okay, i have spent the day cutting and drilling and painting, and the sewing table is very nearly done. i'm even feeling ready to think about posting progress pics soon! when all there was was "before" it was kind of demoralising, but now that i've got some stuff done, i'm feeling quite confident that the rest is doable.
what i'd really like are some proper sawhorses. using a circular saw isn't half the fun when you have to waste time trying to sort out where to put your 96" x 28" piece of wood before you start cutting. and, to make matters more irritating, i was nearly done my final cut when the not-properly-supported-by-sawhorses plywood gave way a bit, resulting in a nasty-looking chunk taken out of one end (on the good side, of course). so then i had to waste even more time repairing it (25 minutes of clamping while the glue was setting). grr. but, after a quick bit of sanding, you couldn't tell that anything untoward had happened. yay!