I enjoy sewing. I’m not very good and have been mostly self-taught (my seamstress mother attempted to teach us when we were little, but we didn’t stick with it long). Thanks to those lessons, as well as my family’s habits of figuring out projects with the usually positively rewarded belief we can do anything, I’ve been able to tackle most sewing projects I’ve put my mind to. I’ve even altered designer dresses! One of my favorite things about sewing is antique foot pedal sewing machines.
I recently purchased this cast iron antique sewing machine base that had been newly cleaned and polished. The design was unique and beautiful and I had to have it. It was just too easy a project to pass up. The plan was to pick up a 36 inch pine round at my local hardware store and attached it to the top. See? Too simple.
Okay, maybe not quite that simple. Pine rounds are expensive and I decided to go with a much cheaper solid pine board that was just the right size to fit on top of my sewing machine base (and it was only $8).I lightly sanded the board and wiped it clean. Using a super handy little flexible staining tool I found at the hardware store for $6, I wiped on a couple coats of Minwax Weathered Oak stain. You can just as easily use a soft bristle brush.
When applying stain, always go with the grain. Allow the stain to sit on the wood and be absorbed for a few minutes before wiping off the excess. I wanted a lighter look to allow the details of the wood to stand out instead of looking too gray, so I only applied two thin coats. After letting it dry overnight, I applied a thick coat of polyurethane. Safety note: always have very good ventilation when working with stain and poly. The end product is a unique weathered wood top with some pretty color variations.
In order to attach the top, finding the exact right screws is important. The sewing machine base has large holes where the top will be attached and the top is only an inch thick. I used screws only 3/4 of an inch long. While I wasn’t sure they’d be enough, my wood working father assured me they’d be fine…and he was right! After drilling a shallow pilot hole, all it took was a couple turns of a screwdriver and my table was complete!
Ugh. So pretty. I love salvaged pieces. I love antique foot pedal sewing machines. I love upcycling. As much as I’d love to keep this table, I don’t have the room and I need to stock my shop. Hopefully someone else will fall in love with it as much as I did.