UPDATE 1/2014: I made another tutorial with step-by-step pictures of building process that includes the side cubby and full dovetail joints. See it HERE.
Chances are if you have an old sewing machine and you have the original case, the base looks something like the one in the picture above (bottom). It's probably falling apart and may even smell bad. I bought a sewing machine last month and it came with the old base pictured above and I was going to *attempt* to save it. I pulled off the old vinyl covering that was peeling off anyways and discovered that underneath the wood was cracked and the glue holding it together was dry and brittle. The old base inspired me to make a much better, stronger version of itself.
So far, I've tried this base with my Singer 201-2, Singer 66-16 and Singer 15-90 and it works on all 3. Not sure about other brands or models but you can make your own measurements according to your machine.
Compare the corner braces, wood thickness, etc of the old base vs. new base.
Here are the supplies I used, along with wood clamps, table saw, drill and router (for the base with cubby hole). I used 5mm plywood for the bottom of the base, premium 3" pine board for the sides and trim pieces for the corner braces. I wasn't planning on posting this project so I didn't take pictures of the building process. I cut my wood pieces, glued and clamped them together, drilled holes for my screws, countersunk my screws into the wood and used nails and glue to attach the plywood base.
Next I glued my trim pieces and set them in each corner.
Nailed the corner pieces on for extra hold.
Put wood filler in screw holes and any cracks or gaps.
Sanded to perfection. This picture shows the back side of the wood base where I screwed the pieces together.
Next I made the holes for the hinges.
Cut out a notch where the hinges exit the wood.
I used the hinges off the old base and bought some mirror hardware for the tab that keeps the machine secured to the base.
I cleaned and painted the hardware to match.
Drilled holes for hinges...
...and the part that holds the machine down.
Shrink wrap tubbing was a great find for me. I didn't want metal-on-metal with the machine so I cut a piece of tubing and heated it to shrink to the hardware piece that would be up against the machine.
Next I stained and put a polyurethane coat on the entire surface and used a 220 grit paper to smooth everything again. Adding the hardware was the last step!
Love how the character of the wood comes through.
In case you didn't notice, I made a simple base and one with a cubby hole on the side.
Measurements for the smaller base.
Measurements for the larger base.
Love how it looks!
Your machine should have screws that tighten to hold onto the hinges.
The cubby hole is great for keeping attachments close or you can put your pedal in for storage
The machine flips up easily on hinges for cleaning. The base also dampens the sound of the gears when the machine is running. I hope this post comes useful to someone out there looking to make their own sewing machine base.
UPDATE 11/2013: I just made a bunch of bases but instead of using old cabinet hinges for the back I just used 2 of the metal clips to hold the machine to the base. When you do it this way you don't need to add the board on the back of the base for the extra width to accommodate the large hinges. I also did full dovetail joints instead of screwing the pieces together which gives them a great look and it's a true sign of durable craftsmanship!