How To Make a DIY Drafting Table | Engineer Supply - EngineerSupply

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DYI: Drafting Table Set Up

DIY Drafting Table Set Up

Having a drafting table can make creating designs much easier. If you do a lot of drawing or other work with paper designs, this is almost a must-have item. However, a lot of people want something either less expensive or more unique than the typically available drawing tables. The following are a few do-it-yourself ideas for setting up some unique desks.

DIY Drafting Table Set Up infographic

Adjustable Design

You can make an adjustable table fairly easily using almost any desk with adjustable-height legs. The basic principle is to have shorter legs at the front than at the back. However, this wouldn’t sit properly because the legs would be at an angle. Fortunately, this can be solved with some hinges and a little scrap wood. Just add hinges to the tops of the legs and set the legs to create a tilt.

Basic Design

Alternatively, you could make a very basic design from scratch. All you will need is some lumber and appropriate hardware. Again, this is more or less just a case of making a table with longer legs in the back. Ideally, create a frame with the legs first and angled supports between the front and rear sets. Then, mount the drawing surface on the frame.

Hardwood Design

DIY Drafting Table Set Up

If you want to get a little fancier, you can invest in some high-quality hardwood. Create a base for the table like you would any other table. Then, instead of mounting the surface flat, connect it to the front with hinges. In the back, mount a height adjuster to create the desired angle.

The simplest option for this is to have two pieces of wood that swing down from the table surface to prop it up. Alternatively, you could use a screw mechanism or series of hooks at different heights. There are lots of options to make this work once you have the frame together.

Hideaway Design

If you want something discreet, consider adapting a murphy bed into a hideaway drafting table. The design is simple, create a wall cabinet with a door that hinges down. Then, connect the front of the drafting board/door to the top of the cabinet using a cable. If this is done right, you can make a nicely angled surface.

The main concern with this is ensuring that everything can handle the relevant forces. The cabinet needs to be mounted properly, ideally into studs or with heavy-duty anchors. Additionally, the hinges and cables need to support the weight to the drafting surface plus your elbows.

Floating Design

If you have a couple of well-spaced columns in your drafting space, you can create an awesome, low-profile floating desk. The concept is very simple, attach two angled supports to the columns. Then place the drafting desk surface on top of the supports. Ideally, cut the surface so that it wraps around the columns. This will conceal the supports and make everything a little stronger.

Wall Mounted Design

Another option for a wall-mounted design is to have the top of the desk mounted to the wall on hinges. Then, have a set of fold-out legs at the front. When you lift up the desk surface, the legs can be lowered to provide support and create the desired angle. Much like the hideaway design, the key to this is making sure the build can support the weight. So, good anchoring on the wall is essential. Also, consider adding locks to the legs to prevent accidental collapsing.

Fold-Away Design

As an alternative wall-mounted design, you could create the drafting table in a cabinet that folds up. Have the drafting surface connected to a lower support that hinges at the bottom of the cabinet. Then, connect the top of the surface to a rod fed through tracks on either side of the cabinet. This will allow the surface to be raised up and flush against the cabinet or down and out.

Better Option: Order a Budget-Friendly Drafting Table

The above suggestions are all unique and effective ways to make DIY drafting furniture. However, they require a lot of work and may not work out perfectly, especially if you don’t have all the tools you need. A simpler option is just to buy a desk that you like.

Fortunately, Engineer Supply has a large selection of drafting desks. You can find one that will work perfectly for the space you are in and that matches your tastes. Alternatively, if you are set on making your own desk, make sure you get the right supplies and tools from Engineer Supply first.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Order a Drafting Table?

DIY Drafting Table Set Up

You can order tables and other drafting equipment from Engineer Supply. We have a large selection of drafting equipment including compasses, T-squares, triangles, furniture, portfolios and more. We even have light tables that make overlaying and comparisons easy.

What Is a Drafting Desk Used For?

Drafting furniture including tables and chairs make it easier to comfortably draw. The tables have tilting surfaces that provide a better angle for drawing than a flat table. People who draw regularly such as architects and other professional drafters benefit significantly from this design.

What Types of Professions Use Drafting Boards?

Anyone who draws can benefit from one of these tables. They are commonly used by architects, engineers, designers, artists and more. Almost anyone who has a profession in design or engineering can benefit from one. If you need comfortable access to paper designs, this may be the right item for you.

What Are the Most Important Tools for Drafting?

The only two tools that are required for drafting are appropriate paper and a drawing implement. However, a lot of people like to work with rulers, compasses, squares and other guides. Plus, many drafters find that a drafting table can help make the process much more comfortable.

Do I Need a Specialized Desk for Drafting?

No, any surface that is sufficiently comfortable and sturdy enough for drawing will work. However, a lot of people find that drafting desks make creating designs much more comfortable. This is because they provide more support and offer a more natural angle for drawing.



Best Drafting Boards

#1: Martin Universal Design 24" x 36" Pro-Draft Adjustable Parallel Straight Edge Board

Top 5 Drafting Boards martin-universal-design-U-PEB2436K

This drawing board has a 24” x 36” workspace with an adjustable-height stand underneath, which will allow you to adjust to five different angle positions (from flat to up to a 30-degree angle). It also comes with a parallel drawing bar, a carrying handle, and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

#2: Calcomp 12x12 Drawing Board VI 4 Button In-line Cordless Cursor

Top 5 Drafting Boards calcomp-SF-A-84-00373-03-R

The drafting board is perfect for CAD, GIS, engineering, textile, and apparel applications. It’s a great choice for design professionals who need to use large-format digitizers and graphic tablets. It also has an integrated USB and RS-232 Serial connections. When it’s connected via USB, a power supply isn’t necessary (which can simplify setup and operation). This drawing board uses the same Advanced Function Technology that has been the world standard for performance. It’s built with a state-of-the-art positioning grid that will give you the utmost in reliability, performance, and quality. Many accuracy versions are available to match specific system requirements, and an integrated mounting channel will allow you to use a variety of accessories (such as a pen tray) that can be mounted quickly and easily.

#3: Calcomp 44x60 Drawing Board VI 4 Button In-line Cordless Cursor

Top 5 Drafting Boards calcomp-LF-A-84-00378-12-R

This drawing board can be useful for anyone who uses CAD and GIS applications. It’s also perfect for people who work in the engineering, textile, and apparel industries. It’s great for professionals who use large-format digitizers and graphic tablets. It also features integrated USB and RS-232 Serial connections. When it’s connected to a USB port, you won’t need to use a power supply (which makes setup and operation much simpler).

This drafting table uses the same Advanced Function Technology that has become a global standard for performance. And like many of these high-performance tools, it has a state-of-the-art positioning grid that will maximize reliability, performance, and quality. It even has many different accuracy versions to match specific system requirements and an integrated mounting channel that will allow you to use certain accessories (such as a pen tray) that can be mounted in a quick and easy manner.

#4: Calcomp 36x48 Drawing Board VI 16 Button Corded Cursor

Top 5 Drafting Boards calcomp-LF-A-84-00377-10-R

For people who need to use CAD and GIS applications, this drafting board is the perfect choice. It’s even great for people who work in the textile and apparel industries. Design professionals who use large-format digitizers and graphic tablets will find this drawing board useful. It even has integrated USB and RS-232 Serial connections. When you connect it to a USB port, you won’t need to use a power supply. This will make it easier to set it up and operate.

The digitizers included with this drafting board use the same Advanced Function Technology that has been the standard for performance because they’re engineered with a sophisticated positioning grid that will ensure reliability, performance, and quality. There are also multiple accuracy versions that can match specific system requirements and an integrated mounting channel that will allow you to use different accessories (such as a pen tray) that can be easily mounted.

#5: Martin Universal Design 23" x 31" Pro-Draft Adjustable Parallel Straight Edge Board

Top 5 Drafting Boards martin-universal-design-U-PEB2331K

This drafting board has a 23” x 31” workspace and has an adjustable-height stand underneath, which will allow you to adjust it into a five different angle positions (from flat to up to a 30-degree angle). It also includes a parallel drawing bar, a carrying handle, and one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Be sure to pick yours up at Engineer Supply today!

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