Makeover - DIY Scaffold board topped Singer sewing machine tables

September 08, 2014

{Photo taken by Alison Hammond for Ideal Home Magazine June 2014}

What do you do you get when you need a big dining table, don't want to spend a fortune and have a creative husband? A table made out of scaffold boards and singer sewing machine stands, that's what.

We had first seen Singer stands used as a table base in Liberty London for a cost of £1695! Crazy money but we loved the idea so set about making our own version for less than £80. 

Inescole Singer Stand Table 
We went onto eBay, our favourite place for bargains and purchased two Singer stands, complete with the sewing machine still on top. I love the intricate detail in the metalwork, they're so functional as a table base but also so lovely to look at and know the history of them. At dinner parties, people press the treadle with their feet under the table and turn the wheel!

After getting our base, we needed some wood for the top, the original table we saw had glass over the Singer stands which was a cool idea but we just wanted solid wood. We went to our local wood recycling centre, in St Albans, and picked out varying lengths of old scaffold boards. These are wooden planks that have previously been used for scaffolding, they don't have to be perfect condition or the same colour as they'll all get sanded and varnished. For our dining table we used four 2 metre long boards. Your recycling centre should be able to cut these down for you if you don't have access to a saw at home. We've had some fun {and scary!} drives home with huge bits of wood hanging out the back of the car!

Ben then sanded all the boards back with an electric sander to the desired finish. Ours are left quite rustic but you can make them smoother if you wish. Don't be afraid if they look too light in colour at this stage. 

We then stained and sealed the boards with Yacht varnish which protects them, darkens them and brings out the grain of the wood. Give the boards two or three coats of varnish. 

To join the boards, screw a 6cm x 2cm x 3 scaffold board width baton running perpendicular to the boards that is one less board wide than your table. We have a 3 board wide baton screwed underneath at each end which then lines up with the table top. 

We loved how little it cost and how easy it was to make our dining table that we got two more Singer stands, this time from Kempton antiques market and made two garden tables the same way. They are smaller so just have one stand under each table and smaller boards. 

One sits on our patio and one is up the top of the garden but if we have a big BBQ in the summer they can join together to make one big table. We decided to keep the original scaffold metal edges on show for the outside tables. 

Hope this has inspired you! There will be two more posts coming up in the next few weeks with other use for scaffold boards including kitchen shelves and jewellery hooks.

R <3 xx

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  1. Hi Rebecca
    Lovely post - can I ask where you got your bench from in the dining room - its beautiful, wonder if it's an EBay find? Happy travelling, looking forward to reading about your adventure on your blog.
    Thankyou, XXX

  2. Your dining room is such a cozy and inviting space - the table is awesome!

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  4. Excellent looking table. The tutorial is great and exceptionally detailed which will certainly will help a novice woodworker like me to accomplish a usable table. Thanks. I am going to build a console table for the dining room. see more: toolsadvisors

  5. I found a project about how to build a dining table and liked it but I wanted to make a few adjustments to it. I needed to make it a bit larger for our dining room. My wife wanted a table that can sit 8-10 people. With a few adjustments on the length I was able to make this table 44 inches wide and made it 90 inches long. Let me just say by adding to the size it adds a lot more weight to it as well.
    For the table top I used 4 2x12. I trimmed each end the best I could with a hand planer and sanding before gluing. This gave me about 44 inches after words.
    As for the base I didn't change much other then the legs. My wife wasn't thrilled with the block like style legs so I was able to find legs in the lumber section at Lowe's that I was able to use.
    For the base and legs I painted them first with a greenish blue paint then on top of that I used an off white color and lightly sanded it to give that distress look. It's hard to tell from the photo but in person it really looks good.
    I am pleased with the way it turned out, hope this helps.

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  12. That's a trendy dining table! How long did it take you to use the palm sander and smoothen the wood?

  13. Stunning work Rebecca! Old Singer machines always make for a fantastic base for any project, their beauty and charm certainly passes on to the final result. I see you used a sheet sander and while they are great all-rounders, consider reading some random orbital sander reviews and pick one up, they are faster, easier to use and the finishing is unbeatable! Congratulations on the beautiful results and keep it up!

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  16. Hi Rebecca, I love this table it is beautiful. Just wondering does the table then just rest on the singer bases or is it fixed somehow?

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