Make a Simple Quilting Extension Table

Updated on September 18, 2018
hbng84 profile image

An avid fisherman, Youtube creator, and writer, hbng84 is also a devoted husband who, when tasked with DIY project, delivers!

"Honey-Do's" and Brainstorming

While working on fishing related things last Sunday, my wife tasked me with a "honey-do" that diverted my attention to quilting and solving an issue with her sewing machine.

Always ready to brainstorm solutions, I focused my attention on the quilt she was sewing.

As I observed her sew, I noticed she was quilting a fabric that was long and wide. It was rolled and pinned so only the area being sewed laid on the sewing machine table. But, the fabric was wider than the sewing machine table, so it hung over the side and spilled onto the dining room table where she set up her sewing machine.

As she sewed, the fabric would bunch in a pile. She would sew for several "passes", then stop to re-position the fabric, and then start sewing again. She demonstrated this for several minutes; it was clear the process was both a nuisance and inefficient.

Next, she laid several books onto the dining room table, placing them behind and adjacent to the sewing machine table. She re-positioned the fabric and started sewing again.

This time the fabric laid flat on the sewing machine table and on the books serving as an "extension table". There was fabric still hanging over the "extension table" and onto the dining room table but much less than before.

As she sewed with the "extension table", I clearly saw the difference - the fabric was not bunching in a pile, and my wife was able to sew without stopping to re-position the fabric!

Her workaround using books worked but was a temporary solution. She wanted something better; therefore, she tasked me with a "honey do" to make a simple quilting extension table!

More Brainstorming: Requirements

With the "honey-do" task at hand, I decided to do a little more brainstorming before purchasing material. In my day job, I am an analyst responsible for developing and implementing processes and products.

Out of habit, I began defining requirements for a Simple Quilting Extension Table. In short order, I came up with the requirements below (no order of precedence):

  1. Simple - Designed to be built in an hour or less
  2. Availability - Parts are readily purchased at Home Depot
  3. Labor - Minimize labor by keeping cutting, sawing, shaping, etc low
  4. Economical - Minimize material cost targeting $20 or less
  5. Portable - Readily installed/removed without special tools
  6. Robust - Can be used on other sewing machines and/or "dining room tables"
  7. Ergonomic - Matches color scheme of the primary sewing machine used

Keeping the requirements noted above, I made a Simple Quilting Extension Table and provided details below for others who want to make one, too!

Materials and Tools

To make a Simple Quilting Extension Table, start with gathering the materials and tools listed below (or substitute items as needed).

  • One 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 24" Poplar Wood Square
  • One 12" x "24" White Shelf ("Essential")
  • Four Glides - Metal Threaded 1-1/16"
  • Four Felt Pads 1" Beige
  • Four Brass Phillips Head Wood Screws #8 1-1/2" (can use non-Brass)
  • Screw Cover White (optional)
  • Rubber Band

Next, here are suggested tools:

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits - various sizes dependent on Glides and Screws used
  • Countersink - matched to the size of the Screws used
  • Tape Measure


Glides - 1-1/16"

SoftTouch Screw In Leveling Glides for Straight Wooden Furniture Legs - 1-1/16" (4 piece) Brass, Round
SoftTouch Screw In Leveling Glides for Straight Wooden Furniture Legs - 1-1/16" (4 piece) Brass, Round

Glides used for the legs in this article; holes are drilled into the legs to accommodate the adjustment bolt and the threaded plastic insert.

 

Step 1 - Measure and Cut

The design of the quilting extension table requires four legs cut to length. Begin this step by taking the following measurements (see Photo 1 below):

  • Height of the Sewing Machine Table (A)
  • Width of the Felt Pads (B)
  • Width of the Glide Foot (C)
  • Thickness of the White Shelf (D)

Then, determine the length of the legs to be cut from the 1-1/2" square Poplar wood using the formula: Leg Length = A - (B+C+D)

For the quilting extension table described in this article, the measurements were:

  • Height of the Sewing Machine Table (A) = 3-1/2"
  • Width of the Felt Pads (B) = 1/4"
  • Width of the Glide Foot (C) = 3/8"
  • Thickness of the White Shelf (D) = 5/8"

Calculating Leg Length came to 2-1/4" (showing our "work" of course):

  • 3-1/2" - (1/4" + 3/8" + 5/8") in fractions
  • 3.5" - (.25" + .375" + .625") converted to decimals
  • 3.5" - (1.25")
  • 2.25" or 2-1/4"

Finally, cut the four legs to the calculated leg length.

Photo 1 - Measure
Photo 1 - Measure

Step 2: Glide Assembly

The glides enable setting the extension table's height to the same height as the primary sewing machine's table.They also allow adjusting the height to other sewing machines as needed.

In Step 2, the glides are assembled:

  • Locate each legs center by drawing a line from corner to corner as shown in photo 2 below.
  • Then, mark a point (X) that is off-center as shown in Photo 2a. This is where the glide's plastic insert and adjustment bolt will be inserted once holes are drilled. The off-center point is used so as not to obstruct the wood screws used to install the legs to extension table.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for drilling the holes for the glide. For this article, it called for drilling a hole with a 3/8" drill bit to a depth of 1-1/2", followed by a 5/8" drill bit to a depth of a 1/4".
  • Next, insert the glide into the legs per the manufacturer's instructions. For this article, this was simple - firmly tap the plastic insert into the hole, then scrw in the adjustment bolt.
  • Finally, apply the felt pads to the glide's foot. Photo 2b below shows the Glide installed and ready for the next step.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photo 2a - Locate Center and Mark Off-Center point to be drilled for the Glides.Photo 2b - Felt Pad attached to the Glide's Foot, and the Glide installed.
Photo 2a - Locate Center and Mark Off-Center point to be drilled for the Glides.
Photo 2a - Locate Center and Mark Off-Center point to be drilled for the Glides.
Photo 2b - Felt Pad attached to the Glide's Foot, and the Glide installed.
Photo 2b - Felt Pad attached to the Glide's Foot, and the Glide installed.

Step 3 - Installing the Legs

Almost done... Step 3 details installing the legs:

  • Measure a point 2-1/4" from the long side (or length) of the shelf and 2-3/4" from the short side (or width) of the shelf.
  • Drill 1/8" hole at this point, drilling completely through the shelf,and then countersink the hole; repeat for each corner of the shelf.
  • Next, mark the center of each leg as was done for the Glide Assembly in Step 2 and opposite of the installed Glide.
  • Then, drill 1/8" holes at the center of each leg for a depth of 1/4".
  • Finally, using the Wood Screws, attach the legs to the shelf (see Photo 3 below).

Photo 3 - Installing the Legs
Photo 3 - Installing the Legs

Step 4 - Almost There... Final Adjustments!

The Quilting Extension Table is almost complete. Step 4 details the final adjustments to finish this "Honey Do"!

  • After the legs are installed, insert the Screw Covers into the countersunk holes to cover the screw heads. Note: Wood putty or similar covering material can be used; the intent is to cover the screw heads so as not to catch on material being sewed.
  • Next, set the Quilting Extension Table against the Sewing Machine Table, leaving no gap between the their surfaces. Then, adjust each leg's height using the adjustment bolt so both tables are level with one another.
  • Once level, use Rubber Bands to secure the legs of the Quilting Extension Table and the Sewing Machine Table as shown in the Photo 4 below.

Photo 4 - Tables are level and legs are secured with a rubber band
Photo 4 - Tables are level and legs are secured with a rubber band

All Done!

All done for those who want to move on to other "honey do" tasks or better yet, go back to your interest like fishing!

Or, you can smooth any rough edges on the legs, and paint them to match the shelf's color.

Also, the design can be readily modified to make it more permanent such as replacing the rubber bands with some other means.

It is up to you and your Significant Other to decide on how much more is wanted to complete the project. In my case, I got the thumbs up that my task was done!

Plus, a quick review of the requirements mentioned at the beginning of the article confirmed all were satisfied!

  1. Simple - Designed to be built in an hour or less
  2. Availability - Parts are readily purchased at Home Depot
  3. Labor - Minimize labor by keeping cutting, sawing, shaping, etc low
  4. Economical - Minimize material cost targeting $20 or less
  5. Portable - Readily installed/removed without special tools
  6. Robust - Can be used on other sewing machines and/or "dining room tables"
  7. Ergonomic - Matches color scheme of the primary sewing machine used

Readers' Poll

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 hbng84

    Comments

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      • hbng84 profile imageAUTHOR

        hbng84 

        12 months ago

        Thanks Susan! Article sharing how to make one is my intent. No plans to copyright other than the article

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

        Susan Hazelton 

        12 months ago from Sunny Florida

        What a wonderful idea. I could have used it for the past 20+ years. You should copyright it and put it into production. You wife is a lucky woman.

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