If you are wondering what a drafting table is, you have come to the right place. Here, we will discuss what these tables are used for and some guidelines when it comes to choosing the one that best fits your needs.
Not all architects, structural designers, and artists fully take advantage of the advancement of computers nowadays. Some of them still depend on paper and pencil graphics produced on drafting tables, which are platforms that are stable enough to handle drawing and reading blueprints.
Drafting tables have a rigid leg-support structure. What makes these tables convenient specifically for mechanical drawing or architectural and engineering drafting is the pitch top, which varies from one drafting table to another.
Aside from drafting, other uses of drafting tables are general writing, reading, painting, drawing, large documents, crafts, and hobbies. These multi-functional tables come in several sizes.
What is a Drafting Table and What Are the Types?
There are two types of drafting tables that are most commonly used. There are the portable drafting table and the drafting table with a base.
Whether you intend to use your drafting table at home or in the office, it is highly recommended to choose one that will last for years regardless of its price. Here are the important factors you have to consider when you are looking for one:
Space and Angle
The first thing to consider is the space of your workstation where you will put the drafting table. If you don’t need the table all the time, rather go for a collapsible one, which is ideal for small spaces.
You can easily store fold-a-way drafting tables when not in use. In general, these portable tables are smaller and more affordable than drafting tables with four legs.
Analyze the angle you would like the top surface to be tilted at to make sure your draft table will fit in your space at home or in the office. Most draft tables tilt from 35 to 45 degrees.
Sturdiness and Stability
Fold-a-way tables are sturdy enough to handle specific tasks, such as reading, general writing, and other less demanding tasks. However, if you are going to use your drafting table for tasks that involve weight and pressure, go for four-post or pedestal drafting tables.
Compared to fold-a-way tables, drafting tables with a four-legged design are sturdier and more permanent. The top sizes of four-post or pedestal drafting tables are larger than those of fold-a-way tables,
Four-post or pedestal drafting tables have a sturdy base. They will not wobble even when you lean on them.
The tops of drafting tables vary in sizes. The standard sizes are 30x 42 inches, 24 x 36 inches, 37.5 x 60 inches, 37.5 x 48 inches, and 37.5 x 72 inches.
The sizes of four-post table tops range from 30 inches x 42 inches to 43 inches x 84 inches. Pedestal tables can be tilted from 0 to 90 degrees and using a lever, a foot pedal, or a switch, you can adjust their height and tilt easily.
Four-post and pedestal drafting tables are made for heavy use while fold-a-way tables are not, but the small tabletop makes fold-a-way table more portable. It is easy to store a fold-a-way table in a closet or under a bed because its legs fold in and its top folds down to around 5 inches in width.
In terms of style, drafting tables are either traditional or contemporary. The traditional ones are recommended for architects and structural designers while the contemporary ones are designed with artists in mind.
Another thing to consider with the style of a drafting table is its material. The frame of most drafting tables is made of steel, which is as strong as a wooden table frame, but steel frames have easier portability compared to wooden frames.
With a steel frame, you can install mechanical linkages into the drafting table. These linkages allow you to control not only the height of the drafting board surface but also its angle.
What makes drafting tables with wooden frames better is that they are generally more affordable than those with steel frames. Wooden frames are still sturdy enough to tackle specific functions so are ideal for those who are on a budget or those wanting to use the table for tasks that don’t require much sturdiness.
Knowing what a drafting table is required studying space, angle, sturdiness, stability, size, and the style of the table involved. By familiarizing yourself with these factors, you can avoid buying a drafting table that does not fit your specific needs.
In general, architects, structural designers, and artists use drafting tables with a base for heavy use. For light use and less demanding tasks, they use portable drafting tables.
Those who need a portable drafting table choose a fold-a-way table. For those who are looking for a table with a sturdy base, the proper option is a four-post or pedestal drafting table.