Because of the fold-a-way legs, these tables are not as sturdy as other drafting and drawing tables available but are generally less expensive. Find out what size paper you will be using and choose a table that is at least one size larger.
When the blueprints hang off one edge they will want to fall off the table making them difficult to view. When you only have just enough room for your drawing the space can feel cramped making you easily frustrated. I then measured the space between the middle board and the outer topmost board: 15 1/4 inches. I also added the corner braces along the inside of the upper board just for more support of the frame’s weight… one in the center of each upper space. Any personal adjustment required between the depth of the lightbox surface as opposed to the black drawing table top?
I have some plans this winter to redo the studio a bit as it’s pretty shabby… 12 year old paint and the carpet is ruined and worn out.
I have a few pieces of black matt board laying about to cover the sides if the ambient light is too much.
If you were to put a small spacer on it, and mount it a bit lower (so it doesn’t bump the bed/table/lounge chair when opening), it could go past 90 degrees, albeit with a lower load rating.
Installation instructions are not clear enough, required lots of testing to get an accurate layout.
Ready-made drafting tables are widely available for professionals and amateurs alike, but these workstations can be costly. If desired, add some felt pads to the feet of the table to keep them from scratching your floor.
Clean the surface of the board with a dry cotton cloth to remove any sawdust from the sanding.
Restored wood is an amazing addition to any house, but will work best in rustic, cosy designs. If you’ve never made any mortises before, which was the case for me, it can be quite time-consuming if you only have a drill, a mallet and some chisels. So if you don’t have a drill press and the drill is slipping, increase the distance between the holes. I made a tiny “measuring stick” from scrap wood, which has the right width, and has the right depth marked on it.
Drawing board drafting
If you want, you could also attach some wheels instead and make the table a little more mobile. You can let it dry for as long as you want, since you can already continue with the next step, which is to make the surface that goes on top of this frame. First drill some holes in the corners of the shape to be cut out, as shown in the second picture. You may want to attach a few small wood blocks underneath the top surface to add more strength to the table. I chose not to do this because the bolts holding the surface in place use friction, which might lose their grip at some point.
After drawing the mechanism, you can use the jigsaw to cut out the mechanism and use the drill to make the holes. After making the adjustment mechanism and the angled surface, screw the mechanism onto the angled surface with some small wood blocks, as shown in the fourth picture. The table would only be locked in position because of the friction of the nut&bolt on the table legs. Simply line the risers up with the cornes of the drawing surface and glue them down to the table. So, cut the 1/4″ hardboard or plywood into 3″x 2 1/2″ rectangles, and secure them to the front of the table by drilling pilot holes and then attaching the hinges via screws, as in the photo above. You could also use the adjustable legs on the front as well, and still use the hinge-technique on the legs. It looks to me like too much weight on the table would cause the table to tip forwards, untill the front legs were again 90-degrees to table. From there it was a matter of scrubbing down the legs using steel wool and then applying a clear lacquer which was self-levelling.
If you are limited on space consider a portable drafting board or a fold-a-way drafting table.
Because of the sturdy base, these tables have larger top sizes available but are generally more expensive.
If the table is going to be used for viewing and correcting drawings choose a table that will allow you to open the bound blueprints and keep the entire set on the table.
If the table is used for drafting and drawing a larger surface area will give you more room to spread out books and other reference materials next to your drawing. The ends were flush with the table sides, and the bottom of each board flush with the underside of the table.
I also pre-driledl 1/16 holes at 6 inch intervals across the top of this lip, and used the finishing nails to secure the board. I needed to make the plexi translucent as opposed to tranparent, which will give me a nice, diffused light. That is the same table as the one you see in the first pic… i used to have it covered with black mat board. From the photo, it appears that it would seem so, and while it’d probably be fine for a few sheets of paper placed one on the other, the light bleeding around the edges might be distracting…?
I glance at it – why didn’t you sand the whole sheet for a uniform look instead of painting?
Has anyone ever used this in a marine environment and if so, how does it hold up rust wise?
I finally got it to work properly was to use different measurements than those given in the instructions.
For instance, if the table is 25 inches wide by 49 inches long, the drawing surface should be 28 inches wide by 36 inches long. Sand down the edges and top of the board with an oscillating tool fitted with a sanding accessory to remove any splinters and make the drawing surface even smoother. A beige top with a side wing with holes for containers for accessories and a flip up drafting table are beige.
There are no screws involved and, according to this experiment, these joints can take more force than dowel joints and screw joints.
Use a drill to make a few holes, so you already have the rough shape of the mortise cut out. No need to worry if you make your mortises a bit too deep though; it’s fine as long as the tenons fit snugly into the mortises.
If done right, it shouldn’t take too much force to insert the tenon into the mortise, but the pieces shouldn’t fall apart either if you let gravity do its thing. I made them smaller such that a mortise from one side would not overlap, or be very close to, the mortise on the other side.
I made that shape much larger than is strictly necessary, but it does allow you to easily reach for the metal rod to adjust the table’s angle while you’re sitting down. To give the top surface a nice finish, use a sander, sand paper or a wood file to smoothen the edges.
You’ll be able to adjust the table’s angle by inserting a metal rod in one of the holes of this piece of wood. I also drew a smaller circle slice (see the dotted line in the second picture), which is a part that can be ditched because the top surface is in the way there.
Laminate flooring is a sturdy material, can easily deal with spills and doesn’t leave stains.
And that’s about all there is to it; your shiny new drafting table now is done and ready for action; have fun!
I imagine that you’d have to turn the nut so tight that it would start to damage the wood, even with a washer. When they’re dry you can slap on some anti-scuff pads (or something similar, like felt) to soften the descent of the drawing surface.
Then, cut the 1/2″ plywood into 4″ x 4 1/2″ lengths and secure to the other side of the hinge.
I agree it’s not an industrial strength solution, but it’s a great option for me given my space requirements and needs.
If the legs were always at 90-degrees to the tabletop, they would then move as the table is changed.