Aug 18, 20163840 views

The thin line between madness and perfection

After having recently contributed to the San Francisco Bay Area real-estate insanity, my partner and I have been grappling with the problem of allocating the space in our coveted "third bedroom". Being away from most of our family and friends, the natural choice would be to use this room as a guest bedroom to accommodate out of town guests. However, I'm well aware that the needs of a quilter outweigh the needs of the many, and that without many quilts, there's no point having guests sleep over anyways. Alas, after deliberating over many different solutions, we settled on the only answer that seemed fit for our Silicon Valley home: A Box.
This isn't just just any box, rather, I think of it as a magical transformer box custom made by a local carpenter. Innocent and cabinet looking, the first thing you'll notice that is a little strange is the double stacked cabinet top. Inspecting from above, you'll see two oddly placed grommets, a couple hinges, and a seam (that has been carefully cut while maintaining the woodgrain across both panels).
The entire cabinet is made of maple, and the distinctly stained knobs invite you to open the cabinet to explore its treasures.
Welcome, your sewing machine and notions await!
Note, the interior drawers have been set to the exact width of an Aurifil spool.
And the stained horizontal piece attached to the top of the door? That pivots when the door is open. And then there's a small piece of brass sticking straight up, as if it was designed to fit into a grommet somewhere... I guess you see where this is going...
Wait for it...
And of course, the right-hand side door is setup in a similar fashion:
Here's a view of the entire table, fully opened. The tabletop space is twice as large as when closed, due to the double stacked folding top.
Once deployed, access is granted to the sewing machine via removing the top panel which is inset into the table top: (The corner is cut out to allow for cables to be fed through the tabletop if working with a smaller/lighter machine).
Housed in the cabinet is a Janome 1600P, this beast weighs over 30 pounds (14.5kgs), but is balanced on a hydraulic lift, so a minimal amount of effort is required to raise the machine to tabletop height:
Sewing with giant gaps around the throat and needle would prove to be incredibly difficult, so there are L and I-shaped fittings to make for a smooth work surface.
The lift has two height settings, just in case you wanted to work at table height (instead of flush).
I was informed during the photoshoot that I forgot to raise the thread guide. Here it is, setup properly...
I didn't quite understand what all of the extra desktop space was for- apparently sewing machines like to have friends.
The two cubbies on the right hand side are made to fit a cover stitch machine and serger. One last thing to note: When designing the table, we were very careful to center the needle of the sewing machine (rather than the machine itself) on the table:
Countless hours were spent designing, planning, building, modifying, and then finally installing this thing in our spare bedroom. Is it madness or is it perfection, or maybe both? Vote below, or better yet, leave a comment :)
MtnNewf, Will, and 140 others

Brilliant!! Well done!!
I love it! Looks fantastic to me!
Awesome, but pretty much a copy of the Vintage Kenmore unit I picked up at the Goodwill. Nice job.
Exquisite! Now that same artisan can build you a lovely Murphy Bed in a box for the other side of the room, et voila, dual purpose room.
That's already done :) It also has a table, because you gotta cut your fabric somewhere...

beautiful piece. I would love to get one or the plans to make it. :)
Well designed perfection!!!
Love it! Want it!!!
OMG! I think I'm in love! I wish I could have one!!! You can always find someplace to stick your friends and family overnight.
I love the cabinet. I wish I had one! It is perfection!
Wow! Super nice!
Looks fabulous. If you love it when you use it it won't have been madness!
Great job! I'd love to have one of these for my machines!!!
doing what you love is essential to your happiness, I know this wonderful cabinet will bring you lots of joy in the making. It is something you can use all the time and your guests can always use an air mattress when they are there. SEW ON!
Perfection, would be wonderful for my hernia sewing and quilting machine and my Elnita serger
I would love to have this cabinet.
That's a lovely table, well looks naked. Does it have any finish on it? All wood needs to be finished to keep it clean and prevent warping. Sorry for being a "knowitall" but I grew up in the lumber business....can't help myself. Maybe I'm wrong and it just looks naked.
Gasp, we wouldn't leave such a beautiful piece naked like that! It's got a clear coat.
OMG What a thing of GORGEOUS ingenuity and brilliance! Well, well done. Kinda puts my IKEA hack to shame. :D
Stunning!!! I'll bet it brings you alot of joy!!! :-)
The stuff of dreams! As if I didn't think about all things sewing, quilting, fabric, notions, etc enough. This is just more gas to the fire. And I love it! Quilters and sewists are the most creative folks around.
It is almost identical to the one my father built for me, we found the plans in a woodworker magazine and I love it. I wish he had added the shelves on the door like you did. Only other thing I would add is a drop down leaf on the back for quilting And that would call for wheels on the bottom to pull in and out from the wall. Hope you understand what I mean. Beautiful piece of furniture.
I love your custom made box! If you want even more space, check out the Original Scrapbox -
Anyone selling this in NC?? I'd buy!!
Is the machine to far away from me? I would have liked to have it nearer...thinking of appliqueing and such macro work........
Its great, I wish we had someone who could make one local for me, and all the extra top space is great for working on large projects. Great job whoever made it for you
Wonderful. But please ship to Canada!
That is a beautifully designed sewing table and such a great place to both piece quilts as well as a supported larger surface to make machine quilting on a domestic sewing machine easier to handle.
Beautiful piece of furniture well thought out...u could add extension to tbe back for quilting quilt support thst drops down when not in use.just a suggestion with piano hinge..beautifully done n so many in awe of your finished product
are you selling this and for how much. or sell the blue prints