Monday, August 7

Day 11 - Sewing Center

This was a Friday, often an odd day, sometimes a long day because I don't like to leave things half-done over the weekend. But the power usage constraints that we've been asked to comply with forced me to close up early -- intending to get back to finish up after supper. But Marie had other plans for our evening, so I didn't get the drawer box lumber planed all the way to finished thickness. I'll need that lumber first thing Monday morning, we were away all day on Saturday, so I took a couple of hours Sunday afternoon to finish that step. Normally this is forbidden, but under these circumstances...

So, "today" I installed the large drawer guides and permanently assembled the larger pedestal.

Then I took a little time to put away the tools and clean up the shop before roughing out the poplar lumber for drawer boxes and planning it to 1/2" thickness.

Two of the drawers are almost 10" deep, requiring w-i-d-e boards, so surface planning them was a slow process; take too much off in a pass and the wide shavings choke the planer's dust collection hood. But, I got it done.

Now we're ready for Monday.

We are coming up on a step that is difficult to do by remote... fitting the opening in the cabinet top to the machine to be used in it. In the past, the lift used in these cabinets had two positions: 'up' and 'down'. In the UP position, the shelf the machine rides on comes up to seal the opening in the cabinet top, regardless of it's size. Then we found a professional version that offers a mid-way position -- they call it the "free-arm" position, but I believe that to be a misnomer. This would be the typical working height when using the sewing machine in normal mode. To use the free arm (if your machine has one) you'd want to raise it to the full height.

When Marie was a professional seamstress, they had commercial sewing cabinets that were designed to accommodate most any standard sewing machine. The biggest aggravation she had with them was that the large gap left around the machine (being a generic cabinet) allowed her rulers, scissors, and what have you to fall through. It would have been nice to have the opening more precisely fitted to each machine to reduce the time spent retrieving her tools.

So that's what I've been discussing with Paula. She has measured the case on her machine as 14.5" by 6.125". I would like to keep the opening as snug as possible; maybe 1/4" gap all around, but worry that if the machine should shift at all, it may get clunked by the cabinet top as it rises into working position.

With a narrow gap, there is no room for cleats around the base of the machine, so perhaps I could route out a pocket in the lift shelf -- 1/4" deep or so -- that would serve to hold the machine in position. But then a non-skid pad may be all that is required, and would be less laborious.

Still pondering that one. I have a little time to do so because I must first get the drawers built and the doors mounted. And make and mount the feet. But I like to know where I'm going before I get there.

Thanks for looking in. See you again Monday.



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