I recently purchased a Husqvarna Viking Emerald 118 sewing machine, and I knew that I would use the machine for quilting. To help balance the fact that the 118 does not have a huge throat space, I wanted to add an extension table to extend the working surface as much as possible. After looking at the available extension table and price, my husband and I opted to make a custom extension table.
This tutorial shows our process for making the extension table for my Emerald 118, but you could use the same generic steps to make your own custom extension table for any sewing machine.
Step 1 – Acquire Materials
The main material that we had to purchase was the polycarbonate. We opted for a 12″ x 24″ x 1/2″ thick clear sheet of polycarbonate from McMaster-Carr. There are many other size and thickness polycarbonate sheet options also available.
We also used:
- Sharpie for marking cut lines
- Round object or stencil for rounded corners
- Jigsaw or bandsaw for cutting shape
- Sander for cleaning cut edges
- Drill for adding leg posts
- There are lots of options for the legs of the extension table. Little dowels and metal or plastic tubes and cylinders are all great options.
- Optional: Router for rounding the top edge of the table
Step 2 – Determine Position of Extension Table
I tried making the front edge of the extension table flush with the front of the sewing machine or making the back edge flush with the back of the machine. In the end, I looked at a lot of extension table pictures on the internet and opted to have the extension table almost centered on the sewing machine.
Step 3 – Trace Cut Lines
There is nothing straight about any of the edges of the Emerald 118. We used a combination of rulers to help us trace the cut lines and then had to offset the lines to account for the thickness of the polycarbonate. If in doubt, cut small and you can always sand the shape to be larger.
Note that the polycarbonate sheet comes with protective covers on the top and bottom surfaces that are perfect for marking. When the extension table is complete you will remove the covers to get a beautiful, clear surface!
Step 4 – Rough Cut Extension Table Shape
Following the lines that you marked, use a jigsaw or bandsaw to rough cut the extension table. Safety first! Don’t forget your earplugs or ear muffs, safety glasses, gloves, face mask or respirator!
Step 5 – Fit Check
One of the most important steps is to fit check along the way. In the photo above, the back edge did not drop into place because of a tab for the notions tray interlock (which is removed for the extension table). We had to go in and cut a notch in the corner of the polycarbonate for the extension table to fit nicely.
Step 6 – Measure for Foot Height
This step is best with the help of a friend or an adjustable stack of objects. Hold the extension table at the height desired (flush with the throat of the sewing machine), and measure from the top of a table to the bottom of the extension table to get the height of the feet you will need for the base.
We recommend adding 4 feet to support the base. We opted to add clear rubber bumpers at the bottom so that the extension table doesn’t drag and mark the table tops it is set on. We also opted to use a router to round the top edges of the extension table so that quilts will drape smoothly across the surface.
With just a few tools, it is possible to make your own custom extension table! As I mentioned earlier, the Emerald 118 doesn’t have a flat surface anywhere – even the throat space is angled up to the needle and then down after the needle.
There are small gaps between the polycarbonate and the sewing machine as a result, but I have had no issue with my quilts or basting pins getting stuck in these small gaps.