Saturday, February 22, 2014

Building a worktable

Yesterday Michael and I rebuilt my worktable. We broke it down to move it across the room to make a space for my longarm under the track lighting. It was about time to take the canvas surface off and flip it over anyway. A couple of people have asked how I build my table so here are some pix...
Start with four wood shelf units. Any type of wood shelf units will work, I picked these up from a home store. Wood is important because I screw into them. They basically become the legs of the table. 
Use two long 2 x 4s to connect a pair lengthwise and screw them on to opposite sides of the shelf units flush to the tops. Space the two sets apart according to the size of your table. Lay 4' x 8' sheets of 3/4 inch flooring grade plywood across the top, cut to size depending on the desired table width and length. It is nice to have some overhang to staple to. Using flat head screws, screw the plywood into the tops of the self units and into the 2 x 4s. My tables are 60 inches wide to accommodate drapery fabrics. This one is a little over 10 feet long.

Next I use soundboard, also available at home stores. I prefer the pressed fiber board over foam type.
Below are additional sheets, also great for a design wall.
They come in 4' x 8'  and 4' x 4' sheets. Cut to the same size as the plywood top. The first pic shows the table with the sound board laid on top. In the pic below I am stapling on fabric to hold the sound board in place. You can glue the boards down and skip this if you prefer. 
Next layer is batting or extra wide felt. I use a pneumatic stable gun which is really nice, but you can use any type stapler. Simply pull the edges under the table and staple.
Last is a layer of cotton canvas. I use a heavy grade and it will last a very long time depending on how you use it. Because of the sound board I can pin into it and with the batting it's a great surface to iron on as well. Below is the finished table with my tableling strips in place and my drapery bar (sets the length for drapery panels) at the end of the table... this is a standard drapery workroom table surface. Most shops build their tables with 4 x 4 legs and 2 x 4 cross ties. I like having the shelving.
You can see the 2 x 4s in these pix. The table is sturdy and works great for quilts too. I use it for pressing, squaring backing, trimming quilts after they are quilted and also for blocking my quilts.

This morning I started putting supplies back on the shelves and bolts of lining under the table.
The rest of the day was putting more items away, set up my desk and a new work space.

A pic of the boards that Michael cut for me and the canvas side leaders I mentioned in my last post.

Tiered, watching the last Olympic events right now. Looking forward to getting back to quilting!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, thanks for stopping by :0) 


  1. How Exciting ! Your room is really taking shape now :-D Very cool work table !

  2. That's a LOT of work Jo!
    But that table is looking awesome!


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