The "Streamliner" BaseMany machines of this model are now sans any kind of cabinet or base - as the original cabinets, although very beautiful, also are essentially un-shippable and take up entirely too much room for collectors. As portable bases were fairly rare for this model, the result is often something like this:
(Illustration courtesy of The Needlebar.)
Pretty machines without bases! Photo courtesy of "Randy", of the NSMCO list.
Therefore, I was determined that my machine would have a base. No problem, I'll just buy one on eBay...
It turns out, that the "Singer standard" hinge pin spacing is 9-3/4". Virtually all full sized flat bed machines adhere to this standard. So naturally, National used 9-3/8" instead!
At this point, I threw up my hands and decided to build a base. Yes, I could have adapted a standard base if I had waited long enough for one that had hinge pins that could be relocated the small distance required. The better bases (and cabinets) generally used the round based hinge that fits in a 1-1/8" circular cutout - NOT something that can be easily relocated a short and overlapping distance.
I'm no wood worker, and while not perfect, the end result is pretty darn good if I say so myself. Best of all, it didn't cost me a dime other than $5 for a pair of hinge pins from eBay, and a couple of bucks for some nail on plastic feet. The wood came from a woodworker friend, the Tolex covering material I had plenty left over from the Singer 99K case project, and the bottom of the new base - well, read on and you shall see!
This was accomplished over a period of months, mostly as a noontime project. Two different cameras were used to record progress; one a very good Sony DSLR, the other a cheapie Panasonic that gets a bit grainy at times...
Base wood parts precut by myself - except the contoured opening for the machine,
which was cut for me by a woodworker friend. The corners of this machine are a
decreasing radius - the pattern had to be hand traced from the machine to the wood.
Both glued and screwed together.
Hinge pin installed in machine.
Machine propped up inside base...
In order to trace the exact location for the hinges. No second chances!
Both mounting countersinks done with 1-1/8" wood bit, marking for the actual hinge pin.
Cutting slot for pin.
Using only the proper tool to chisel out the slot...
They come out nice and clean
Ready for hinge.
Hinge fit check.
Prop machine up in base again, check the fit before...
Screwing the hinges down at last. Whew!
Bottom/inside reinforcement for hinges. This machine is heavy!
This view shows the wooden "stop blocks" that will support the front edge of the machine.
And the latch plate which engages the machine's built-in latch. This took a LOT of trial and error to make.
Now the machine sits in its base on its own. No added props.
A view very few have seen - from the bottom/inside!
Before we can go further, the inside portions that won't be covered are stained.
Newly fabricated HDF bottom - with my business card already glued on, of course!
You can't build anything anymore without Chinese parts in it. This base is no exception...
The HDF used here was packing for a Chinese display case - it was too good to throw away!
Nailed onto the bottom, it makes a capital bottom panel!
The base is starting to look "real" at this point.
After some sanding and putty application, we're ready to start the Tolexing...
A piece of Tolex is cut to size..,
And glued onto the bottom with hot hide glue.
Wrapped and glued onto the ends.
Cutting and shaping before gluing at the corners.
Working our way up top (Note glue pot for hot hide glue).
All done - except the opening.
Had to clamp the inside lip. This took longer than the rest of the Tolex combined!
Some clamping had to get creative. A small garden spade is pressed into service as a curved clamp.
The hinge countersinks were simply Tolexed over - now we cut them free...
And install the hinges.
Nail on plastic feet.
Ready for the machine!
Machine in base! And a very handsome machine it is indeed!