I really appreciate all the input from the comments on the first post introducing the embroiderer’s workstation / trestles from a couple weeks ago! Brian kept an eye on the comments and took them into consideration, and is working on some tweaking. In the meantime, I wanted to show you some other pictures of trestles after I moved them out to the studio….
One of our bigger concerns about the trestle stand is the manner in which the frame is attached to the trestles. Anything too “permanent” (such as lashing, which was often used on old convent embroidery workstations) impedes the flipping of the frame. So we’ve tried a couple things, and the one that has worked best so far is a ratchet clamp.
Here, I’ve got the trestles set at a pretty good slant, and I’ve used a ratchet clamp to attach a Q-snap frame to it. The point is, you can attach anything this way – hoop, frames, even heavy slate frames. Ratchet clamps are easy to use – they release with the flick of the lever, and they don’t require any heavy squeezing to tighten them. But… still… it’s not “ideal.” If you’re working with a large frame, that reach to the back to undo the clamp if you want to flip things is a bit inconvenient.
This question of securing the frame is the main element of the workstation that has Brian going back to the drawing board, and I think he’s come up with a solution! Haven’t seen it yet, but when I do, I’ll show you what it is!
In the meantime, though, I have to admit, for regular sized project, I like the ratchet clamps. Maybe it’s just because they’re tools, and I feel so universally capable when I use tools with names like “ratchet clamp”! But seriously, I think it’s just because they really hold things on well. I don’t know why I never thought of this kind of clamp for other needlework applications. (Actually, I wasn’t aware of the existence of these until now…)
This is the other little table for the trestles, and in fact, the whole workstation can be populated with these, as they fit in a variety of places.
Brian and I discussed the lip on the table suggestion… I see his reasoning on this: it is easier to pick something up off a table or to brush something off into your hand (and even, if it falls on the floor, to pick it up) than it is to try to work something out of a lipped corner on a piece of furniture (something like a needle or a bead or something small…) He is right about that! But the idea is still there, stewing. So we’ll see where that goes.
Rounded corners on things (like the tables and feet) were suggested… good idea…
This is the whole thing on a slant, from the side. The present adjustments being made would actually eliminate some of the bulk from the slanted supports there, where the dowels fit. In fact, the dowels probably won’t be used for the actual frame support. I like the dowels because they’re universal – if you wanted to add another support, you just run to the hardware store and pick up a 1″ dowel. Besides wanting another way for the frame to stay on the stand without a clamp is the whole question of rolling dowels. Should you clamp something heavy to the dowels (like a light), the dowel tends to roll, unless the item being clamped is perfectly balanced – and a bump can upset the balance pretty easily. So Brian’s frame-holding solution should also solve the rolling dowels. It’ll also streamline the look of the sides there.
This is the workstation, on a slant, with a larger piece being held by one clamp. It works great, and the clamp is within easy reach.
And this is the workstation horizontal. And this is my favorite position! It is so nice to work sitting there, with the piece resting horizontal, perfectly secure, no bouncing, no feeling of unstable support – it’s as if your embroidery work has become your table. You have perfect access underneath, can easily flip the needlework, and it’s actually a very comfortable way to sit and stitch!
I’ve sat at a frame propped between to tables before, lying horizontal. It was “ok” but not very comfortable because the tables were regular-height tables. The frame was just too high to work on comfortably, but I didn’t realize that was the problem until I set this up horizontally. It’s slightly lower – not low enough to have to bend over, but low enough to be easily on top of the work. It’s perfect!
Now I understand the horizontal workroom situations of old! And, when horizontal, another advantage is that a second stitcher can sit on the other side…
So, we’re still open for suggestions or questions or anything. Any thoughts on this set-up? Any points of improvement that may have occurred to you since introducing the workstation? We’re all ears!
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