added space. He cut the hole, then built a sort of drawer and used L brackets to attach it to the under side of the leaf. It holds the machine just fine. I used it just today to sew the binding on a queen size quilt. Good luck with what ever you come up with.

  16. #16
    QM
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    Power Poster QM's Avatar
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    Jan is right. The piano hinges are a good idea too. (and Darlene is right about 1-2 support legs, also)

  17. #17
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    From previous threads on this subject, remember to make the height of the throat plate even with your elbows so you don't get tired shoulders, etc. You could even take those feet off your desk drawers and then cut the two legs off. I just cut 4" off my 1967 machine cabinet. I cannot believe I did not do this years ago. If you can find those plastic drawers or even a 2 drawer filing cabinet cheap, you could put that next to the desk on the right, at a right angle, add a covered top and turn it into an ironing board. I just had another thought, cut a hole in the top for the machine, measure so it fits your elbow height, put a shelf with little "L" brackets, underneath the top, add a piece down the right side so the "L" brackets can be on that side, and that would hold your machine. You could even close the back and side with that gray board, I forgot what it is called, (like pfc board. It is cheap, just a few bucks, but very sturdy. You could even buy a piece of that peg board on the side to hang your rulers, etc. Good luck. Yes, use legs for support and a piano hinge.

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