View Full Version : Drafting Table

04-23-2003, 10:36 AM
I was wondering if anybody uses a drafting table to paint on. I'm going to have a studio early next year and will have room for one. They are cheap as everybody has gone to computers. Seems like they would be perfect because you can adjust the tilt on them.

04-23-2003, 10:39 AM
I use one and really like it.

04-23-2003, 10:39 AM
Hi Norm, I use a drafting table, actusually i have two.......but not the room in studio for both.......but they are really nice for watercolour painting.....

04-23-2003, 10:40 AM
I actually had bought an adjustable drafting table for home to paint on but once I got it home I didn't like it. Yeah, they are adjustable but most of them (at least the inexpensive ones) are not that easy/fun to adjust the tilt on. So if you buy one, you probably won't adjust it that often if at all.

I ended up buying a nice glass desk that I am very happy with. The drafting table ended up here where I work because as it turned out someone needed a table to stand up and work because he has a back problem. I was happy to get rid of it and not have to eat the $150 I spent.

04-23-2003, 10:48 AM
Norm, I love mine. My sister got it at her office when they were remodeling - she picked it up for $25 (and it weighs a ton). It's adjustable in about a million ways and has a dandy tray to the right with lots of little compartments and a hole for hanging my tsquare and rulers. I can sit or stand to work and can tilt the table or leave it flat. I can use it for all sorts of projects, not just painting - my knitting machine fits perfectly on it. Oh, and when it's not doing all the above, the cats like to nap on it.


04-23-2003, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by karenjh
I actually had bought an adjustable drafting table for home to paint on but once I got it home I didn't like it. Yeah, they are adjustable but most of them (at least the inexpensive ones) are not that easy/fun to adjust the tilt on. So if you buy one, you probably won't adjust it that often if at all.

The kind I'm talking about are REAL drafting tables like the engineering a architectural firms used to use before computers (not like they sell at craft and offce stores). They are counter weighted so you simply push a peddle and can easily adjust the angle and height with one hand.

04-23-2003, 10:53 AM
I would love to have a drafting table, but do not have room where I paint. :(

Another thing to remember for when we decide to renovate.

04-23-2003, 11:10 AM
We had an artist table (???) whatever that means, that tilted. I found it cumbersome and gave it to my son...

04-23-2003, 11:16 AM
Norm, mine is a real drafting table. The desktop is about 3' x 4' and the base weighs over 50 lbs. Not to mention the top. It weighs a ton as well. I highly recommend going with a professional job. You should be able to find one used for not much $$$$$. They're worth every penny.


04-23-2003, 11:24 AM
Ahh, well that makes sense now LOL

A REAL drafting table my husband would draw the line at. We don't have a room just for a studio hence the glass desk in the den. Now we have 1/2 tv room and 1/2 studio depending upon who is in the room at the time LOL

04-23-2003, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by vestalqueen
Norm, mine is a real drafting table. The desktop is about 3' x 4' and the base weighs over 50 lbs. Not to mention the top. It weighs a ton as well. I highly recommend going with a professional job. You should be able to find one used for not much $$$$$. They're worth every penny.


Erin, where would you go to find a professional model? I have a cheap drafting table, which suits my purposes well enough, but I'd love to have one that adjusts easier.

04-23-2003, 11:42 AM
Sometimes you;'ll find good deals on pro-models on ebay, of course it would have to be in your area for pick-up, just search ebay under "region".
I have one (not a pro table) and it works very well for me, like the big surface where I can keep everything near, recently am doing more oils though, so it's catching dust...

04-23-2003, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by Elankat

Erin, where would you go to find a professional model? I have a cheap drafting table, which suits my purposes well enough, but I'd love to have one that adjusts easier.

Do a search on ebay and narrow it down to your area. I did that and there aren't any currently available but one recently sold for $29. Offices are dumping them because everything is computerized now and no one drafts by hand any more

04-23-2003, 11:48 AM
My sister works at a television station. Their art department was dumping them. Not only can you try online sources like eBay, but look at your local secondhand office furniture shops. People aren't really crazy about them because they're large and weigh a ton - and face it, not much on looks, either. I wouldn't take anything for mine, tho.


04-23-2003, 12:36 PM
I use an A1 adjustable drafting table with parallel rule, Norm. Its useful also for cutting mounts.

There is one disadvantage though - I haven't much room in my "studio" and so my table has also to hold my pallets, water botle, brushers etc etc, ans it is tilted to the optimum 5-10 degrees, things tend to roll down the surface.

Here's my "midden":

If you have an adjacent flat surface to put your equipment on then go for it!


04-23-2003, 12:47 PM
I bought an artist table with stool and lamp several years ago. The table can be tilted and it has a foot rest. Yes, I think you would use something like this a lot. I saw them on Ebay for a lot less than they sell for at the stores and in catalogues.

04-23-2003, 01:37 PM
I have a very old oak drafting table from an engineering & design firm, approx 8 ft long, very tall.

Lots of history

Large center drawer for holding/storing paintings. Lots of other storage for paints & whatnot.

Couldn't work without it!

04-23-2003, 02:13 PM
I have a wooden drawing table, that I use for watercolor painting.

I love it!
I love the fact that it tilts.

I bought it "used", but it looked as though it never had been used.

I have 2 easels in my studio for painting in acrylic on canvas.

I love my studio.

04-23-2003, 03:19 PM
You Know I was a draftperson for about 15 years... I endured all the malarky of changing from man to person and as i worked for the transportation dept we also had to say lets plot feild note for the person access holes:))
I have had two drafting tables. One an old wooden huge thing i bought for 25.00. Second was a nicer one smaller that tilts I got from the art store.. but with less space when more kids came alone I stored it and now my daughter uses it as her puter table and i have a drop leaf rolling cart for my table.
I do love the old wooden tables tho.

04-23-2003, 03:42 PM
Good grief Yorky, what a mess.....Hope your wife keeps you out of the kitchen....
Worked on one of those big boards for 20 years....then spent 5 years learning AutoCad draughting......picked up an antique made of real hardwood with a surface of about 4' x 3'......
I've been painting for about 15 yrs on it.
I find it a little small and would settle for a heavy door on sawhorses....set to the angle needed.
The big advantage to the big board is being able to use an adjustable set square...if that's what you like.
Take care,

Mary Riggs
04-23-2003, 06:30 PM
I use one of my father's architectural/drafting tables he gave me before he died. As an architect, he used to tilt it often for his work, but I use it flat in my studio for watercolor, acrylic, and collage pieces I am working on. It was a little too short (because I like to work sitting down most of the time), so I cut some blocks of 4x4's and put them under each leg. With the additional height, it fits me perfectly as I sit on my drafting stool to work. Because it has a large surface (38" X 60"), I have room for my palette, brushes, stackable drawer units for paint, lamps, drawing tools, etc. and still have room for 22"X30" paper.

This set-up suits my needs to a t-square!

04-23-2003, 07:22 PM
I really should proof read before I send... I give the impression I have switched from male to female.
I meant to say we were asked to refer to the draftsman as a draftsperson when equal opportunity reared its head and refer to manholes as person access holes when plotting them from field notes. Sorry for the terrible typos,

05-29-2003, 10:17 PM
I am happy that I looked in here before plunging into buying one at an art store. Also I am setting up my studio at home for my sculpture work. I believe, it was Nina who said she loved her studio. So do I!

I am creating an extra bedroom into the studio and already have two sculpture modelling stands and one easel for pastel work etc.. I think the drafting table (I will look on ebay first and figure out the "region" info you were all talking about!) will be very useful for my drawing and sketching and even painting. I would love to hear how others are using it.

Also I strongly believed that sculpture, drawing, painting and photography and very much entwined with each other. One can learn a lot from the other. Sometimes tables, and modelling stands even though they can be expensive at the beginning could also be quite indispensable when one wants to keep diffferent facets of arts compartmentalized and organized.

Love all your comments.


05-29-2003, 10:19 PM
all you drafting table folks

Tons on EBAY

lyn lynch
05-29-2003, 10:36 PM
I have a LOBO wood easel at which I can sit stand or kneel [just like in church], and it also tilts flat. I love the LOBO.

I have a tabletop French easel, which I no longer use. I have an aluminum folding leg for outdoors, which I no longer use.

I have a 50s kitchen table that I am using right now and it's not a good thing, but I'm using it instead of the LOBO right now--go figure.

In the past I have had (2) different styles of drafting tables and gave them both away. They were purchased from the art store. The problem w/them was as already written--inabilty to tilt them easily or properly, no place to keep stuff handy w/o having ancillary tables like Andy has, and poor construction so eventually they became loose in the fittings.

However, I would love a "REAL" drafting table. One w/the wheel-action tilt, and the drawer and hooks for hanging, or the ability to hang my own hooks w/o drilling through the flimsy surface. Good luck in your search and I'm sure you will love it.

Good thread.

05-30-2003, 09:03 AM
I bought a drafting table, stool and lamp several years ago for $89.00 U.S. I see them sold on eBay as a set. Mine tilts and has a bar for my feet. Yes, I think it's worthwhile.

Bubba's Mama
05-30-2003, 09:39 AM
I have a wonderful big drafting table I got from DickBlick a few years ago. I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, and it has made an enormous difference in designing patterns for my deco painting. I keep it set at the optimum angle to alleviate my wrist problems, but it took my phys therapist to figure that angle out.

Never even thought about using it for my watercolor work! Have been using gatorboard to stretch my stuff on and it is so light that I just pick it up and tilt it to do my washes. Hmmmmm


05-30-2003, 01:56 PM

Drafting tables are perfect for painting...I have always used one for as long as I can remember


05-30-2003, 11:39 PM
I recently saw the following on ebay: It looks like a very functional table but I wonder whether these small dimensions will give me trouble later. All you expert draft table users, which dimensions do you recommend?

Here is the link to ebay:

And here is the picture, although I do not know if it will show here!

05-30-2003, 11:40 PM
Here is a larger view.... !
With a 24 x 36" light grey Melamine wood table top!

Crystal Owl
05-31-2003, 10:02 AM
Techie ,

I just purchased one of those. I'm making room in my computer room for it . I'll let you know how I like it once I have it set up.


05-31-2003, 10:54 AM
I love my drafting table . Here's mine.

05-31-2003, 11:24 AM
A full sheet is 22x30...of course if you never do full sheets, I guess its big enough...just a thought. I tape my paper (all sizes)
to Gaterboard (24x32) and work on a 36x60 draughting table only because I was a draughtsman and I bought it dirt cheap when CAD became the norm.
I like it because its high and I use a stool to sit on and can stand when I have to.
The set up is like Sandy1's with room for the paint tray on the side.
Take care,

05-31-2003, 05:13 PM
I just got home and bought, one exactly that yours Sandy1!
Same color top and legs.

I am very pleased with it. I believe is about 32 x 40. It is still in the back seat of my car until I have time later to take it out. I got a deal because it was a floor model. It came with the adjustable chair on caster and the lamp plus a set of drawers to the right side of of the tabletop. I believe the retail value was $259 or something along those lines but got it all for $179.

Thanks so much for all your comments. I am looking forward to start using it.

(It is wonderful to have a community of artists to share and learn from each other.)

09-10-2003, 01:38 AM
I just wanted to say thanks to all those who pointed me toward ebay for the professional drafting tables. It took a lot of patience and watching, but one finally came up for auction and it was within driving distance.

I got a HUGE 40" by 60" professional Hamilton table with the counterweights. So, it adjusts with a foot pedal for height and lever for tilt. It's SOOO much better than my old drafting table. It's perfect for all my mediums: cp, ink, and watercolor. Best of all, I got it for $100. It had a 48" parallel rule on it that retails for more than that! :D

I never would have thought to look for a professional table on ebay if it hadn't been for this thread. Thank you!

09-10-2003, 05:48 AM
Hi all

Interesting the thoughs on drafting tables.

I had one given to me a while back but it was too large. Was 36x48 inches and I cut it down to 32x32 to make it fit where it sits now. This one is quite old and very simple to adjust. One handle loosen it off, tilt it, tighten up. Also raises 15 inches.

I would not have bought one tho as I dont feel I am experienced enough to warrant one. But when freebie's come along what can one do huh!. Cost me fuel money. With a VW diesel. It was not much ;)


Here is pic. Solid Oak base 1" ply top. Heavy!!