Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table

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Ok, so my poor Bernina is starting to cry about being used on the
dining room table.  She wants her own table in the sewing room, and I
haven't the faintest idea what to look for!  The only cabinet I am
aware of is the Horn.  But does it fit every machine?  Is there
something else I should be looking at?

Give me the things you like/hate about your sewing table/cabinet.
Give me things that I should be looking for (or things that I
definitely shouldn't be looking for) so that I can start figuring out
an appropriate home for my baby Bernie.  It's an Artista 165, if
that's important at all!

TIA,

Dannielle

Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


One day I am going to shoot up to my height goal of 5'10".  Meanwhile, I
have being short to deal with.  I searched a long time for a sturdy SM table
that would adjust to whatever height I happened to be at the time.
    The wonderful SM tables here are wood drafting tables.  You can see what
I'm bragging about at www.amazon.com and they call them 'multi-use writing
table w/1 drawer'.  They are very nicely constructed.  We've actually had
guys who love to work with nice wood designs climb around them to take
measurements and notes.
    The table tilts if you want to try tilting your SM for better vision.
(Didn't like that.)  It has a groove across the front edge and holds lots of
good stuff and there's a small drawer for the other tools you need handy.
Best yet - it adjusts all the way down to 25" from the floor which puts the
bed of the SM at the right height for me.  They're about $ 125.
    Whatever you choose, do pick one that is rugged. I'm astounded at the SM
dealers who set their lovely machines on flimsy tables that bow in the
middle from the weight.  That's almost as dumb as running a $6,000 with an
old bent needle.  Polly


"Dannielle" <wrote> Ok, so my poor Bernina is starting to cry about being
used on the
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Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


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Oh Polly.  I wish I had a tiny speck of your humor!  I laugh at almost
every post you make on this newsgroup and I look forward to reading
every day!  I, too, am vertically challenged (in my own mind at
least).  I do want to make sure I am getting a table at a proper
height, so I was looking at ones that have a power lift.  I can sew
sitting or standing (for a change of pace). But I had forgotten about
the tilt affect.  Sometimes that sounds like a neat thing, but I think
I would want to try it out for myself.

Thanks for the thoughts!   I'm making a list, and checking it
twice...which reminds me....we are only about 4 1/2 months from
Christmas aren't we?

Dannielle

Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


Not exactly, Dannielle.  It seems to me that lots of folks start putting up
their Christmas trees and decorations the Friday after Thanksgiving.
    We will tell no jokes before it is time.
    Meanwhile, back to the sewing machine table, there's a 'real' one here
with a Singer that folds down inside.  That one sits about 3" higher than
the drafting tables (even with the SM set in).  Did you follow that?  To
compensate, I crank my chair up higher and put the foot control on a hefty
phone book.  Not something I'd like to do for a long session.  Good luck
with your search; it's worth it to have everything as right as you can get
it.  Polly



"Dannielle" <wrote, in part> Thanks for the thoughts!   I'm making a list,
and checking it
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Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


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I have found that most of the ready made cabinets that house sewing
machines, don't have enough leg room for me to move around in while I
sew. You have to assume the position that they want you to assume when
they build the cabinet. Now, if that position is one that you would
have taken yourself, then fine, but don't try to do something
different, as to leg placement. You will run into the side wall of the
cubby hole of that pricey cabinet. Now, if the priority is to hide
your sewing machine in plain sight, then a cabinet might have some
utility, but once again at the cost of mobility of position. I have
chosen to use sewing tables constructed for the express purpose of
being able to move across the whole front of the sewing table to do
various things while sewing. This has proven to be the most efficient
use of space for me. Put all the accessories in some other cabinet and
leave the sewing area for sewing. I came to this conclusion not only
by trial and error, but by looking at what a professional sewist uses
in a commercial setting. Most often, the industrial machines are
tables with unlimited leg space underneath them and no cabinetry
anywhere to be found. You have to ask yourself; are they trying to
tell you something? They would use cabinets if it made more sense to
do so, but it doesn't. They sew for hours on end and comfort is the
overriding factor in having a productive workforce. If the sewist is
not comfortable, then they are not going to be able to devote full
attention to the job at hand. You don't have to be a cabinet maker to
do a table top set-up. You can go the the home improvement stores and
combine off the shelf items to make the sewing table that will work
for you. Sewing height is one of the most important things to
consider. I made my tables purposefully tall and cut the legs down in
small increments until I hit on the sweet spot for myself. That turned
out to be 26-1/2" tall from the floor to the top of the table. With a
free arm machine on the table and ready to sew, it brings the angle of
my elbow to 90 degrees as it extends my forearm out from the elbow
when seated and ready to sew. This is the most desirable position. I
have a smaller table placed at right angle to the end of the sewing
table so that I can put either a small ironing pad and an iron, or a
serger, depending on if I am quilting, or construction clothes. I am
able to just spin and do which ever job I need to do without getting
up and going over to an ironing board or serger in some other area of
the room. The other thing to do is get an adjustable height sewing
chair that is made for the purpose. They look like office chairs, but
don't have arms, and are made to have all the adjustments that will
allow for height and back angle correction so that you have the
perfect sitting position. I just spent 9 hours straight, the other
day, sewing a quilt and I would not have been able to do it without
those two items, which made that marathon sewing endeavor possible. If
you only sew for short periods, you might not notice the effects of
long hours of sewing. But let me tell you, you won't want to go back
the next day for more pain if you don't have the most perfect sewing
station, of whatever kind, to pull those kinds of hours of work off.
Give these ideas some thoughts. They have proven to be useful for
commercial sewing shops, and they have worked for me, and many another
sewist, who spend long hours at the machine. I know those cabinets
will all the cute little drawers look intriguing, but from a
production standpoint, they don't stand the test of time, at least,
for me.

John

Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


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Thanks for the well thought out commentary John!  Lots of good things
to think about.  I have studied ergonomics, and am aware of
positioning and what I like to feel comfortable for long amounts of
time.  But I hadn't considered the leg movement as a top priority when
I probably should have!  I want my machine to sit down into the table/
cabinet so that I have the ability to have the flat sewing surface.  I
also need it to have the ability to come up so that I can use the free
arm when necessary.  I wasn't considering a cabinet for the need of
storing things, but using that term as a way to describe the machine
setting down into the thing.

I think that I am going to do some traveling around my area and try
out some tables, now that you have given me so much more to think
about!

Dannielle

Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


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There is no reason you can not install a lift into a table top so that
you will have the flat surface for free motion quilting. Just remember
when you have the lift in the lowered position, you will have even
less leg room to work with under the table/cabinet you choose. When I
inset my janome 1600 into the table top to give it a flat surface
working area, it diminished the the leg room under the table top by
about 4". This is where the height adjustable sewing specific chair
comes into play. It makes it possible to sit as close to the sewing
machine as I can on the table with the free arm machine that sits on
the top of the other table. This would not be possible without the
adjustable chair. Just more food for thought.

John

Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2780382100055292175dwLiqq
This is a picture of my sewing table, made by DH to my specifications.  When
I am machine quilting, I set my ironing board behind the table, at table
height.  It stops the quilt from sliding to the floor, and gives me more
room to spread out behind my machine.  I don't have enough floor space to
have a deeper table, but love the ample leg room.  When I am paper piecing
or doing some small projects that require really frequent pressing, I use a
small cutting board or pressing board to the left of my machine, at the end
of the table.  I am really happy with this design.
I have most of my storage elsewhere.

--
Susan
http://community.webshots.com/user/sbtinkingston
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


Check to make sure you are centered on the needle of the machine, not
centered on the machine when you sit down to sew. Many, many tables are
set to "look pretty" with the seating centered on the machine, and if
you are thin you can manage to scootch over and center yourself at the
needle. But those of us who are more "fluffy" have real problems with
these kinds of tables.... yes I have one. sigh.
If you don't have a need to lower the machine into the cabinet, then you
don't need to spend the money on a power lift mechanism. <G> (Those add
a considerable amount to the cost of any cabinet.)
Most tables/cabinets come with an "insert" that is customized to your
machine. (Actually, the companies make lots of different inserts, for
different machine "footprints" <G> )
I like Tracey's Tables (may be Tracy ??). I've seen them and they are
sturdy and very well made. They will even custom make to your
measurements (for a price <G>).
Sew Ezi makes a portable table that is very, very nice. (I like it
better in many ways than my "regular" table. <G> )It is easy to fold up
and carry to class, but could just as easily be set up long term. It is
sturdy, doesn't jump around and so forth. But it is a bit on the small
side.....you would need extra support for large things, or for quilting
larger quilts. <G>

Good luck, have fun, and let us know how the search goes.

Pati, in Phx

Dannielle wrote:
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Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


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Pati,

Thanks for the info on the inserts.  That helps me a lot!  I hadn't
seen any mention of these on any of the websites I had looked at, and
I know that different machine have different footprints, so I was a
bit worried about how it would fit into the table/cabinet.

I have heard you speak of the Sew Ezi before as well.  I have looked
at their website, but I think for my sewing studio I want something
with a bit larger table area.  I do plan on getting a Sew Ezi in the
future to take with me to retreats and such when I can start doing
those!

Dannielle

Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


It really depends on your budget- if the sky is the limit, then go with the
Horn with all the bells and whistles and all the associated side cabinets.
I am cheap- and poor- and I built my own table and love it!  It matches all
the cabinets in my 'studio' and can be moved to my next house (someday!)
when I go.  I am centered in front of the needle and I have plenty of
storage and loads of space in front, back and all sides of the sm to support
the quilt sandwich for MQing.  Photos and description here-

http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/2086507780060435514KhNqUV

Have fun searching out the best solution for your needs!

Leslie & The Furbabies in MO.

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Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


My Bernina is in a cabinet but more leg room would be great, although
I do have an office chair on wheels that makes a big difference
when sewing otherwise it would be annoying trying to get in and out !!
Mary




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That is because you are using a cabinet with a defined leg space. With
a table, you have the ability to spin the chair, without hitting
anything and just step away from the chair. No need to move the chair
back to exit the table as with the cabinet. The rollers are helpful in
your application, but a fixed chair, that doesn't move around, with a
table, is a better solution when it comes to sewing as you are not
having to reposition yourself as a result of pushing down on the pedal
which causes a reaction of pushing yourself away from the sewing
position for some people. The old law of, "for every action there is a
reaction", applies here.

John

Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


On Wed, 13 Aug 2008 06:42:47 -0700 (PDT), John


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John, do you have any of your machines set 'flush' with the table top?
-Irene

Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


On Aug 13, 6:00=A0pm, No_Spam_Please@No_Spam wrote:
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Yes, here is a picture of one. It is a Janome 1600 db and is used for
quilting the tops of the quilts together and free motion quilting if I
ever did any.
 http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2006811970100692635NOTSVQ

John


Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


Horn is not the only sewing cabinet company around, but it may well be one
of the most expensive, Dannielle. I have an Arrow cabinet and am happy with
it. I really like that I have the SM flush with the surface, yet can elevate
it easily with the hydraulic lift. Your size and posture characteristics
will affect the type of set up that will best suit you. Be sure to 'try it
out' first, even if you have to lug the SM into the store. HTH.
PAT and Pfilomina Pfaff wish you well

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Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


Dannielle,

I have a Bernina 160, older than your 165. I have a Horn, Quilters
Dream table in my studio, it's a BIG table, w/air lift. They make
plexiglass  inserts for many machine models/manufacturers. I also have
the portable SewEzi, also with a plexiglass  insert for the Bernina
(have an insert for my Featherweight too). I use SewEzi for
classes/quilt retreats. I love the Horn table, but it was very
expensive to me, and although the SewEzi was less than $300 it was
also expensive to me as I am now retired and on a fixed income.

I always sit to the left when sewing and have  always "straddled" the
cabinet left leg.  That doesn't happen with either of my current
tables. I still have that problem when I choose to use one of my old
Singers that are in cabinets.

If you buy a sewing machine table/cabinet from one of the contemperary
manufactureres they usually supply one plexiglass  insert to match
your machine. You can buy other plexiglass  inserts to match other
machines that you may have or purchase in the future.

I find that my chair is most important, I have a good adjustable desk
chair (w/wheels). I can sew anywhere as long as I have my chair or one
like it. I finally talked my neighbor/quilting buddy into getting one,
she found one on another neighbors recycliable pile. She had been
using a diningroom chair (as so many do). My Grandmothers all had
their machines in cabinets and used that stool/bench that was sold to
them with the cabinet. No thought was given to comfort or ergonomics,
it was utilitarian.

Bonnie, in Middletown, VA



On Tue, 12 Aug 2008 12:52:54 -0700 (PDT), Dannielle

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Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


My biggest complaint with commercial tables is the machine placement.  If
there is a knee-hole, the machine is centered over the knee hole.  In
reality, you should be sitting with the needle of the machine centered to
your body for best visibility.

--
Susan
http://community.webshots.com/user/sbtinkingston
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Bernina Sewing Cabinet/Table


Both Horn and Koala cabinets are so the machine is centered in front of you.
Gen

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