When I got my own 1st machine, I used a ironing board for a sewing table.
I can laugh about it now, but with the ironing board I could put it at a height that was comfortable. And I could press on the ironing board without moving from the chair that I sat on. I didn't have a pin cushion either but the iron board had padding and a cover that was ideal as a temporary pin cushion. I used a cutting board on the bed to cut out patterns. Yes, I was the frugal sewer.
The 1st sewing machine I bought was a used Universal model KAB. I still have it and it still is in working condition. I recently pulled it out as I was starting to clean and reorganize my sewing room and because I thought it would have rusted from the moisture that was in the house when it flooded. A quick wipe down was all that was needed and very little oiling before running it a few minutes at top speed. When I bought the machine from the repairman, he told me to alway put piece of scrap material between the pressure foot and the feed dogs and I still do it out of habit with all of my machines.