Hi everyone. This post is long-overdue! I have promised many people a post on how we (ahem, my DH) took a $99 Ikea table and turned it into a customized sewing machine table. Unfortunately, we didn't photograph the process, but I have taken lots of pics of the finished product so that I can try to describe it to you in detail.
Essentially, we bought a basic Ikea table (I think it is this one). Then we bought a piece of unfinished hardwood that's about 3/4" thick and two pieces of 2"x3" (? maybe it's a 2x4 and I'm an idiot?). Look in the scrap bin at your Home Depot because it really won't be seen.
The first thing I did was take off my accessory caddy and place my machine onto a large piece of paper. Then, from straight above, I traced a pencil outline onto the paper. I cut out the outline so that I basically had a paper footprint of my machine.
At this point you need to think through how you will get your machine INTO it's hole. Some machines have funky architectural aspects. Mine, for instance, has a sloping sewing surface as well as a base that is bigger than the sewing surface level. Because of this, I made my shape have a larger open right side so that I could slide my machine into it's slot. This will make sense later in the post.
Lay your footprint paper onto the table surface and move it around to find the spot that works best for you. Take into consideration how far back you like the machine from the front edge of the table, how much table space you prefer on the right vs the left of your machine, etc. Once it's in the right spot, tape it down and trace a line around it onto the table surface.
Now the cutting begins! Remember that it is very ok to cut your hole too small, but it is NOT OK to cut it too big. Start by making a hole in the middle of your space with either a very large drill bit or a hole bit. Then you can jigsaw out to your line and around your line until your footprint falls down. Don't think about finishing this edge just yet! There will probably be lots of trial and error before the final edge shape is ready to be smoothed with sandpaper.
At this point, slide or place your machine into the spot to see how it works. Use a pencil to sketch onto the table where you need to cut or shave some more off. Keep tweaking until you achieve the right hole. Here is my machine footprint opening:
Once those are in, you will use screws with wing nuts to attach the machine shelf. The reason we do it this way is so that you can use the wing nuts to adjust the height of the machine shelf to give you a perfectly smooth sewing surface:
Your sewing surface is level and your cords are off the table!