Advice for Light box/drafting table

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Forum topic by Philip posted 06-21-2013 06:31 PM 2440 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2539 days

06-21-2013 06:31 PM

I am looking to build/install a light table that will double as a drafting table. This will be used for designs and my occasional stained glass panel. I want to hang it on the wall and be able to adjust it up or down (horizontal table to angled drafting table to vertical against the wall.)

Asking in other forums appears to be a waste of time and there are no good ideas on google oddly enough.

Since lumberjocks never fails me I’ll post the questions here:

1-What can I use to attach it to the wall that will allow for adjustment? My original thought was adjustable front legs and a hinge/cleat/rack on the back end…any hardware advice would be great.

2- What accessories would you put on a drafting table if you could have any? Parallel rule? Lamp?

3-The box needs to have ventilation so the light bulbs don’t overheat. I’m thinking of some kind of fretwork or scrollwork on the sides (6-8” wide, 34” long) Any pattern suggestions?

As alway, I appreciate any good ideas and I’ll post the plans/pictures when I finish!

-- I never finish anyth

6 replies so far

View mummykicks's profile


109 posts in 1802 days

#1 posted 06-21-2013 08:24 PM

I’m building one for my daughter right now. One thing she wanted was somewhere to put her laptop, so I have about a 6” horzontal shelf along each side with T-track that will be used to mount a 12” square piece to set the laptop on. The track just lets her put the laptop support wherever along the side. I’m also doing some track in the side and making a mount for a light in the track so it can be positioned where it’s needed.
Storage for paper & supplies, and something to hold the paper down are other features we talked about.
I think a cleat on the wall and a piano hinge or something similar would work well.
For table support and angular adjustment I’d be tempted to go with multiple legs of different lengths that fold up on the bottom, what angle you get depends which legs you fold out. I’m assuming the table would fold down on the wall (i.e. top surface is facing outward). You’d need wood strips that would have holes/notches for the legs to engage. Like folding leaf tables that have the legs fold down when you fold the leaf up.
I would lean toward something that gives you a few angles, rather than infinitely adjustable. I have a drafting table and I pretty much set it at one angle or flat.
Legs with hinged segments come to mind as well. Fold up a segment to get a shorter leg. Anything to avoid the sawtooth/pawl type adjustments, I’ve never found one I really like, but that’s just me.
I would make the top pretty thick to give it some stiffness. Not solid, but torsion box under the light table itself if possible. Good luck!

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3334 days

#2 posted 06-21-2013 08:39 PM

I made a tilting drawing table for my son. I routed a large opening in the top with a lip all around and the depth was set to the thickness of the large piece glass. There is a single stretcher from one side to the other under the table. My son has bought LED lights which are mounted on the stretcher and pointed up at the glass.The LED lights are much cooler that regular lights and use less electricity. He is very happy with the arrangement, especially because it can be used for botht drawing or tracing with the lighted glass..

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View zzzzdoc's profile


550 posts in 3003 days

#3 posted 06-22-2013 02:48 AM

This is what I built for my wife:

Sapele Drafting Table

Obviously, not a hang on the wall table. And quite heavy (and stable).

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2539 days

#4 posted 06-22-2013 03:14 AM

Great ideas. That is a nice looking table.

-- I never finish anyth

View Lynden's profile


74 posts in 3147 days

#5 posted 06-28-2013 07:22 PM

IKEA used to make a drawing table top with a built-in light box. It was called the Vika Blecket. Here are some pictures to give you an idea of the proportions of the light box and the drawing area.

The only large equipment you will need are a drafting machine and a lamp. I use a Vemco drafting machine and a Dazor fluorescent lamp. Both are available used on ebay.

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2539 days

#6 posted 07-02-2013 02:21 AM

Fascinating. The glass top I’m using is from IKEA…

-- I never finish anyth

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