Thursday, July 28, 2016

Repurposing a Cast Iron Sewing Machine Base

I was beginning to think that I had dreamt that I bought a cast iron sewing machine base.  I must have made 10 trips through the house and barn looking for it.  I walked through cobwebs and through the barn loft until I thought I would faint.

Finally I gave up looking.  R and I were busy today changing out the well pressure tank and replacing some sections of ill installed copper pipe.  Exactly who uses short sections and elbows galore when a straight piece 8 feet long would work perfect?  It was during one of my many trips through the basement and out the basement door that something caught my eye.  There it was.....just where I put it 2 years ago.  
It was 630PM and my local ACE Hardware closes at 7PM.  So I threw one side into my vehicle and took off to buy solid steel rods and acorn nuts.

The rods came in 48 inch lengths which believe it or not was just the length that I thought would work perfect with the glass top.  The base needed to be wider to support the glass top but not so wide that the proportions would look odd.

Dan, my hardware guy, cut threads in the steel rods for me but only after we figured out which size acorn nuts would work best.  He than checked out the thread count and pitch so that he could cut the threads to match.  He used a button die to cut the threads.  I have a complete set in my tool box but I thought he had a thread cutting machine in the back.  It was only after he cut them that I found out he just used button dies.

We double checked the acorn nuts to make sure they worked.....and they did.  Good job Dan.  The cost was a little over 17 bucks.

Tomorrow I'll clean up the base and spray paint it satin black.  I won't need to sandblast it as it doesn't have much rust that can't be removed with a brass brush. It appears that the base was only painted one time, so there is very little loss of detail that happens when multiple layers of paint fill in voids and obscures subtle details.

I'll need to clean the rods with alcohol or paint thinner to remove the protective coating of oil so that the paint will stick.  The only detail that I need to figure out is what I am going to put on the top of the base where it contacts the glass.  Probably some sort of rubber or foam with a sticky back.
By tomorrow night I should have a console table made out of a free piece of tempered glass and a 16 dollar vintage cast iron sewing machine base.

BTW within 1 hour of placing the two table bases out to the curb, they were picked up by a scrapper.

Reuse Repurpose Recycle