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Some advice on tables
quiltingwolf
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Date: 4/26/13 11:07 AM

I'm currently starting a plan to redo our house to have it with less clutter cooler and neater. As a reward to myself I want to get a new sewing cutting table. I currently have the Joanns one which as become wobbly and because of the diagonal way the legs go for the the drop leaves you can't really store anything under it which is a pain. And I'm wondering if it's too high for me causing me a lot of back pain cutting down on my sewing time. I'm 5'4" but have long legs and arms. When I'm standing at that if I stand more then 20 minutes the pain starts. I got a new office chair for sewing machine and that's helping. I know we talk about tables being too low but how about too high? I guess my best bet would be a table top and adjustable legs from Ikea. I want go go as cheap as possible.

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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 4/26/13 11:24 AM

I use a fatigue mat at the cutting table as well as at the ironing board.

My cutting table was custom made and I selected elbow high so I could reach across it.

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Janie Viers
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Date: 4/26/13 11:54 AM

I have a low rolling drop leaf table meant for some purpose other than what I use it for, but I put a cutting mat on it and cut sitting down. It's too much bending when standing that causes my back to hurt.

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JanieV

quiltingwolf
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In reply to Janie Viers <<
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Date: 4/26/13 2:52 PM

That's what I was thinking something low enough to sit at and put a machine on if necessary when embroidering or just quilting something big. Not sure I could rotary cut sitting down.

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elizajo
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Date: 4/26/13 7:25 PM

When my lower back was really hurting, I tried sitting down at a 30" tall table for rotary cutting quilt strips. It didn't work for me-- I couldn't see well nor cut straight. So I found a counter that is 36" and learned to use it. I found that I had to change my grip on the cutter, but I also wasn't feeling the tension in my shoulders and lower back. Now it seems natural.

Also, tiny things like the wobbly table might make a difference if you're compensating in some way like bracing it with your other hand or leg.
-- Edited on 4/26/13 7:26 PM --

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Elizabeth

Warbler
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In reply to quiltingwolf <<


Date: 4/26/13 9:06 PM

I am petite like you and found 32'' a good cutting height. I work part time at my LQS where the tables are 36'' which is too tall. My hands and wrists are at odd angles and after a while my hands are painful but when I cut at home I have no fatigue.

I saw a cutting table made from 3 Expedit cubes with a furniture grade plywood top covered with a cutting mat but I do not recall where I'd seen it.

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CM_Sews
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Date: 4/26/13 9:41 PM

In one of Debbie Caffrey's quilt books, she recommends this Ikea Varde base cabinet as a cutting table. The product dimensions are
Width: 69 1/4 "
Depth: 25 5/8 "
Height: 35 3/8 "

It's at kitchen-counter height, which will save your lower back. It's just under 6-feet long, so you can handle some longer pieces of fabric, and there's great storage - 3 drawers and 2 large shelves.

It's about 26-inches deep, so you can put one or more cutting mat that is 24-inches wide on top, for example: 24-inch cutting mat. Debbie Caffrey liked that she could walk around the table to do second or third cuts from the other side of the table without disturbing the fabric. She was cutting only quilts, not garments.

If I had the room, I'd consider putting 2 of these back-to-back to create a 51-inch by 69-inch garment cutting table, with storage accessible from either side of the now double table.

CMC

quiltingwolf
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In reply to CM_Sews <<


Date: 4/26/13 10:59 PM

that looks nice but no way affordable right now.

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sings2high
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Date: 4/26/13 11:03 PM

I got a great dining room table at a yard sale. It's rectangular, 3' wide by 6' long, but can be extended to 8' long when needed. Love those yard sales!

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Measure twice, cut once. While this saying is useful in many ways, I have no qualms about editing my posts.

UFOs completed in 2014: 1 - woohoo! finished my oldest UFO - an apron cut out in the mid-80s with a pattern from the mid-40s! and the bias binding promptly disintegrated in the wash! Ok, it was from my Great-Grandmother's stash, which means it was bought anytime from the 1910's to 1970's.
Projects started recently completed in 2014: 1
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tinflutterby
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Date: 4/27/13 2:37 AM

You might check your library for Dream Sewing Spaces by Lynette Ranney Black. She talks about ergonomics (including how to figure out heights for your body) and I found it very helpful.

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