Drafting table, table top version

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Project by TonyInGuam posted 11-05-2012 11:03 AM 19794 views 18 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey Guys, wanted to share this table-top drafting table I just finished for my wife. I made this out of necessity, my wife was spending too much time bent over in her crafting cabinet. I couldn’t find anything similar online to purchase so I made one. It’s made from birch plywood, mahogany trim/arms, with oak hinges and adjusting rails. I’m not to sure what the dowels are made of, bought at H-D. It’s all wood except for the stop screws I put in the dowels. I wanted to use wood for the stops, but my first idea didn’t pan out. Any ideas? The overall size is 15 X 25”. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m thinking of just rubbing some tung oil on it, thoughts? I had a great time making it and think it turned out great (to me) not to mention the wife loves it.

-- Tony

12 comments so far

View Chris Moellering's profile

Chris Moellering

227 posts in 1735 days

#1 posted 11-05-2012 11:23 AM

Looks nice. My kind of SketchUp!

One question…don’t the holes in the top create issues when using it?

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

View Oldtool's profile


2178 posts in 1277 days

#2 posted 11-05-2012 12:54 PM

Sweet drafting table. I still do all my design work on paper, was thinking of buying a table top drafting setup, but this suits my needs perfectly. Can be used in the shop on the workbench. Mind if I steal your design?
Thanks for showing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

18587 posts in 1425 days

#3 posted 11-05-2012 01:29 PM

Like the design. Also wondering about the holes in the top giving problems writing on it.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Pete Tevonian's profile

Pete Tevonian

78 posts in 2004 days

#4 posted 11-05-2012 06:54 PM

Great idea! I’ve often wanted a drafting table and/or art easel, and this design could serve both purposes and be folded up and stored away.

I was wondering about the holes in the surface, too. I assume they allow you to move the bottom rest higher or lower on the panel, but why would you need/want to have the bottom/pencil rest that high up on the panel? I might have gone with a wider rest with just two rows of pin-holes along the far outside edges, so that the main surface could remain un-blemished.

-- Pete in Wilmette, IL

View TonyInGuam's profile


22 posts in 1119 days

#5 posted 11-05-2012 09:33 PM

All, I should have elaborated on the adjustable rest. The adjustable rest allows the wife to move the sign or work-piece up/down the surface to a comfortable working level. She attaches alot of vinyl to wooden signs and such, she doesn’t do any writing on the surface so the holes aren’t an issue.

Oldtool, help yourself. I plan on borrowing a few ideas from the site as well.

-- Tony

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 1490 days

#6 posted 11-05-2012 09:55 PM

I use sate sticks (wooden scewers) for dowel stops. They’re usually 1/8” diameter, and the stringy bamboo tends to hold well enough. No need to use glue even, just push one through and tap each en of the stop to mushroom it over, as you might do when setting a small copper rivet.

Good job on this!

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View CueballRosendaul's profile


414 posts in 1227 days

#7 posted 11-06-2012 03:25 AM

Yes, nice simple design. I added to my favorites. I work on blueprint takeoffs every day and need one for my desk.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View LeroyTheLips's profile


243 posts in 1334 days

#8 posted 11-06-2012 06:17 AM

I am a retired draftsman
..old school, ink on mylar/linen.. this is convenient, easy and practical.

View mxrdrver's profile


38 posts in 1748 days

#9 posted 11-08-2012 04:17 AM

Am I the only one that noticed the white shorts lady?

View TonyInGuam's profile


22 posts in 1119 days

#10 posted 11-08-2012 11:08 PM

@mxrdrver, that’s Mrs. TonyinGuam. She’s the one that I built the drafting table for

-- Tony

View PASs's profile


585 posts in 2185 days

#11 posted 01-20-2013 01:53 PM

Nice work surface.
I use shellac sealer on most of my work.
I wipe it on and then immediately wipe it off so only what can soak in quickly stays on the wood.
You might get a more durable finish if you used a wipe-on polyurethane.
I like to wipe my finishes off so the grain of the wood shows through the finish.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View Trevg's profile


1 post in 55 days

#12 posted 10-02-2015 01:02 AM

This looks excellent. I started to build an art table, but never finished. Have a top that would be great to do this with. I’m still very new to wood working. What do you call the groove areas that the dowel rod settles in to? Or at least, how did you make it?

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