Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ingenuity

Ingenuity: the quality of being clever, original, and inventive. That describes the table I'm going to talk about in this post. Previously, I wrote about an Elna Julilee in Taking Into Account, but I didn't show the table:
Table for the Elna Jubilee
It appears to be a common banquet table top that has been modified to fit a drop in sewing machine like the Elna but the measurements are standard for thousands of vintage sewing machines with pins for mounting at 9.5" apart:
Standard opening and pin spacing
It has legs that are not original but mounted with sturdy screws along the skirt that is also an addition for this type of table. It is not only sturdy, it is huge! I took measurements and labeled a couple photos, sending them off to a quilt group leader to share:

All I could think of was when you are quilting these large projects they need to be supported so putting your machine on a large table works nice. For most of us that puts the machine too high and is ergonomically wrong, causing pain in your back and shoulders. But if the sewing machine were mounted into the table, you have the correct height and all of that table space for a win-win situation.

The Elna is a unique sewing machine with free-arm and flat surface mount due to the "mounting bed" (my term, not theirs) that allows the machine to be pulled up for free arm and released to go back down to flat bed:
Elna Jubilee as flat bed

Elna Jubilee up as a free arm
So how does this actually work? There is a button on the bed just to the right of the reverse lever:
Reverse lever and release button
Now you can pull up and to the right using the built in handle on the Elna Jubilee. This little button lines up with a lever as shown below:
Black lever for spring release inside the base
Pretty clever, huh? When the machine is bolted into the table this works like magic and is quite handy. Several of the Elnas have this type of mounting bed system, not just the Jubliee. Other machines have an extension table that surrounds the free arm but it's a pain to put on and off and creates an abnormally high work surface. Can we spell b-a-c-k p-a-i-n? The Elna system is really great for all of the above reasons.

I'll add one more photo of a little trick for getting a sewing machine into those pins. They always seem to be falling down while you are trying to place the machine holes on the table pins so now I use a rubber band to keep them both up and together:
Rubber band stretched between pins to hold them up
I know, it's not rocket science, but it's pretty clever and something I picked up along the way. It's not my invention, just something I wanted to share with my faithful readers with these vintage sewing machines. Here's to fewer pinched fingers!


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