Inspired by this desk by Lacey Ackerman, I found an antique 1903 Singer Treadle Sewing Machine and set out to create my dream sewing table and desk. Simple, iron strong, elegant, repurposed, and custom made with a hint a irony (ha! iron-y: and punny). The machine was rusting, although still mostly workable so I wanted to reuse as much of the hardware as possible and make a desk that could be reversed back into its original form if need be. I re-used all of the same screws, and made sure to make no new holes or marks in the various parts that were still usable from the original.
You will need:
- A Singer Treadle Sewing Machine Table (machine not necessary)
- 2+ salvaged boards of the same thickness (1″ or more)
- Flathead screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Wood-joining hardware. What the heck are these things called? (See step 6)
Get your boards cut to the same length. I went to Ashby Lumber, but that’s probably not that helpful to you if you live in New Hampshire. Someone told me Home Depot might do it. Call them to ask first.
Sand those boards down as well as you can to avoid future splinters. Paint them if you’re into that sort of thing.
I found that the hinges that held the machine in the box were rather stubborn. Come at them with some real confidence and they’ll give in to you.
This is the good time for the bottom to get all dolled up and freshened for a night on the town while it’s single. Clean it up and help it forget about it’s former top. It was falling apart anyway. There’s plenty of wood in the forest and it will find a good top soon.
Perhaps embarrassing, perhaps my strategic vulnerability when it comes to hardware and know-how, perhaps my deeply ingrained training in femininity… but I have no idea what that thing is called. I am open to creative and informative suggestions.
Set the drawer cage against the side of the iron legs on top of the upside-down table. Set the hooks to the spot where they grab onto the iron legs, perhaps not firmly, but however they can manage. Then screw them in place before moving on to connect the cage to the table’s top.
BONUS?! Read on…
- Like the golden flower “wallpaper” looking design? I made it with a stalk of celery! (see how-to concept here)
- Like the artwork on the left? Check out Cathy McMurray’s amazing work on Etsy here.
- Like the sneak peak of the art quilt on the right? Check back soon, because I’ll show you what I consider to be my favorite masterpiece.
- Want to learn more about the Treadle Sewing Machine? Here‘s a cool history about the Singer Sewing Machine.