Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Desk Idea from the Steampunk Laptop Workshop

While the steampunk laptop was fascinating, it wasn't exactly an "everyday use" sort of object. In poring over the pictures of the original fabricator's workshop (display shop?), however, I glimpsed something that I thought would be: a sewing table used as a desk. This is a simple, elegant idea. Sewing tables are relatively easy to find -- sewing machines were as ubiquitous in households in the 1800s and on through the 1950s as a personal computer is today -- and a very quick search of ebay yielded multiple affordable options. This one was my favorite:

Sewing machine tables have a lot of clever engineering that would suit our current working styles. The tabletop on the left of this one probably drops down. The treadle would make a nice footrest for the height-limited among us. It is hard to tell on this specific one, but often the tops of the tables where the sewinng machine sits was designed to flip down making a solid tabletop for laying out patterns or cutting -- or for putting a laptop? I'd remove the sewing machine (or find one where the machine is already removed) so that it wouldn't get in the way. The drawers on the sides would be convenient for many things -- power supply cords, pens, i-pods, etc. etc.

Steam -- 80% points off for getting rid of the machine
Punk -- 30% for reuse


Laura McD. said...

Oh, we have that exact sewing machine! It is a very lovely tabletop. I can definitely see converting it into a laptop desk, if I weren't so very attached to the sewing machine itself. That was a very good year for Singer. :D The machine does flip down into the table, and the side flap actually flips upwards and covers the spot the sewing machine was. It isn't a very tall desk, either, so it's still comfortable for someone as short as I am.

Unknown said...

I used those exact same legs for the Computational Engine! I love the wrought iron. Don't worry, I didn't sacrifice a full sewing machine, I just found the legs somewhere.


GeoWend said...

One of the annoyances out there is how it is getting harder to find the treadles and the cabinets together. A lot of folks simply throw away the old cabinet, and make it into a table. (I am also told that the Uno pizza parlors have been snagging a lot of them so that they can do just that).

This said, I have been tempted to take a page out of the design of the drop-down sewing machine table and make something like it for my typewriter.

http://www.treadleon.net/ has a lot of info on such things...(for sewing machines, but the information and techniques may be useful to you.

howtosurvivecollege said...

Hey, that's a great idea! A while back I saw one of these folding sewing machines and thought that it would make a great computer table with the right modifications. Lo and behold, someone else thought the same. I have to say, though, that this is a much more elegant implementation than I had thought of.


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