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My New Drafting Table

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Blog entry by Lettpre posted 08-05-2009 03:17 AM 1517 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok, So I am using this site to help me move my project along and to gain valuable feedback from peer and experts. After seeing the forum about someone elses drafting table, I thought well, I’m a designer, why don’t I build the drafting table I have wanted?

I have set some performance criteria for my drafting table:
  • it must have a tiltable top
  • has to have a light box for tracing and transfering graphics/logos
  • has to have a flush, continuous drafting surface so I can use my drafting tools
  • must have a secondary surface for possible a monitor/laptop
  • storage for drafting tools
  • attempt to keep the cost under $500 (if its really worth it ill pay more but not much)
  • main structural and aesthetic construction material is wood(of course)

so with these things in mind I have set out and started some sketches to see how I would build this, what it will look like, and what its dimensions will be, and ill post those up here soon.



8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3039 days


#1 posted 08-05-2009 03:22 AM

I think DaveR made a wonderful design on sketchup.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Lettpre's profile

Lettpre

6 posts in 2680 days


#2 posted 08-05-2009 05:16 AM

I Agree, seeing his design made me finally decided that it was time for me to go ahead and try to design one for me. I really like his table for alot of things but there are a few things about it that for me wont work like the lightbox part(which I really want) and the way his uses the pencil grooves to be held open is creative but I lean on my work surface alot and I dont know if it would hold while it was at a lower angle (say 20 or 25 degrees) while I pushed on it. Since I want a lightbox incorperated into mine im goin g to have to get a pretty decent piece of glass and even tempered I cant run the risk of having the tabletop slam down which is why I have to find a mechanism that will hold it open at any degree from 0 (flat) to 60 ish (in a perfect world it would be capable of opening to 90) degrees.
I also wanted to incorporate certain themes into the styling that are different than DaveR’s table. Since I left school and dont have access to the wonderful 3d modeling programs we had im having to learn sketch up too and DaveR’s posts are very helpful.

View jlsmith5963's profile

jlsmith5963

297 posts in 2810 days


#3 posted 08-05-2009 06:03 AM

Being an architect who also makes part of his living doing woodworking I would recommend that you abandon drafting table project and apply the money you have to the purchase of a laptop and printer. Then download the free version of Sketchup (DaveR could play a role in helping you learn it with the archive he has over at Fine Woodworking).

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View jlsmith5963's profile

jlsmith5963

297 posts in 2810 days


#4 posted 08-05-2009 06:10 AM

A window with some tape makes an reasonable light box, and if you can get the money together a scanner can be very useful, Sketchup has a lot of functionality with scanned images. Demos of what Sketchup can do with scanned images can be found here

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View Lettpre's profile

Lettpre

6 posts in 2680 days


#5 posted 08-05-2009 07:01 AM

I see where your going but I need to have somewhere I can sketch and schematicize things still in pen and pencil. I also like to do most of the tracing and sketching I do is during the evening. The window trick is good only during daylight hours. I have a great desktop computer with sketchup and a printer and most of the job contacts i’ve had so far have stressed the value of non computer sketching in the portfolio. I really enjoy sketching and would like to have a nice area to do my work. The lightbox is necessary because when I get home and it is time to work on portfolio or sketching, the rapid ideation process is completed far more efficiently with an overlay on a lightbox.

View jlsmith5963's profile

jlsmith5963

297 posts in 2810 days


#6 posted 08-05-2009 07:50 AM

Perhaps I misunderstood, I am old enough (and had a father in a related profession) that I have been around drafting tables for most of my life. For me a drafting table is a very specific piece of equipment, it consists of an adjustable table and a drafting machine, or a t-square and triangles (a stool or chair is optional). For me some where to draw can be anywhere. In the architectural profession we make extensive use of tracing paper (some times referred to as ‘trash’) you can effectively see through 6 to 8 layers depending on the pencil, pen or marker being used. This eliminates the need for a light box (although I still own one, I typically use it to sort slide from my archive of projects before digital cameras). I know the job market is in the tank so you should do what you have to do and hand drawing skills should be part of your skill set, but over-relying on hand drawing skills to sale yourself in this digital world is very backwards looking.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View Lettpre's profile

Lettpre

6 posts in 2680 days


#7 posted 08-05-2009 08:15 AM

see my problem is the opposite of that, im a decent sketcher but my sketches are not really wow or amazing and i want to get to that point. all the 3d modeling and photoshop rendering stuff im rather good at because ive been around computers since I was a small child, and the use and manipulation of computers to get them to do what I want graphically started at age 5 in MS Paint. Like Google sketch up. I have had it for less than 24 hours now and have already figured out how it mostly works. And im glad that you brought up the point of the photography which is another reason why I need a lightbox. My uncle recently passed away and he left all of his Analog photo equipment and he must have had about 10,000 negatives and slides of pictures he had taken over the last 40 some years. (he also left about 2 TB of digital photos he left us in CR2 format) My mom wanted me to build a lightbox so we could enjoy the slides and negatives too (which is where the project started then I took off with it like I am known for doing and making a project much more grand than it needs to be) and I figured I could kill two birds with one stone and make my drawing center. I have a hard time concentrating on drawing if im not in a space I have set myself out to be in particularly for the activity, I don’t know whether I have add or something, but concentrating on drawing is always been a hard thing for me to do just anywhere (im a get in the zone kind of person).

I like the trash paper style though. It is a good one and maybe I will try it before embarking on the drafting table build. We used trash paper in my Architecture Summer Studio but it never got more than 2-3 layers thick before we could see through it. Is there a specific type of paper you recommend? Oh and the only art supply stores Im in range of are Hobby lobby and Micheals, so if I can find it there it would be great. (the paper we used at school was sold at a local art supply/ bookstore and wasnt a brand name it was just a roll of 18” x50’ so maybe that was the problem)

View jlsmith5963's profile

jlsmith5963

297 posts in 2810 days


#8 posted 08-05-2009 10:41 PM

Well let me back up a little and state that with unlimited resources you can do anything you want to do, however, you have already said that resources ($) are an issue. Therefore prioritizing is appropriate, is it not? Your uncle’s archive isn’t going anywhere. It will be there when you hopefully get to a place where you have the time and the equipment to examine it. Stay focused on whats important.

Regarding the ease at which you become distracted and therefore need a devoted space in which to work, I would offer the advice to use your same strategy you have regarding sketching, practice what you are the weakest at, the working world is full of distractions, you must develop the ability to be productive in spite of your surroundings. Force yourself to draw in places that you wouldn’t normally. Finally there is another definition issue, for me the term ‘sketching’ includes all types of drawing, some part of which can not be done in front of a drafting table in your room. Development of strong sketching skills in a wide range of subjects will produce benefits with your design work.

I pay no attention to the brand of tracing paper, although there are slight differences. You can also develop a habit of holding several of the layers of trace between your non-drawing hand fingers and flipping them up and down to see under them, much like a hand drawn animator does. A link to one of many online supplier of trace is here

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

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