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Singer Sewing Machine Wood Base Tutorial (Pictures of Building Process)

Thursday, January 23, 2014


My original post for how to make wood sewing machine bases has been popular so I decided to make this tutorial with pictures of the building process for a base with a side cubby and full dovetail joints*.

*If you don't want the side cubby you can easily alter the 20" front/back wood pieces to be 16"-long. If you don't want to make dovetail joints you can alter the side pieces to be 6-3/4" instead of 8-1/4" and use your own joining technique for the corners such as glue or screws.



SINGER SEWING MACHINE BASE BUILDING PLAN

Finished Outer Dimensions: 20" long by 8-1/8" deep by 2-11/16" tall

Materials and Tools Shopping List:
1" x 3" x 8' select pine board
1/4" or 5mm utility plywood (measuring at least 9" x 21")
12"-long 3/4" quarter round trim piece (for corners)
3/4" straight or rabbeting router bit
Dovetail router bits
Flush trim router bit
1/4" round-over router bit
1 1/4" brad nails (for nail gun) or finish nails (use hammer)
2 Metal Mirror Clips (optional)
3/4" finish nails
Drill bits
Wood glue
Sand paper
Wood filler
Wood Stain and/or Polyurethane

Tools:
Safety Glasses & Hearing Protection
Measuring Tape
Pencil
Hammer
Drill
Table & Miter Saw
Router
Dovetail Jig
Nail gun or Hammer
Sander

Cut List:
2 - 1x3 @ 20" (front & back)
2 - 1x3 @ 8-1/8" (sides)
1 - 1x3 @ 7-1/4" (cubby divider)
4 - quarter round trim @ 2-9/16" (corner pieces)
1 - 8-1/2" x 20-1/2" utility plywood (bottom)


Refer to cutting list to cut your front/back, sides and cubby divider out of pine board.

Make your full dovetail joints on your front/back and sides (picture shows sides).  Refer to your jig manual on how to do this.  It is a very precise joint that requires precise adjustments.

Dry fit your outside pieces. Make an 'x' or something with pencil on the INSIDE, right corner of your front & back pieces.
Measure 4" from edge you marked and make a 1/4"-deep rabbit.

Your pieces should look like picture above. Do another dry fit to make sure your cubby divider fits in the rabbits.

Make your final assembly by first glueing the ends of your cubby divider and set inside rabbits.  Glue around all edges of dovetail joints that will be wood-on-wood and set sides in.

Very important:  Make sure your base is square by measuring opposite corners and comparing to other opposite corners.  If one side is longer use a wood clamp to bring together.  Measure again.  Once both opposite corners equal the same length your base is square!

While your base joints are drying cut out your corner pieces and bottom.  I like to cut my bottom larger than the base and trim off the excess later.

Glue the bottom edges of base and spread evenly.

Place bottom piece over glue and use 3/4" finish nails to tack in place.  I like my nails spaced out no more than 5".

Glue corner pieces and use brad nailer or 1-1/4" finish nails to tack in place.  Wipe excess glue with wet sponge.

Use flush trim bit in router to trim off bottom excess.

Use flush trim bit to trim off any parts of dovetail joints that need trimming.

Use 1/4" roundover bit to round bottom edges of base.

Fill in any holes or imperfections with wood filler.  Let dry.

Sand base smooth, finishing off with 220 grit paper.

Dust off your base and stain or paint if you want and finish off with 2-3 coats of Polyurethane (follow directions).

I added rubber pads to the bottom of my base to keep it skid proof and protect table top from scratches.

Set your machine in base and mark where you'd like to place your mirror clips.  Pre-drill holes and screw in.  I spray painted my clips black and heated a strip of heat shrink tubing over end that would be touching machine (gotta protect our babies!).

DONE!

(Left to right: Singer 201-2 in base with cubby, Singer 15-91 no cubby)

Stand back and admire that big-black beauty in the base YOU just made!
10 comments on "Singer Sewing Machine Wood Base Tutorial (Pictures of Building Process)"
  1. I absolutely love your tutorial. I have been looking for a way to make some bases and this will work splendidly! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  2. This is fantastic, thanks! I am planning to make a base for my Singer 99K which is a smaller machine, so I think I need to make my own cutting list. How did you decide how large to cut the side pieces based on the actual dimensions of the machine base?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alexis! Measure the base of your machine and you'll want your base opening to be that size or up to 1/4"-smaller on each side. Just make sure there's no obstructions under that base that would interfere with it resting on the wood base (if it's going to overlap the base).

      The base opening can be the same size as the machine bed because it rests on the corner pieces in the base. If you want your machine to be recessed inside the base, so the wood sides and bed of machine are flush, then you'll want your base opening slightly bigger than machine bed and cut your corner pieces down to make up for the height of the machine bed.

      Once you know how big you want your opening, factor in the width of your wood and you can figure out your outside measurements from there for cutting.

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  3. That is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing the process. I have a 201 (my FAVORITE machine) sitting in its old plastic base that is crying out for one like this. ;)

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  4. THANK YOU! My mother-in-law just gave me a beauitful Singer 15-91 and even though I adore the table it came in, I just don't have a space for it. Luckily this is something I am eager to tackle. You're amazing for creating this tutorial. <3

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  5. You don't happen to sell any of your bases, do you? If so I am very interested. My husband isn't very "wood handy".

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    Replies
    1. I don't have any for sale at the moment, sorry!

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  6. Hi, Dani. I just saw your response about not having any of these bases to sell, but when or if you do have some, could you let us know. Like Anna, I'm very interested in one of these bases for a Singer 15-91, and I'm not handy with woodwork. I'd be happy to pay you for it. You wouldn't even have to stain it for me, even though I know that's really the most insignificant part of making one of these.

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  7. Thanks for the idea! I just started a base for my 10 year old daughter's "new" 15-90 which she has started to restore but was on a very wobbly table when we found it....
    NR

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  8. Your tutorial is right on the mark! It occurred to me just today that I could make boxes to set my machines into for display on a shelf AND be able to take them down to drop into an opening in the work desk for use. If the boxes are all the same size to fit the desk no need for the multiple sewing cabinets taking up space. Now I have to repurpose those cabinets :)

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