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Tips & Techniques > Cheap cutting table

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Posted by: MaryLynn in Long Beach

About MaryLynn in Long Beach star
Member since: 7/2/04
Reviews: 36 (tips: 7)
Favored by: 23 people
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Posted on: 12/28/04 2:13 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 10 people   
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I’m old and cranky and have a bad back, so I craved a cutting table, a nice big cutting table. Two problems stood in my way – big problems. Well, actually, they are problems of having too little…too little money and too little space.

My solution? Two ironing boards and a piece of 3/8 inch plywood that I had cut at Home Depot to exactly fit under my cardboard cutting pad. Most lumber yards/home centers will cut your plywood for free. I paid less than $25 US for the ironing board and plywood, combined and fits behind doors. I set it up in the living room and take it down when DH wants to watch TV. It’s the right height, but adjustable and I can get around on all four sides.

It would have cost less if I had been willing to wait and gotten the ironing board at a yard sale or resale shop. Patience has never been my long suit. One of these days I may get around to padding it, too.

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wendalia said... (3/9/09 10:44 AM) Reply
I live in a tiny tiny house (20 x 23'), but I have an ironing board upstairs and one downstairs and it never occured to me to make a table this way.
Raye of Sonshine said... (3/6/08 10:29 PM) Reply
MaryLynn, what a great idea! May have to do the same as my room is quite small. I have a dresser in here to keep my sewing stuff and the plywood could stand behind that! Thanks!!!
lornakismet said... (4/30/06 10:48 PM) Reply
Hey, I can do this. Please, what are the dimensions of your 3/8" plywood? Just big enough to accomodate a big cardboard mat for cutting patterns? And you could actually have 2 or 3 lengths and join them with brass hinges so you could fold them and tuck them away into the closet. Thanks for sharing this tip. -LornaKismet (Lorna A.)
Gigi Louis said... (2/5/05 4:37 PM) Reply
What a great, and inexpensive, idea!
j222b said... (2/4/05 9:20 PM) Reply
I lift my folding card table (legs down) on top of my ironing board. It's tippy as heck, LOL, but it works nicely as a cutting surface for me, and is better than cutting on the floor. This tippy table technique would not be good if you have small children about!
SewVeryTall said... (12/29/04 3:00 PM) Reply
Great tip...adjustable and portable. Your back deserves this.
Georgene said... (12/29/04 9:35 AM) Reply
Very smart solution! I have a proper cutting table, but would highly recommend this idea for anyone who doesn't. Having the right height table makes all the difference in the world, not to mention being able to walk all the way around it.
joan said... (12/28/04 8:14 PM) Reply
I used this method several years until I got a 'real" cutting table. My adult son was the one who had the idea, one day while listening to me complain about the low height of the dining room table that I was using. I found I couldn't get the two ironing boards adjusted to exactly the same height, so I had to use some shims under the board on the low side. For covering I stapled on a couple of layers of an old cotton mattress pad and covered that with an old worn sheet. It worked great for several years. By the way marylynn, just a couple of weeks ago I gave the extra ironing board to Goodwill. Too bad you coulda' had the really cheap cutting table. I just live a few hundred miles up the road in San Jose.
Lorna C. Newman said... (12/28/04 6:52 PM) Reply
I have also seen old doors used for the same purpose. You might get them cheap at building recyclers or salvage yards.
MaryLynn in Long Beach said... (12/28/04 5:46 PM) Reply
Kris, It's heavy enough that it doesn't slide around at all. Actually, I have to be careful when I put the board on because it doesn't slide very well and if I'm not careful I make an ironing board tippy. When you put the board on, it works best if you are midway between the ironing boards and the plywood board edge perpindicular to the ironing boards.
Kris32 said... (12/28/04 4:45 PM) Reply
Oooh! A+ idea. I have been trying to figure out how to get my cutting mat off of the floor, and this may do the trick. DH and kiddos just got me a second ironing board for Christmas. (Yes, I asked for it.) Do you find it slides around on top of the ironing boards... or does it stick to them when you cut?
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