Cutting stations. For many if not most of us, a “cutting station” is a misty dream. We do our rotary cutting on a kitchen table, or in the dining room. There is always the floor, where I cut for many years. My first upgrade was a craft table that tended to wobble a bit and wasn’t entirely flat. Then I came across a used woodworking table that someone had spilled epoxy on and was selling for $50. I chipped and sanded the epoxy and used that table for a nice stretch. But it was only 20″ width and sometimes frustrating to use. My hubby was also eyeing that table for his workshop!
Our recent move gave me the opportunity to go in search of my dream cutting station. My criteria was simple. I wanted to be able to put a nice big 24″ x 36″ cutting mat on it, I wanted some storage space, and I was not going to spend more than $350 on it. Simple? Oy!
Cutting stations designed for quilters can easily run $1500 or more. And a number of them are essentially press board, made with chipped wood and a fake veneer. I wanted a nice solid, stable cutting table top- like my woodworking table – that I could lean in and cut multiple layers if I wanted.
I turned to Google and focused in on counter height kitchen tables. They were sturdy and solid, but did not have storage. Then I ran across a DIY blog called “Family Handyman” (familyhandyman.com) that featured this beauty. I showed my husband. “I could make that for you”, he said. Hmmmm
So here we are, 4 months into life in the new house and my dreamy cutting station is done! First we ordered the Ikea components and put them together. Next came the search for hardwood veneer plywood. Yes, there is a lumber shortage right now and yes, even if you find hardwood plywood the quality is not great. After visiting three hardware/lumber stores, we settled on 3/4″ oak veneer plywood, which we had cut in half at the store.
All the finish work was done in hubby’s garage workshop. A light wood stain was applied and 4 layers of latex polyvarathane finish was applied to the top. He skipped adding laminate strips to the table top edges (with my approval) and simply shaped, sanded and applied the finishes to the edges.
A link to this project and additional ideas for DIY cutting stations are available at http://quiltingdigest.com/create-your-perfect-cutting-table-from-pre-made-units/.
Dream on, quilters!