Some Overdue Maintenance

Rebuilding a Top for a Sewing Machine Table

A couple years ago, my wife's mom bought her a table with a rustic wood top (mounted to an old iron Singer sewing machine table base) from an antique store. At the time, the top appeared to be in pretty good shape. It was a slab of red oak with natural live edges along the front and back.

(This is a different table than the one I made the top for a couple months ago.)

IMG954098

After a few months of storage in my wife's sister's garage, we picked it up, brought it home, and set it up as a bedside table. However, over the last couple years, the top developed some severe splitting and warping. I brought it to the shop and checked it out. Apparently the table's original maker had rushed the slab into service before it was dried and stabilized. So it did most of its drying (and shrinking and warping) with us. And the maker had secured the slab with screws through holes that did not allow for wood movement. So, with the tension between the wood movement and the rigid attachments, the slab just self-destructed.

20210308_131744
20210308_131744
20210308_131744

Time to remove and rebuild the top.

Cutting out the two main split areas; jointing and planing to flatten the resulting 3 pieces; and milling up an extra piece to restore the width that was removed...

20210308_160458
20210308_160458
20210308_160458
20210308_160458
20210308_160458

Gluing and clamping the pieces into a new solid slab. (Had to fabricate some special clamping cauls to accommodate the live edges.)  Scraping the glue lines, and trimming both ends to flush them up...

20210310_115912
20210310_115912
20210310_115912
20210310_115912

Sanding and finishing; cutting the mounting holes on the iron base into slots to allow for wood movement; attaching the top to the base...

20210316_111350

 

20210316_111350

20210316_111350

All Done!

20210316_133936
20210316_133936

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)