making a table with the legs from a treddle sewing machine

zenpotterJanuary 7, 2006

Hi, I am one of the lukers just waiting to jump in.

I have my grandmothers old treddle sewing machine, the wood is in bad shape. I want to use the metal legs/stand as the legs of an outdoor table. I have thought of trying to find some weather proof material to put a mosaic on (cement would be too heavy). Any ideas of what I could use?

Or any other ideas to make it into an outdoor table?

Any ideas for the wooden case that I could use? I have a use for the drawers.


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Hi Pauline, My DH put treated wood on my treadle base. I have it on my deck with a big pot of flowers in it during the Summer.
Mayme from MI

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 8:02PM
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Check out this site for some inspiration.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trash to Treasure

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 8:39PM
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I know someone with a table like this in their cabin! My Gram sits at the end and works the sewing maching all the time! LOL

I saw it for the first time this summer and thought it was the neatest thing. This man took two machines for his at each end. He used an old wood top that must have been okay but the legs weren't so great.

Maybe since you're putting yours outside, you could find an old glass top? I see an old outdoor table in not so great shape almost every year but have yet been able to pick it up!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 10:01AM
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I have a cast iron base from an old treddle machine as well. I also have a 44" wood square table top that's in need of a base. I want to connect the 2 but am told (by my hubby) that the base is too small for the table top to be stable. I too would like to find a good idea for a top that would maintain the country look yet be safe for the grandkids playing under it.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 2:16PM
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My husband and I salvaged an old sewing base the same way. He used an old baseboard, cut them to approx. 2', and then glued and clamped them together. Once they dried, he beveled the edges, stained and varnished it and it is lovely.We also painted the base with a satin black alkyd paint.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 10:12PM
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Such great ideas, do any of you have photos you could post? Kelly 68 that web site is great. My DH finally understood what I was talking about.

Yesterday I went to the library to see what books I could find. They had several about garden junk etc. I took some out and have been drooling ever since.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 7:49AM
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Here's mine......

Actually I have two and another base that I won't let DH get rid of.

One of them belonged to my MIL, who kept it beside a bed with the leaf of a table on it, covered by a pretty tablecloth. The leaves of tables are the perfect size, length and width, for the size of the base.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 9:56PM
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At a recent craft sale, I saw a table created from the sewing table base plus the granite cutout from a sink. The craftsman gets the cutouts from a coutner fabricator. Being stone, it would be perfect for outside use.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 8:46AM
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Great ideas keep rolling in. I have my eves open for the right thing to make that table top. I need to call around for some cutouts. I have also been wondering about using tempered glass and putting a mosaic on it. Do you think that the glass would be strong enough?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 2:23PM
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I've just acquired a cast iron treadle base that has been sitting out in the garden for as long as I can remember, first my Grandmother's garden, then my parent's (30 years). It's been painted several times and my husband is going to clean it up and paint it back to the original(?) black. Then he will put a wooden top on it. After that it will become a feature inside my house with my latest sewing machine on it, a 1920 Singer Hand cranked. Can't wait.
He's wondering if it will pull apart into it's seperate components for easy paint removal, does anyone know if it can be done? Being so old he's also worried about lead based paint.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 9:40PM
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Cherylnsw, yes the base of the treadle machines do come apart, but having been out side for so many years it may be well rusted together. Take photos of it from all sides so he will have a way of knowing how it should look. I have one with all the pieces, treadle, wheel etc. so it was more work to put tegether than if it has only the legs, but when I ran into trouble I only had to go inside the house to check the treadle with the machine already in it. I'm also lucky enought to have the cast iron bench with little wheels to go with a treadle maching, now that they are painted I to find a wood tops for both of them.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 10:49AM
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Sorry to post late on this one, but I was doing a search on sewing machines and hit your post.No one has addressed the issue of saving the machine.

I will not try to convince you to keep the machine a treadle. Perhaps the wood is unsalvagable. Regardless, it is your machine. Here is my question:

Do is the machine in good shape? If so, please don't throw it away. Some of us actually like the machines. I've heard stories of people throwing the machines away.

Please don't do that. I know it isn't worth anything, but those old machines can salvaged. The ones with good paint can be put into better cabinets or converted to hand cranks. (I taught my five year old son to sew on such a machine)
The really ugly ones have parts that people can use to fix up other machines.

The machine isn't trash. It can sew as it did for your grandmother.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 10:25PM
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As a matter of fact it did sew for my grandmother and for me. I haven't done anything with it yet and haven't truly decided to. After your plea I will either use it as it is or find somone who will.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 7:36AM
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I made a small kitchen table from my mothers machine (it was originally my grandmas). I had to have it welded first (braised) then spray painted the iron. I just used a piece of wood I had in my garage but I plan to put a heavier piece on it --like a butcher block. If someone will tell me how to post a image I'll post a picture. Mousey1004

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 8:11PM
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Hi, I dont usually post here but saw this particular topic and stopped to read. I learned to sew on my mothers old treadle machine and it brings back fond memories.Here is what I did with my treadle machine. Hubby repainted the black paint on all the metal. We removed the top and replaced it with a glass top. It makes a really nice table in our foyer. If I could lay my hands on another I would consider putting a piece of granite or mosiac, and placing it in our courtyard in the garden.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 2:57PM
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It is amazing I keep getting new ideas sent to me. I have yet to do anything with the machine. Other things keep getting put in front of it on the list.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 3:06PM
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