New(ish) Sewing Machine into an Old Table

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Some time ago I found an antique White sewing machine at the dump. At first glance it looked to be in really good shape but upon closer inspection it was clear that it had sat in a damp environment for a long, long time. The hide glue on most of the wooded parts was no longer holding them together, the machine itself had rust inside and out, and the cast iron treadle frame was broken in two places. The machine sat in the corner of my office for a couple of years until I found a portable sewing machine from the 1970's that was almost unused and worked perfectly. That's when I decide to combine the two and make this a useful piece of furniture once again.

. . .

Step one was to knock apart the entire cabinet, remove the broken treadle pieces, glue all of the wood portions back together and clean and repaint the cast iron base. The the cabinet got two coats of polyurethane varnish after some clean up with Formby's Furniture re-finisher.


Then I needed to modify the board that actually holds the machine. The hinges that connect the machine to the board where pretty standard and the new machine had a slightly larger overall outline.

Usually you'd do this with a router or perhaps a saw and chisel. But I have a CNC mill, so I used that.

I did have to fill in a strip at the back, I used a piece of old oak flooring for that, epoxied in place and later stained to match.

The completed table with new(ish) sewing machine.

The fit is nearly perfect and I love old furniture with rulers inlaid right into the top!

I also love the way the machine retracts when you close the top so the machine can double as a side table when not sewing.

Four of the six drawers were missing handles so I snapped a shot of one of the existing handles with my phone, pulled it into Inkscape, traced it, converted it to a path and extruded it with OpenSCAD to print on my RepRap 3D printer. Heating the plastic on a dish warmer allowed me to nail through it without cracking it and made it conform to the curved surface of the drawer. I will probably redo these as I learn more about 3D modeling and develop a more elegant and complex design.