Sewing Cabinet, a set on Flickr.
For years, Georgia has mentioned that she would like to get back into sewing, if only she didn’t have to use the featureless (although still serviceable) Kenmore machine we’ve owned for 25 years, and had a place to store it permanently. We got her a wonderful new Bernina machine which she liked because of its features, and I thought was cool because it has a USB socket to plug into the computer to download software and a vast catalog of fancy stitches and monograms. But it looked crappy on the blue card table. Unfortunately, our searches for sewing cabinets came up short. No furniture store stocks them, the sewing machine stores don’t really have anything nice, and there wasn’t anything good online.
I’ve wanted to learn a new skill.
My ham radio friend Don Taylor is, in addition to being interested in radios, computers, model trains, motorcycling and RC airplane models, quite a woodworker with several handsome clocks to his credit.
One day last August, Don and I were talking about what we might do this winter once we had to put our motorcycles away for the cold weather. Suddenly, a light bulb went on in my head, and I asked Georgia if she might like a handmade sewing cabinet. We looked at online resources and came up with a plan for the perfect cabinet .
I asked Don if he would be interested in teaching me how to make it, and after talking it over with this step-son Warren (who owns the garage with the woodworking shop), he agreed. We started out poring over the plans, and then I ordered a bunch of hardware from one of the many online woodworking shops; we went to Grand Junction to buy some cherrywood plywood and other wood materials, and visited one of Don’s friends who had a supply of cherrywood sitting in his back 40; it had come, I learned, from a Tennessee casket factory in trade for a handmade billiard table. Long story.
We started in mid October, and finished the project by the first week in December. We worked nearly every day working with the wood, carefully measuring everything, and cutting, gluing, sanding and measuring again. Don did almost all of the work, but he taught me the use of all of the tools, and I learned the same lesson Daniel learned from Mr. Miyagi: patience. Do it right, and if you don’t, do it again, and if something doesn’t fit just perfectly, either fix it or do it again.
I took Georgia for a sneak preview a couple of days ago. She loves it.