My Wife’s Sewing Table

sew table 2
Most all of us have seen one. Perhaps you even have one, inherited from your grandmother like my wife’s. It’s the old Singer sewing machine table on the ornamental cast iron base. The one where the treadle powered machine stores under the top when not in use. Ours sat out on the wraparound porch radiating its antique charm but getting more dilapidated by the year.

“Please restore it,” pleaded my wife. “It was my grandmother’s and I love it”, but the top was delaminating, the treadle had frozen up, and the drawer bottoms were rotting out. “No can do. It’s to far gone, and I’ve checked around. They have no real value,” I replied. Besides, I hate repair work. Then, she got pretty fierce with me. “Then make a new top for it! It was my grandmother’s and I LOVE it!” OK. She didn’t have to raise her voice.

I was going to have it ready for her birthday, the end of March. I started early, but dovetailing the boxes that hold the drawers and then dovetailing and fitting the drawers, and then making the top with its breadboard ends, and putting on a finish, and making a living, and…

I just got it placed in our bedroom today. My wife likes it.

Click to enlarge these images.

To see more of my work, visit My Furniture Gallery.

sew table1
Now back to that conference table. I am milling the boards for the top. They are eleven feet long and over two inches thick. It’s something like hard manual labor and kicking my butt. Actually the pain is located a little higher, in my lower back.

5 Comments

  1. This singer sewing machine table is stunning. I like many people have one of these tables, its in bad shape, and I am slowly trying to restore it, but its never going to look as beautiful as I would like, now this table you have made is something I would absolutely adore, your wife is one very lucky lady.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on the sewing table. As a professional furniture maker most of what I make goes to other homes, so it it very nice to occasionally make something that I and my family get to enjoy. Went to your blog and saw some of the things you have restored. Good work! I wish you the best on your own sewing table.

      I saw that you are from the UK. There are so many contemporary craftsmen in the UK that have been an inspiration to me, such a long tradition there of fine work. Thanks again.

  2. I just got from an antique store the legs of the sewing machine, just like the one that you have and I just love the top that you have make. I started to sew about two months ago little dresses for girls in Africa and I decided that it was about time for me to get my Singer table. Now, I need to find out how to add a piece of wood on top and make the table. Too bad my uncle does not live in the States to make me a table like this. He was the wood shop teacher at my middle school in Puerto Rico. Your wife have to absolutely love her table.

    Miriam
    Caridura1@Aol.com

  3. I actually just bought a treadle base like this off eBay for my daughters room and my husband was going to make just a flat desktop for it but I absolutely LOVE this!!!
    Is there any way you could give me the dimensions or do you sell your design plans?
    I look forward to your response!

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