Thursday, September 24, 2015

Meanwhile, back to the cabinet swapping...

I have  been working at it for the past few days here and there.

I was debating with myself how I was going to cut the long stopped groove for the machine hinges (2). Should I excavate them by hand or power? Router or drill press? In the end being solid maple I opted to go with power :-)

Since I long got rid of my Sears fixed router, I currently only have a small 1/4 Bosch Colt trim router. Plenty powerful, but I do not have many bits for it and the size required would have necessitated numerous pass to cut a wide enough and deep enough groove. Noisy, noisy, so I went with the drill press and a Forstner bit. Much faster and quieter :-)
Why a Forster bit? Because it is one of the few bits that can cut overlapping holes, even at an angle.

Sizing up the proper bit.
1/2 inch it is.

After setting the depth stop on the quill...

a series of holes are drilled.
The fence interfered with the drill's column, so I free handed it

A quick clean up with a chisel. Then cut the opening wider at the 
mouth to allow the hinge to swing fully up.

Once one hinge was installed, I doubled checked my spacing 
with the machine, then cut the other one.

  After both hinges were fastened, using the previous holes on one side of the old groove, I marked and drilled pilot holes for the remainder screws.

Using a small gimlet I predrilled for the screws

One last check with the sewing machine, everything OK, but it doesn't fit right in the large opening on the top, since I now need to trim it a bit.

More markings and more trimming later, everything fit as it should.
Including the smaller flip board up front.  I had to cut a rabbet deeper on the front flip panel front edge to sink the machine lower up front.

Then realized that the back was sitting a bit lower than the top?
Checked the older top, it was a bit thinner, cut a recess for the hinges, that lowered the hinges in the top low enough to raise the back of the machine up.

Now need to fill the previous holes, and

Then do some veneer patching, near the hinges and by the small flip up board.

Reattach the top and fix the top surface.

Not done yet. Now need to ensure there is some support holding the machine in the lowered position.  Otherwise, the machine is hanging only by two pins secured by a set screw on the pin's shaft of the hinges. I would not put all my trust in that.

Not sure what I can do, most cabinet I looked at seems to only hang the machine by these 2 posts ? Whatever I do must not interfered with the sewer's legs under the cabinet. And if there is room, maybe a drip guard for the machine oil...

Machine flipped down

View from under, I want to put some thing to restrict it.
It is only holding by a set screw on the rear posts (2).

Although the top is solid wood, I put in  couple of solid wood patch to hide a couple boo-boos on the top. Good practice for later work on a few more of my wife cabinets :-)

Need to sand the top and refinished.
Then deliver to happy friend.

Bob, modding sewing machine cabinet


  1. Interesting on how such a heavy machine relies on two small set screws to keep it secure.

  2. The two set screws are rather substantial screws, but still, only two set screws which grab on a round post!. Some have flats on the post or a depression, I'm guessing as an added insurance, but it still doesn't gives me a very secured sentiment.
    In this case, the Kenmore being cast aluminum, it is a lot lighter than the old cast iron Singer, but they always relied on the same attachment system.
    Maybe I'm worrying too much?

  3. Hi Bob, Terry McClean from the OWA here.

    I've been enjoying your blog and look forward to seeing your veneer patch as I have a similar repair to make on one of my wife's sewing machines.

    Have you made any postings on sharpening carving tools? I'm still sharpening but know I can get better.

  4. HI Terry.
    Thanks, no I haven't done the patch yet on one of the cabinets i'm working on.
    But i'll blog on it for sure (need something to blog about :-)
    I have not covered sharpening carving gouges yet neither. Probably will in the future, especially the dreaded V tool, ooohhh...:-)