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How to Set Up a Fabric Cutting Table

Quilters Offer Advice to Help You Create a Comfy Cutting Table

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How to Set Up a Fabric Cutting Table

Working on a cutting table.

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Setting up a fabric cutting table doesn't have to be difficult. The most important aspect of a cutting table... its height. Cut for even short periods of time on a not-quite-tall-enough table and your back, shoulders and arms will probably protest.

Most recommendations say that a cutting table should be about waist-high to avoid stress on your upper body. You might have to experiment a bit with height to find the perfect table position for your own personal needs.

Quilters have devised all sorts of ways to put their cutting tables at a comfortable height, and many have submitted tips about the methods they've used. Let's take a look at their advice.

from Jeanne W.
My first cutting table was a folding banquet table from our church. The folding mechanism had broken, but it made a perfect cutting table for me. Unfortunately, it was way too low. The table has round round legs that start straight, then curve after about 12 inches. My husband bought some PVC pipe, and w determined how high I wanted the table to be. After considering how far up the pipe would go before stopping on at the curved portion of the legs, we cut four equal pieces that were long enough to raise the height. I used that cutting table for the seven years that I ran my sewing business. It was always sturdy and it doubled for a wrapping table at Christmas.

From Sylvia P. and many others
Another way to raise your cutting table is to buy plastic bed risers and place them under the legs of your table. The risers work great.

Compare Prices of Bed Risers

Space-Saving Ideas From Doris R.
My sewing space is limited, and I needed a cutting table and an ironing board. My large rotary cutting mat measures 30 X 36, so I had a piece of 3/4 in plywood cut twice that size and installed legs with PVC extensions. Half is the cutting table and I padded the other half with cotton batting with fabric stapled on top. Now I can cut and iron in one place.

Compare Prices of Rotary Cutting Mats

Double Duty Cutting Table, from Velma C.
My dining room table is my cutting table. I don't have enough room for a separate table. Bending over was killing my back and I had to take many breaks when cut fabric. I had my son, who's a carpenter, make a 6" tall table to sit on my dining room table. It measures 32" x 34" -- almost the width of my dining table and is about 3" wider than my medium sized cutting mat. The 6" lift is perfect and I don't have to bend over any more. I set it on one end of the dining table and my husband and I use the other end.  I can keep the patterns and tools I am working with underneath the risers. When we have company, I just pick it up (it is very light) and set it somewhere out of the way. I'm so happy to have a son who could build the riser.

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