How to Repurpose an Antique Sewing Machine Base Into a Unique Table

Updated on June 22, 2019
Anthony Altorenna profile image

Anthony enjoys spending time in the workshop, the kitchen, the yard and out fishing. He writes from his personal experience.

Turn a vintage sewing machine stand into an interesting and useful table.
Turn a vintage sewing machine stand into an interesting and useful table. | Source

Repurposing a $10 Tag Sale Find Into a Unique Table

This project started out with a $10 yard sale find. I've been looking for an old sewing machine base for quite a while, and though the vintage stands are often found at flea markets and yard sales, the asking price is typically more than I'm willing to pay. It's not uncommon to see an antique Singer sewing machine base in good shape and with working trundle selling for $75 or more. Even the crusty and broken old stands are often priced at $50.

A recent stop at a moving sale uncovered this nice White base. The asking price was $20, but the seller was motivated (it was late in the day and the rainy weather reduced the number the number of bargain hunters). She quickly accepted my $10 offer.

White Sewing Machine Base: $10 Yard Sale Find
White Sewing Machine Base: $10 Yard Sale Find | Source

The White Sewing Machine Base: Made in the U.S.A.

Sure, the White sewing machine is not as popular as the well-known Singer brand. The trundle assembly was missing, making the base seem even plainer. But the stand was solid, the cast iron scroll work is subtle yet quite appealing, and it still sports its original paint. Even the little wheels at the end of each leg are intact and spin freely.

Overall, the old base is a good candidate for repurposing into a new table. I just needed an appropriate table top.

Finding a Matching Table Top

Originally, I envisioned a hefty piece of pine or oak with a live edge (where you can still see the remnants of bark and the natural shape of the tree). Searching through my stash of salvaged wood, I found several planks of mahogany that were collected as scraps from neighbor's deck remodel. Perfect!

The mahogany planks are approximately 5-1/2" wide by 28" long and about an inch thick. Edge gluing three planks together created a 16-1/2" wide table top; a nice size for a side table. The smooth grain and reddish color of mahogany looks good with the aged black painted base, and the proportions look right. Here's how I put them together to make the top.


Step 1: Preparing the Mahogany Planks

The side edges of the deck planking are milled with a slight round over. Before edge gluing the planks together, I ran each piece through the table saw to trim about 1/8" of material from each edge. This squares up the boards for gluing. I dry-fitted the pieces together with the best sides facing up, moving them around until I liked the alignment of the grain patterns.


Step 2: Glue the Planks Together

After spreading an even coating of glue along all of the edges and pressing biscuits into each of the slots, I clamped the boards together and set the assembly aside to cure overnight. When edge gluing boards, make sure that all of the edges are drawn tightly together and the adjoining surfaces are flat and even. Wipe away any glue that squeezes out from the joints with a damp cloth.

Since the table might be used outdoors on our deck, I used waterproof glue with biscuits to join the boards together. The biscuit joiner cuts shallow slots into the edge of the board. Spread glue along both edges of the adjoining boards and into the slots before pressing a biscuit into the slots. The biscuits absorb moisture from the glue and swell for a tight fit, adding a lot of strength to the glue joint.

The edge-glued boards before I trimmed the table top to size.
The edge-glued boards before I trimmed the table top to size. | Source

Step 3: Trimming and Sanding

After the glue dried and with the clamps removed, I used a belt sander to clean up both surfaces and to smooth out the table top. Next, I trimmed both ends on my table saw to a finished length of 26" long. Then, I used a palm sander and progressively finer grits of sandpaper to sand the wood smooth.

Danish oil really brings out the beauty of the wood grain.
Danish oil really brings out the beauty of the wood grain. | Source

Step 4: Apply the Top Coat

The table top is finished with several coats of Danish oil. The beautiful mahogany grain comes alive as the oil seeps into the pores of the wood. The color deepens as each coat of oil is applied.

Between coats of oil, I buffed the surface with steel wool. After the third or fourth coat of oil is fully dried and cured, I applied several coats of wax for a smooth, shiny finish that will last for several seasons on our deck. When the finish weathers and fades, a little sanding followed by a few coats of oil and wax will restore the shine and protect the piece for a few more years.

The repurposed White sewing machine table is finished and ready for service.
The repurposed White sewing machine table is finished and ready for service. | Source

More DIY Ideas for Repurposing a Vintage Sewing Machine Base

How would you finish this sentence?

When it comes to repurposed furniture,

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Anthony Altorenna


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        12 months ago

        Your project turned out beautifully! Working to make it useful on a deck is brilliant. Thanks for posting your DIY. Have you ever used old iron bench frames for a project?

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        12 months ago from Houston, Texas

        My parents once purchased an old singer sewing machine base from a farmer who was using it with a large wooden plank upon it to display his vegetables. My parents put a marble base upon it. So your idea of hunting for them and repurposing them is a good idea.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)