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The 10 Best Drafting Tables  May 2019

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Your Guide To Buying a Drafting Table

By Yehudah Posnick

    Although computer-aided design has replaced traditional drafting techniques, there are still a number of artists, architects and draftsmen that employ a drafting table. And the time-proven art supplies produce works of art that an AutoCAD drawing just won’t reproduce. Artists, graphic designers and cartoonists who still make use of different grades of drawing pencils or charcoal still find the drafting table useful. For those drafting tables that can be raised nearly to a 90-degree angle, some even employ them as an easel, for doing painting.

    We've put together this guide to help you select the best drafting table that answers to your needs. It'll help you:

    • Choose the right type of drafting table,

    • See useful tips about that type of drafting table,    

    • Read reviews of different brands of drafting table, and what customers are saying,

    • Select the right brand of drafting table, and

    • Compare prices and find the best deals.

    • Adjustable folding tables: These can be set at a variety of heights and angles. Studio Designs makes a three-position drawing table: it can lay flat, to serve as a writing desk. It can be inclined at 22 degrees, to serve as a drafting table. And it can be tilted at 68 degrees, so as to serve as a stand-up desk.

    • Split-level drafting table: This is a desk where the desktop is divided into two separate sections. One half lays flat, and can be used as a writing table. One section is inclined, for drafting and technical drawing. There is also a shelf above the table, for storing drawing supplies. A variant on this is the Studio Designs Futura LS Workcenter, which has a separate table that runs alongside the drafting table.

    • Lighted drafting board: Some drafting tables are made of clear glass, instead of wood. The glass surface allows you to place a lamp underneath the table and illuminate your project--this is also known as a “light table”, which serves the purpose of a light box. This is convenient for tracing and working on projects with fine details.

    • Stowaway drafting board: There are also boards that can be placed on any table, to convert it to a drafting table. A drafting board is a type of wedge, that allows you to sit at a table and incline the art project, for greater comfort. When not in use, or when you have to travel, you can fold it up and pack it away.

    Based on all the consumers' reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

    • Assembly required: Note that some drafting tables require some assembly. Some customers who bought the Studio Designs 10097 Futura Craft Station said that assembly took as much as two hours.

    • Terminology: A drafting table can assume several names, depending on the people using it and their purpose. A “crafting station” is a drafting table used by an artist. A “working station” is the term used for mechanical drawing. And “docking station” will refer to a drafting table that accommodates access to rechargers for tablets, computers and cellphones.

    • Accessories:  There are also accessories that you can buy, to make work at the drafting board more efficient and enjoyable. Studio Designs makes a metal adjustable arm clamp and swing arm lamp, to illuminate the project from above. 

    • Adjustable folding tables: These can be set at a variety of heights and angles. Studio Designs makes a three-position drawing table: it can lay flat, to serve as a writing desk. It can be inclined at 22 degrees, to serve as a drafting table. And it can be tilted at 68 degrees, so as to serve as a stand-up desk.

    • Split-level drafting table: This is a desk where the desktop is divided into two separate sections. One half lays flat, and can be used as a writing table. One section is inclined, for drafting and technical drawing. There is also a shelf above the table, for storing drawing supplies. A variant on this is the Studio Designs Futura LS Workcenter, which has a separate table that runs alongside the drafting table.

    • Lighted drafting board: Some drafting tables are made of clear glass, instead of wood. The glass surface allows you to place a lamp underneath the table and illuminate your project--this is also known as a “light table”, which serves the purpose of a light box. This is convenient for tracing and working on projects with fine details.

    • Stowaway drafting board: There are also boards that can be placed on any table, to convert it to a drafting table. A drafting board is a type of wedge, that allows you to sit at a table and incline the art project, for greater comfort. When not in use, or when you have to travel, you can fold it up and pack it away.

    Martin Universal Design--was founded in 1946, and is based in Detroit, Michigan. They make artist furniture, such as drawing tables, drafting and art boards, stools, wood and metal easels, artist palettes, drawing table accessories and art portfolios.

    Studio Designs-- was started in 2008, as suppliers of art furniture and art accessories. They have their headquarters in Commerce, California. They make drafting and craft tables, easels, table lighting solutions, art storage solutions, and art stools and seats. They also have an offshoot brand called Calico Designs, making home office and home theater furniture.

     


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