Making a craft table with lift for sewing machine

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zannej

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Eddie, I started to think about that as well. I might end up having to set the jack in the middle at the back. I'm still trying to figure out the best positioning. I wonder if turning the jack sideways so the crank would be in the the middle and cranked from the front instead of off to the side... Would that still support well?

68bucks I have no idea how to even set up a linear actuator. I've never actually even heard of one before. LOL. I'm going to google it.

Edit: I googled it and it looks like it would replace the scissor jack.. I'm watching this video now:

To see if I can figure out how to make it work (if I can find one with the motion range I need). Also saw some electric scissor jacks that I'm researching now.
 
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zannej

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It won't let me edit my post now that I've watched a few videos and looked at what I would need.
Thank you so much, @68bucks! The linear actuator may be just what I need. No hand crank. Just need an actuator (I found one with 16" stroke), a 5amp 12v DC power adapter, and a momentary rocker switch.
 

zannej

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My newest sketches based on the idea of using an actuator. Not to scale of course.
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zannej

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That is helpful Eddie. Looks like some sort of glides on either side of the back. That looks like it would offer better stabilization. So, 2 rods might be worth it. I had some other ideas I was kicking around but got tired. This is what I was thinking of for the setup (not including glides).
20v 5A power supply with female adapter jack, pre-wired momentary switch, double wire connector (so I don't have to worry about wire nuts falling off), Eco LLC linear actuator with mounting brackets. I believe the power supply is around $11, switch is around $9, 10 pack of wire connectors is around $8 (so I can use them for other things), and actuator is around $40. (That's rounding up). Sales tax will blow though.
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It's over $21 for a two pack of rods with the glides and the glides themselves are around $10 each. But I found a single 400mm rod with two mounting brackets and two glides for around $10 and I can get a 2 pack of extra rods for $8 (or I could pay a little extra and get two of the one that comes with all the parts. I might just go with the 2 pack in addition to the single rod in case one rod bends. I will only use the brackets at the top as I intend to put the bottom of the rods on to a shelf with holes drilled a bit in so they sink in enough to be held firmly.
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Sorry if I've posted some of the images before. I know this is adding up, but when I consider that the official device for raising and lowering sewing machines is still about $100 more than this setup, it's not as easily used, and doesn't have the same range of motion, this seems like a much better idea.

I'll post the links for my list later.
 

Eddie_T

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It appears to me that the slides are centered on the shelf holding the machine. Reading about it one side must be a slide and the other a slide and a rack since its a rack and pinion drive. The motor and the pinion apparatus must be mounted on the backside of the wood under the shelf.
 

68bucks

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That's another thought, just buy a piece of gear rack and a pinion. Just neeb a little DC motor and a double throw momentary switch. Might be cheaper than a linear actuator.
 

zannej

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Well, I looked it up and the rack & pinions without motors (some of them just the rack) were more expensive than the actuator.

Eddie, do you think the linear actuator would work if centered behind the platform (back of the desk) and the rails were spread out so they were near the ends? The video showing the use of the product didn't even have any guides. It was just secured to a wall with metal plumbing ties and the mounting brackets.
 

Eddie_T

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Well, I looked it up and the rack & pinions without motors (some of them just the rack) were more expensive than the actuator.

Eddie, do you think the linear actuator would work if centered behind the platform (back of the desk) and the rails were spread out so they were near the ends? The video showing the use of the product didn't even have any guides. It was just secured to a wall with metal plumbing ties and the mounting brackets.
I would be a dangerous advisor on this as I have no experience with actuators.
 

zannej

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Fair enough. I've decided that I do need tracks for stability and I've looked at different configurations. I may rule out the 8mm rod type because that is awfully thin and I worry the rails might bend too easily. Not only are they thin, but since they are round the glides can pivot on them and have a little too much play.

So, I'm thinking either a 400mm carriage style rail (about $30 for a pair- including glides) or a T-slot rail style used for routers. I could get a 36" and cut it in half so I have a little extra room on the ends (price is around $14) or 2 pack of 24" rails for around $18. The T-slot rails would fit hex heads and T-heads of various kinds. I'd still have to buy the appropriate hardware. My concern with the latter options is that they might not slide well. I know the fancy rails will cost more, but I wonder if they will give better performance.

On the carriage rails the pros: comes with glides, can work vertically or horizontally, glides smoothly, screw holes on outside of rail so they won't conflict with movement.
Cons: More expensive, length just shy of 16", not sure what size screws to use to attach, will have to mount a plate or block to back of glides screwing down in to glides from the back to be able to attach.

T-Rails Pros: less expensive, can be used with multiple different style attachments for glides, allows for Hex-head or T-head clamps to be installed to lock in place, uses fewer screws to attach, can adjust screws/bolts to fit tighter or looser
Cons: No ball-bearing glide options as far as I can tell, not sure how it performs vertically, might have too much movement inside track, screws go inside the track

I admit that I'm tempted to get the carriage rails and a single router rail for the center just so I could add a locking clamp or knob.
 
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Eddie_T

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I'm interested but it is experimental and I would feel bad if I made an actual recommendation and it ended up binding. I did have trouble with hex heads in my T-tracks and I went to these left over connectors from my old formica counter with the long miter joints. Silicone spray may have done the job but I had these lying in sight and they worked.

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zannej

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Eddie, those look like they would work. They are similar to the T-Nuts but don't have founded edges. I'm still debating whether or not to get a center rail. I really don't know how the T-rail would work for vertical. I suppose absolute worst case scenario, I could follow the steps of making the hollow legs like I saw in some youtube videos for adjustable tables and put them around the actuator (with holes cut for wires and whatever else is needed).
Ignore the music and see how there are boards inside little boxes that raise and lower

I saw other ones that were larger with square boxes inside. But a waxed board sliding inside a small box seems fairly simple.

I also considered having planter chains extending from ceiling hooks (not actual hooks-- look more like cabinet pulls)-- you know how some of those planter things have 3 chains? I can get a pack that has 2 and have the chains extend to 3 different spots on the sides of the platform and they will all connect to a single point on the underside of the table so if anything slips out of alignment and the table starts to drop, the chains will at least slow the fall. I can secure them with carbiners that are removable, or see if hog rings will work. I have a pack of hog rings in the carport.
 

Eddie_T

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I forgot that I have access to a pic of the back side. The bolts into the threaded gizmos are eye bolts with knobs to lock them down.
 

zannej

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My only hesitation with using knob locks is that I'm worried I might forget to unlock them and end up breaking something. LOL.
I don't like that the rails & actuator would seemingly be the only support for the platform so I was thinking of some cheap potted plant hanging chains. 3 chains extend from a single hook on each side. That way if anything ever drops it would at least slow the fall. I could get some ceiling mount thingies that sort of look like cabinet pulls and mount them to the underside of the table and then to the sides of the platform. I could use a better s-hook than the one that comes with them- or a carbiner or even hog rings. I have some hog rings in the carport.

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It's cheaper & easier than building an adjustable leg. But the center rail thing with those things for the t-slot might work still. What are they called again? (the thingies that go inside the track)
 

Eddie_T

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Install on shelf and working into drilled and bushed holes in side walls.
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zannej

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Eddie, that's a cool idea. I could have it on either side. Still worried we might forget it's locked. LOL. But I could absolutely have it at the lowest position of the platform. I wish I could figure out a pulley system where the chains would get tighter the higher the platform moves. If I really thought about it I could probably figure it out, but right now my brain isn't cooperating. And I really need to focus more on making sure the glide system would work. I do think that the two glides on the side should work. But I'm debating whether they would be behind the platform or a little off to the sides. I think I want the platform to be about 22"x22" Platform would not be as thick as the tabletop. Maybe I can attach some sort of flat piece of metal that extends sideways (like a metal bar) to support the weight side to side a bit from where the bar attaches.
 
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