Mother's Sewing Machine Cabinet

Build a wooden sewing machine cabinet with these instructions, diagrams and materials list.

| November/December 1983

Are you looking for an attractive way to keep a handle on your needlework necessities?

A sewing machine — and its associated notions — can take up a considerable amount of space in a small home . . . and, even in a spacious abode, it's all too easy to lose track of bobbins, needles, scissors, thread, etc. Well, to solve such storage problems, and to make it possible to keep those accessories (and the machine itself) out of sight when they're not in use, researcher Clarence Goosen has designed an attractive and functional piece of cabinetry. Clarence's sewing machine cabinet sports a fold-out worktable, four cabinets to hold large items (such as material), and a half-dozen drawers suited to the smaller paraphernalia that are so fundamental to sewing. Constructing MOTHER EARTH NEWS' sewing machine cabinet is a straightforward cabinetmaking project that'll require a table (or radial arm) saw with combination, panel, and dado blades . . . a router and a rabbeting bit would be very helpful here . . . and assorted hand tools. Most of the joints in the cabinet are open mortise and tenon or dado (both of which can be prepared with the tools just mentioned), but finger or dovetail joints would be best for the drawer sides. These may be cut by hand with a backsaw or with a jig and router.

Assembly Order

The exploded drawing we've included should give you most of the help you'll need in building the sewing machine cabinet, but Clarence has some hints about the assembly that should make the process go more smoothly. Begin by preparing all of the major structural parts before you attempt to glue the sewing center together. By doing so, you can check for fit in advance . . . which will help avoid the agonizing problem of reaching a crucial stage and finding that a piece won't slip in. (The cutting of the doors, drawers, and trim, however, can wait for the completion of the frame.)

[1] Because most of the dadoes are in the sewing center's sides, it's a good idea to get those pieces out of the way at the start. After marking them carefully, relieve 3/4"wide by 3/8"-deep slots at the positions shown on the drawing. Then rabbet the inner ends of the sides . . . making them 3/8" wide and 3/8" deep, using either the power saw or the router.

[2] The lower divider must also be dadoed to 3/4" wide by 3/8" deep on one side to accommodate the drawer slides. Like the parts we readied in the previous step, this panel extends to floor level . . . with dadoes to hold up the sewing center's base.

[3] Prepare the top — which has a 3/4"wide, 3/8"-deep dado and 3/8" rabbeted ends — and the base piece.

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