If you're looking for a solid wood top, it'd probably be just as cheap
to buy the complete table and keep the top and hardware. If you're
going to make your own table, making a top out of 3/4" plywood on a
frame is pretty straightforward. Many people use a hollow core door
cut to size. You could veneer the top and bottom and use solid wood on
the edges if you want to make it something more pretty.
Weight should be considered in selecting the table top material.
Drafting is a vigorous activity, and a light-weight table is not a joy
to work upon. In designing the table base, the question of seating is
paramount. Stool height might be considered preferable to the activity
of drafting; as you must perceive with the eye to articulate with the
hand, stepping forward for the birdseye view is necessary over a large
For a three foot by four foot tabletop, two pieces of 3/4 high-density
particle board laminated together with a wood edgeband adds up to about
thrity-five pounds. A professional board cover on top of that makes an
excellent drawing surface.
Making your own parallel rule or drafting machine has the prospect of
an interesting project. Care to try that?
I worked on AutoCAD for fifteen plus years . . . contact engineering houses
near you . . . most want someone to haul them away . . I've had three and
have done that with all . . . Get AutoCAD . . . it save a lot of space . .
the only thing a full size drafting table is good for is reading the
newspaper on . . .
Steve said "get Auto-Cad, drafting tables are only good to read
newspapers on." I beg to differ!. I was "on the board" for 35 years
before CAD as a mechanical draftsman/designer/engineer. CAD is
absolutely necessary these days for speed, accuracy, change, etc. but
it's a totally impersonal, robotic tool that stifles the mind, steals
creativity and pride-of-accomplishment, It THINKS for you! Today it's
just a job, not fun. How many people can, with their own two hands and
eyes, draw a precise angle or a radius, strike a circle, use a French
curve, read a scale, use decimals, understand the Metric system, handle
delicate instruments and print legibly?
Who needs it you ask? Well I for one find it very calming and relaxing
to have a little nook where I can use some non-printer paper, not push a
gadget around and not touch a key except on a mini calculator, but most
of all, I do not have to sit and stare at an electronic display telling
me what to do next. I do what I want to do.
And best of all, it's cheap!!
I'm with Lare S! Thirty five years on a drafting table I designed
countless public works facilities. The creative process flows onto the
paper naturally. At the very least a drafting table is best to make
preliminary conceptual sketches and mathematical analysis of projects.
Now, with two displaced vertebrae in my neck I must use CAD but it
ain't the same.
Hollow core doors and some 2X4's and 1X4's make a very neat folding
table for field offices. Notch the 1X4's for sloped and horizontal
positions. I've made a number of them.
Charles Gwathney, a world renowned architect, told Charlie Rose one
night, that in order to achieve design, you have to perceive with the
eye and articulate with the hand. He went on to agree that CAD was a
valuable tool for layering out a multiple-storied building, but was
adamant, that CAD is not a creative tool, merely functionary to the
Tom Brokaw, in a commencement speech, said that technology has let us
down. The technology, which was designed to free man from his
drudgery, had actually enslaved him.
Mechanical drafting skill endows the individual with a proprietary
sense of proportion and scale, and man remains the greatest technology.
Plus, the drawing board is good for reading the newspaper on...
My good fellows,
I did state that CAD is absolutely necessary in today's high-pressure
world.of design and development. However, I wasn't referring to that
work environment, where there's seldom time to do it right but always
time to do it over. CAD wins big-time there!
I was talking about my own projects in my little home-shop where I CAN
take my time and do it right. I enjoy drafting. I do not own a PC but if
I did, I'd probably go with CAD ____
But still at a nice, relaxing pace.
Thanks for your comments ... Super group!
BTW, I believe the old, old-time board tops were basswood. Nice drawing
surface AND you could easily stick tacks in 'em. Then the big boards;
plywood coverd with battleship linoleum, then there was a thinner vinyl
cover secured with double-sided tape. Of course there was always the
Hamilton boards with a factory-finished top.
Sorry, but they wouldn't not pay us $35.00 to $ 65.00 an hour to be calm and
relaxed . . .
I worked as an Instrumentation & Electrical Designer for the PetroChem
Industry . . .
I owned and worked on a board, also worked on AutoCAD . . . I don't know
what version of AutoCAD you worked on, but it never did any thinking for me
. . .
I can. ;~) but then I started out on the drawing board also. It is cool
when a fellow draftsman recognises that you draw by looking at you printing
or visa versa. I never made drafting my profession but was good enough in
school that I won several awards in college competition.
That said, I am self taught on CAD and consider it to be no more of a crutch
than a t-square or triangles or GASP, a Mini Calculator. It is simply a
differnt kind of tool. Like anything else you have to get used to it.
I'm in Atlanta and have found several old ones.
The last one I had was 4 X 6 made out of ash. It weigh a ton and it
came with a drafting head, Had 16 draws. I put a rubber mat on it
that cost more than the table. It was like new.
I have given it to my nephew who actually drays buildings on it.
For the last 12 years I do everything in Corel Draw
On Sun, 02 Apr 2006 19:41:05 GMT, "Neil Larson"
>I'm in Atlanta and have found several old ones.
>The last one I had was 4 X 6 made out of ash. It weigh a ton and it
>came with a drafting head, Had 16 draws. I put a rubber mat on it
>that cost more than the table. It was like new.
>I have given it to my nephew who actually drays buildings on it.
>For the last 12 years I do everything in Corel Draw
On Sun, 02 Apr 2006 19:41:05 GMT, "Neil Larson"
>>Im looking for a source for drafting table parts, I want to make my
>>I'm finding it very difficult to find a premade table top.
I also have a 4'x6' (if memory serves) drafting table. The base appears
to be oak but have no idea what the top is made of. It was made to have
2 drawers, but I have only the small drawer. The rubber mat is lifted a
little on one corner near the top, but could be glued down. If your
interested in buying it I'll let it go cheap just to see it gets used. I
have no room for it. Located in NJ
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