Drawing Table angle HELP

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Forum topic by LakeLover posted 08-18-2013 04:53 PM 8752 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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283 posts in 1936 days

08-18-2013 04:53 PM

Hi Folks.

I am in quick need of some advise.

I am making a drawing table for a friend, I got to get this done ASP as I have to work out of town for 2 months.

The table top is 24×44 36” high.

What is the best angle for the top. I want to make it somewhat adjustable. Due to the design the old rod and clamp system is not going to work in this case. It is going to be portable.

30 degrees is easy do deal with making it go to 45 seems to complicate things.

I looked on line, no mention of angles, even on sites selling them.


7 replies so far

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3430 days

#1 posted 08-18-2013 06:38 PM

Have you asked your friend what angle he/she would like?

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View LakeLover's profile


283 posts in 1936 days

#2 posted 08-18-2013 07:43 PM

Thanks guys.

Long story made short. Made a real ars kick table and his girlfriend threw a fit. I could be 0 to 60. So now I am making a portable setup. Trying to make it into a suitcase style.

I am afraid to call him as she might have another fit. I just want to hand it to him, he doesnt know its in progress.

I will post pics when done.

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1748 days

#3 posted 08-19-2013 07:11 PM

Make the table surface adjustable. Do a search for “drafting table support” and these come up. I have them on my table and they work great.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3240 days

#4 posted 08-20-2013 01:18 AM

Man; who uses drafting tables any more. The last time I used on was 30 years ago. Today it’s all CAD. Most commercial drafting tables I’ve used could tilt up to 90° and the base would lower to accomodate a comfortable working height. Way, way back, when tables tilted 90°, everyone had a foot stool to stand on. Check in an art and hobby store, like Hobby Lobby and Michaels and look at their drafting tables. You may find some good ideas there.

View LakeLover's profile


283 posts in 1936 days

#5 posted 08-20-2013 10:30 AM

Hydro Thanks for the link. Seems all have to me shipped to the great frozen north.

MrRon. This fella is a very good artist. Not drafting per say.

1975 I was working at a big eng firm and we got all new tables, drafting arms. etc. I set them all up. We also had a visit from HP they had a Drafting computer. There was a semi trailer with a small work space at the back, a tiny monochrome monitor all the rest was AC. $ 1/2 million.

I still have my ink pens, instrument set and T square. I still like to draw a design. I have tried some CAD and SU but there is some relaxing kind of karma doing it the old way.

You want to come run my Ammonia blueprint machine ??? Ha Ha.

Used to me a rodman on a survey crew, same firm. The guys showed me the basics of the instruments. So when we bought our present place I wanted to do an X section of the land. Could only rent a laser type level. My friend helping me used to do survey the old way. We set every thing up and did a 3×3 ft grid.

Thought we were going to take a day at least. Well 3 hrs later we were done. More time to drink beer.

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3240 days

#6 posted 08-20-2013 06:12 PM

Lakelover, I did some survey work 25 years ago, using a rented transit to check the layout stakes on my property. I found that they were correct, but the lumber company that owned the adjacent land started to cut trees on my property. If I had not checked my boundaries, I woulkd never have known. When I was doing board drafting, we had tilting tables 32”x 80” that I made for the company to replace the door on saw horse setups. The tops were hollow core doors. We used either drafting machines, Tee squares or parallel straightedges; whatever we bought from defunct competitors. In fact, we even bought their drafting boards that I had made for them. I left before we switched to CAD and learned AUTOCAD in 1996. My hands are much too shaky for manual drafting and rely completely on CAD at 79.

I used window adjusters for the tilt mechanism. That provided only about 30° of elevation. The standard window adjuster could still be used if you were to replace the adjusting rod with a longer rod. I used two adjusters; one for each end.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2968 days

#7 posted 08-20-2013 08:00 PM

Is he going to use a parallel ruling straight edge or a machine.
The machines (two jointed arms with an indexing head) work well at most angles.
The straight edges will work okay on steeper angles, but it’s a pain to have all your stuff sliding off.
I wouldn’t suggest making it more than about 10 degrees if it was for me..
All the portable boards I ever used would only prop up to about 8 degrees.
But like others have said, who uses a drafting table any more? Last time I was on a table was 1984.

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