This section is from the book "Amateur Work Magazine Vol6". Also available from Amazon: Amateur Work.
W. E. Shepleigh
The sewing stand here described is one that was redesigned from a Japanese table, simplified to permit of more easy construction. The original from which it was taken was an extremely useful piece of furniture, but which from long usage reached that dilapidated condition which forbade further repairs, hence a successor was needed, the design of which is shown in the drawing.
The wood used for its construction was mahogany or, more correctly, Mexican baywood, which is so commonly passed off to the novice as mahogany. In this case, however, the less valuable wood is the best to use, owing to the straight grain and easier cutting.
The drawing shows pretty clearly the design and construction, and the work is of such simple character, so that anyone having a fair degree of skill with woodworking tools may turn out a very presentable piece of work.
The legs are 29 in. long and 1 1/4 square. The top is 16 in. long, 14 in. wide and 8/4. thick. It would be advisable to fit cleats 2 in. wide and 8/8. thick to the ends, to prevent warping, although these are not shown. If the top is glued up from three or four narrow pieces, the cleats will not be necessary.
The ends of the top tray are 12 in. long, which allows 1/2. on each end for tenons; they are 6 in. wide and 1/2. thick. The sides are 14 in. long. These lengths are also those for the lower tray, the pieces for which are 4 in. wide and for the rods above it, which are 5/8. wide, and are 1 in. above the upper edges of the pieces below, which are 6 in. above the floor.
These dimensions will permit laying out the stock and cutting all the mortises in the posts, which should be very carefully done.
The bottoms for both upper and lower trays are 13 1/4 x 11 1/4 in. and 1/2 in. thick. The corners are cut out to fit around the posts, and they are nailed in place with 1 1/4 in. wire nails of small wire and heads, after all parts have been fitted and assembled.
The movable tray in the upper part can be replaced with simply the partitions, or it may be made as a separate fixture, as shown. In this case the sides are 12 1/2 and 9| in. long, 4 1/2 in. wide and 8/8 in. thick, provided cloth pockets are desired on the top, or may be 5 1/4 in. wide, if without the pockets. The partitions are made of pieces 1/4 in. thick, the center cross one having fin-.ger holes cut about 1 in. from the top for lifting in and out. The arrangement of the divisions shown is a good one, but can be varied to suit the fancy of the builder. The bottom of the movable tray is 11$ x 9f x i in., the width of the partitions being 1/2 in. less than as given for the sides.
The cloth pockets are made of cretonne or similar material, tacked to the top with upholstering tacks at the ends and bottom. The upper edge is fitted with elastic, tacked at the ends and at the divisions, which are also made with tacks. The hinges are fitted to the ends of the posts, with the pins flush with the rear edge, which permits the top to be lifted to a vertical position without going further backward.