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Part 3: Singer Sewing Machine and Cabinet Makeover

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Welcome to Part 3 of my 3 Part series!

Part 1: Before & After Pictures

Part 2: Sewing Machine Makeover
Part 3: Cabinet Makeover

In this post I will show you how I remodeled an old sewing cabinet into a small side table.

I actually thought the cabinet was cute but it wouldn't serve much of a purpose outside of housing a sewing machine.. except maybe a make-up vanity.  I wanted something smaller that I would actually use.

Part 2: Singer Sewing Machine and Cabinet Makeover

Welcome to Part 2 of my 3 Part series!

Part 1: Before & After Pictures

Part 2: Sewing Machine Makeover
Part 3: Cabinet Makeover

In this post I will show you how I fixed up this Singer 15-91 sewing machine. 

When I got this machine it was very dull in appearance and in dire need of oiling and TLC.  In this video I am running the machine at full speed.

This video is after I fixed up the machine.  It looks and sounds so much better!

 Here's what she looked like...

Part 1: Singer Sewing Machine and Cabinet Makeover

I've been having cabin fever this winter and was itching for a project.  I found a Singer sewing machine and cabinet for $20 to keep me busy.. and, oh, have I been busy!

I have a lot of pictures so I'm breaking up this project into 3 posts.

Part 1: Before & After Pictures

The pictures will do the talking...




Custom Wood Aquarium Stand & Hood Project

Monday, January 27, 2014
One of my boys has been asking for a goldfish so my husband and I decided to surprise all 3 of our boys with their own fish.  After some research we realized we couldn't get away with just a little fish bowl, gravel, fish and food.  After a trip to the pet store and about $125 dollars later we had our aquarium and little fantail goldfish.

The piano bench was just a temporary spot until I could make something at eye level to put it on.

After a small sketch on paper and digging around in my wood scrap pile I came up with a stand and hood.  Okay, it wasn't as easy as it sounds... after a few DAYS of cutting, fitting, glueing, clamping, hole filling, sanding, dusting, painting, glazing, vinyl spackling and clear coating I was done!  I also made sure to waterproof the top of the stand and bottom of the hood with clear caulking to protect it from any water.

I made cutouts in the hood for the filter and other various cords.

I figured I'd get the main parts done and work on the door later.  For the door I made a frame the size I wanted and used trim pieces inside the window to tie it in with the sides of the stand.  It was perfect!  

What I'm most happy about is I only had to buy one board from the store... everything else I had on hand!  I had an old 2x4 covered in ice outside I ripped down for the main structure of the stand, wood from a bed frame I found by the dumpster that I trimmed the top, bottom and hood with, leftover MDF for the shelves, hinges I scrapped from a desk by the dumpster, and various trims and boards from other projects.

I used Minwax White Wash over the bare wood, wiped it off and let dry.

Then I brushed Rust-oleum Glaze on, wiped it off then used a wet rag to wipe off the excess.  It tinted the white glaze and stuck in the cracks and crevices which I like.

This was my first time using vinyl spackling and I will for sure have some on hand from now on!  I wanted something similar to caulk to fill in large gaps and something I could sand if needed. This stuff reminds me of the mud used for drywall.

Last step was to put 2 coats of protective finish.  I need to write a separate post just for this Polycrylic because I love it so much!

These little fishies seem pretty happy!

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

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Interested in buying a base?  See what's available, HERE.

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.


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

Safety Glasses & Hearing Protection
Measuring Tape
Table & Miter Saw
Dovetail Jig
Nail gun or Hammer

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!).


(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!

Favorite Product of the Week - Painter Pyramids

Thursday, January 16, 2014
My favorite product of the week are these painter's pyramids!  On the front it says "Paint. Flip. Paint other side without the wait."  Genius!!  I bought these at Home Depot for under $5 each pack.

These are awesome for me because I am not patient to let one side dry before flipping over to paint the other side.  Plus, you can paint your whole project without cleaning out your brush!

These easily saved me 4 hours yesterday as I was painting these sewing machine wood bases.  I did the bottom first and flipped over to finish the top side.

They double as fun for the kids!

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