How to Use a Drafting Table

How to Use a Drafting Table

For you to learn how to use a drafting table easily, you have to know their different types. Knowing their differences in size and purpose will give you a better understanding of how these tables work.

Proper Usage: How to Use a Drafting Table?

The four-post or pedestal drafting tables are those with a four-legged design. Those that are collapsible and portable are called fold-a-way drafting tables.

Four-post and pedestal drafting tables are expensive and require a permanent fixture. They are both bulky and large so also need more space.

Fold-a-way tables have small top sizes. They are more affordable but less sturdy compared to four-post and pedestal drafting tables.

There are also drafting tables called craft and hobby tables, which have small top sizes like fold-a-way tables. Designed with crafters in mind, they also come with various storage options.

The corners of craft and hobby tables are rounded so attaching a parallel bar can be a hassle. This is why these tables are not ideal for drafting.

Drafting tables are multi-functional so it would be a waste if you don’t enjoy all the benefits they can provide you.

Here, we have listed the things you need to do.

Understand your drafting table and your workstation.

When you are familiar with the pros and cons of each type of drafting table, you are ready to buy the right one for you. First, you have to determine the size of the space where you will use the drafting table.

Decide whether you need a four-post or pedestal drafting table or a fold-a-way table. Afterward, check whether a steel or wooden frame is better for your specific purposes.

Your drafting table must have a built-in overhead light or a lightbox underneath the tabletop if your workstation lacks good sources of light. When the lightbox shines through your paper, you get a different perspective on your designs.

Consider your storage space, as well. There are drafting tables with drawers and shelves where you can store drafting tools and supplies.

Understand the directions from the drafting table’s manufacturer.

When buying a particular drafting table, it is expected that you know its features, pros, and cons. The next thing to do when you bring the table home is to review the manufacturer’s directions.

Take time to familiarize yourself with all the parts and components associated with the drafting table you just bought. Your table has some unique features and moving parts that you can adjust for specific purposes.

Assembling the parts of a drafting table normally takes one to three hours depending on the size of the table. Take time to assemble them and ask someone to help you if possible.

Adjust the leg and drawing heights and the angle of the drafting table.

Your drafting table’s angle and its leg and drawing heights will need adjustment. Look for the turning knobs on either the front legs or the base of the table and use your fingers to unscrew them. Find the right height of the legs and tightly screw the turning knobs back.

The process is the same as the drawing height and the drafting table’s angle. Unscrew the knobs, find the target height or angle and tightly screw the knobs back.

This task is easy if your drafting table has electric motors because all you need is to push a button. However, these motors make the tables heavy so if you are looking for a portable table, better buy one without motors and make the adjustments manually.

Test the adjustments.

Test out the adjustments you just made before using the drafting table. You should feel comfortable when you sit in your chair with your writing instruments at your hand. Otherwise, adjust the heights and angles again until you get the correct ones.

Check the lighting in and around the drafting table and make adjustments as necessary. To test the sturdiness of the table, put some weight on it, and check whether it’s secure or not.

Secure your drafting paper.

At this point, your drafting table is expected to be sturdy enough to take your hands and arms’ pressure when you do your drafting. Once you are ready to draft, secure your drafting paper so it will stay in one spot during drafting.

You can use drafting tape or drafting dots. Use magnets if your drafting table has a magnetized surface.

Maintain the drafting table’s linkages and clutch.

It is necessary to maintain the linkages and clutch of the drafting table. The board should not fly up when you release the foot pedal.

Without using too much force, you must be able to release the foot pedal and move the table surface anywhere. To avoid possible injuries, never change the tabletop to a different size because it will affect the counterweight system’s balance.


Knowing how to use a drafting table starts the moment you choose the proper table for your workstation. Upon making a purchase, spend enough time to assemble the parts based on the manufacturer’s directions.

When assembled, adjust the leg height, the drawing height, and the table’s angle and test the adjustments before starting to use the table. Secure the drafting paper when you are ready to draft. To avoid possible injuries, maintain the linkages and clutch of the table.