August 4, 2017

DIY Vintage Sewing Machine Base

Here is my tried and true method for vintage machine bases.

If you are not experienced with woodworking this will be hard to follow.

I'm and old Draftsman and this is how we work.

The result is not up to woodworking standards but is acceptable and easy.
It is a one hour project not including the three cotes of finish

Every machine is slightly different under the edge of the casting and this design method will likely require some chiseling or knifing of the edge where the casting interferes with the new base.

The handle holes are nice and should be put in before you assemble the parts.

At the lumber yard you'll need a 1 x 3 x 6 foot piece of Poplar (don't use better if you are inexperienced) and don't use Pine.

A 1 x 3 has actual dimensions of 3/4" x 2-1/2 or 0.75" x 2.5"... perfect for our job

The 2-1/2" should get every machine out there just high enough so that the casting feet are nicely clear of the table, (except for the Singers 101 and the 201, they need a full 3")

Draw this out on a piece of graph paper as shown
Assume you are going to triple check every dimension and go ahead and make a cardboard cut-out of the plan view to check the fit.

No amount of extra drafting, drawing, measuring, and thinking, will go to waste for this project, but you know this if you make patterns for sewing.

To Start:

  • Measure the length and width of your flat-bed

  • The inside of your wooden base is between 1/2" and 3/8" LESS THAN these two dimensions

  • On your drawing mark these two dimensions everything is based on these two dimensions

  • For the Front Piece you add 3/4 + 3/4 +  Inside Length

  • For the Back Piece the length IS the Inside Length

  • For the Sides you add 3/4 + Inside Width

  • The result is a minimum of end grain showing without getting into complex joinery

  • Glue and nail, screws are so big they will require wood plugs.
  • Check for squareness (measure across corners) if its not square tap, squeeze, or push till it is. If you don't it'll dry out of square and you will be very sorry. 

  • Bevel and sand all the edges and finish; I use three coats of Minwax water based Polycrylic, one to lift the grain and two to finish it. Sand 120 then 220, and 220 between coats. 


Yeah!

To mount the machine I use 4 dollops of clear silicone sealer so you can lift the machine either the by the head or by the base.


FYI the design changes if you have to lift the machine to change the bobbin like the Vigorelli

The only difference is to add a second Back Piece, lengthen the Sides 3/4" and (this is the hard part) locate and countersink the hinges from a cabinet. 




1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much! I have a couple of vintage machines that need bases and this is a blessing to me!

    ReplyDelete