6.2.18

Antique Treadle Sewing Machine Base + Live Edge Wood Top = Eclectic Modern Night table

Intro by Robin



As a little girl, I was fascinated with my grandmother's old Singer treadle sewing machine.  It sat in her kitchen - mostly holding dusty shoeboxes of odd things and old newspapers on top - but the top was not what drew me to it.  


I was enamoured with that treadle. 


My cousin and I would take turns pumping it with all our kid mite to see just how fast we could get it going.  Then we'd yank our hands away and dizzily watch the wheel spin.  (We'd keep doing this until the grown-ups would pause their euchre game long enough to notice and scold us to stop.)  


It's an 80's parenting miracle that we still have all our fingers.  That wheel is a finger guillotine.


When my grandparents passed away - my aunts and uncles gave me the treadle machine.  But this caused a problem: I now had two.  I had purchased one of my own from an antique shop many years ago.  


We don't live in a large house and every square inch is pretty much spoken for.  This is part of the reason we've embarked on our big Basement Makeover.  We really didn't have space for two bulky old sewing machines - let alone three!  I've had my other grandmother's machine - that I can actually sew with - for the last 20 years.  


The wooden cabinet tops of all the machines were beaten up.  Beyond salvaging really - even if I had space.  For example, my grandmother's was just laminate that was peeling and chipped in a bad way.  The other one had ugly gouges and a newer repair to the frame that was clunky and barely matched. 


It was the bases that spoke to me with their steady, iron, sculptural beauty. 


Since right now we are working on sprucing up our guest room what we actually needed - and had room for - were nightstands.  I wanted to add a warm wood top to the treadle bases. I had yet to stumble upon the perfect wood.  


And then I discovered a new wood product at Home Depot!  And we're happy that Home Depot chose to sponsor this post after we shared our unique idea with them.


What follows is the very simple instructions for how we made these eclectic modern tables from antique treadle sewing machine bases with natural live edge wood tops.  



Oh you guys! They turned out so great!







Steps by Ed.


We were very impressed with Live Edge Timber Co's Timber-Link sections. They were much thicker and more substantial than we expected.  It is one thing to read online that they are 2 inches thick. It is another to see and hold them in person. Oh, and they are a Canadian company using Canadian wood - so that's pretty cool too.


This will be one of the easiest tutorials we've ever done because the Timber-Link sections go together as simply as advertised. Their own videos show everything you need to do and we found them helpful. We will focus on our choices and the reasons for them.




Tutorial



Materials:


  • Antique Singer treadle sewing machine bases (or some other cool legs/frame to mount the slabs on)
  • Woodscrews
  • Wood Clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Sander
  • A finish of your choice (we used this one, but Live Edge Timber has one too)
  • Enough Timber-Link slab(s) for the tabletop surface you are building. We only needed one, 8-foot length that we cut down into four, approx. 22-inch sections.



We only needed one 8-foot slab because we were able to select a fairly uniform width board.  The pieces can vary from 5-8 inches in width. We knew we needed an overall depth of at least 12 inches, so we selected a slab that was a minimum 7 inches wide. When two pieces were joined, we got a nice 14-inch tabletop.

Steps:


1. Determine the dimensions of the tabletop(s) and cut to size.
We had two slightly different bases so we cut slightly different tops. The slabs are pine and cut easily on a table saw. You could use a circular saw or, honestly, a hand saw too. We suggest planning out your cuts so you don't accidentally line up one with a pre-drilled pocket screw hole.





2.  Join the sections to make a large slab of the depth you need.
Use wood glue on the centre seam and carefully clamp in order to preserve the bark on the live edge.  Having a flat surface to lay the slabs on to clamp and glue will also help to make sure the two pieces are flush and smooth at the joint.





3.  Use the pre-drilled holes to screw through and join the sections.
Drill carefully - Pine is a soft wood and screws can pull through. Turn the boards over and use a wet cloth to wipe off any excess wood glue that may have squeezed out. Leave to dry.





4. Sand the new, joined slab thoroughly to create a smooth, even surface.
We eased the end edges slightly to make the overall shape more organic and in keeping with the live edges. Be very careful near the bark as it can peel easily.

5.  Finish with your favourite stain or treatment. 
Here is a link to our new - super cheap - reclaimed wood-look finish of choice.

6.  Attach to the base or legs you've chosen.
Position and mark carefully. Pre-drill and hand screw in place. Admire your work.



If we were making these tables for another larger room we would have made a more generous overhang.  Our guest room is tight quarters and we have a queen bed in here - comfort first!  That only allowed for about a half inch overhang on each side.  If one of these tables was standing alone in a larger room - 2+ inches would be a lovely balance.



Thank-you for ignoring the bad lighting and the half done secret projects. 😜 


Now - we had to take awkward close-cropped pictures of the finished nightstands.  Even as is there are at least three "secret projects" peeking through.  We've got some really fun and surprisingly affordable decor projects coming soon to the blog.  Our Guest Room Library is turning out so beautifully (yeah, we're modest.)


We love our new tables and they've given fresh life to the Singer Sewing machine bases.  Thanks to Home Depot Canada for helping us to bring this idea to life.


Click here for more budget and beautiful projects from our Basement Makeover Series - like the closet we used DIY magic to turn into a power room!


2 comments:

  1. Robin, these are beautiful! I am going to have to see if this live edge wood is available here in the US! You guys did a fantastic job...what do I need to do to reserve a spot at Chez Hicken?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lynn! I hope this Live Edge product is available in the US. It’s incredibly easy to use. And you’d be most welcome to stay - if you ever have reason to be near Toronto in Canada look us up!

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