Sewing Machine Legs

One of my favorite finds are old cast iron sewing machine legs. Most of the these bases tend to be Singer Sewing Machines, which I like because their physical dimensions tend to be the same.

I do have a few odd brands that are fun because they are unique, but it is unlikely that you’ll ever find a matching pair, should you need that.

We have had several complete antique Singer Sewing machines, but the truth is they are worth more cannibalized for parts. The bases are popular and the drawers are often used as well. The heavy sewing head is a relic that few people care to keep around, so they end up in metal recycling.

I picked up these two bases this week. At the time, I thought they were identical, but upon closer inspection, I noticed that the treadle pedal and crank are different. One appears to be much heavier duty than they other.

Sewing Machine Legs
This base has a slightly different casting for the treadle and the crank arm is a steel rod.
iron sewing machine legs
This base has a rigid iron crank arm, compared to the one pictured above.

Differences like this are not a problem. The biggest thing is to ensure that all the cast iron is intact, with no breaks. The next thing, which is relatively common, is to ensure that all four wheels are intact. If not, you will have to shim one uneven leg in some fashion. Also beware of using these on a hard wood floor without some protection, as the iron will dent or scratch wooden surfaces easily.

Table Project

The top photo was taken two summers ago. One day when I was at work at the farm, Charles was on vacation. He simply scrubbed two old bases and painted them with high gloss Rustoleum Paint. He had a six foot long piece of an old work bench for a top. He sanded it just enough to get the roughness out of it. Then he sealed it with three coats of deck sealer, since it stays out year round.

This spring, it will require another sanding, and a couple more coats of sealer and we’ll be good to go for this year. Then again, we’ve enjoyed it, perhaps it’s time to flip it.

Other Ideas

In our kitchen, we have another Sewing Machine base that has a 30-inch round pine top on it. It’s seating for two. We have little cafe-style seating nooks all over the place.

Sewing Machine Legs
Simple Seating for Two

Another place we use these iron bases is by Charles’ barbecue grill. He placed one there, with a polished piece of granite he got from the salvage pile at a local counter shop. He uses it as his prep area for meats and utensils when he’s cooking during the short New England summer.

I’d love to hear what kind of ideas you come up with. Please leave them in the comments below.

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