I was a structural draftsman for many years before there were computers and CAD systems. Over the years I’ve tried a variety of CAD programs but always return to my old drafting skills. Woodworking had always been a hobby to me, but since retiring I’ve turned that hobby into a full time business. I learned early on that producing working drawings for my projects and designs greatly increased my capabilities and helped to minimize the difficulties encountered making complex connections.
For me, once I’ve gone through all the dimensioning and design steps drawing the entire project and visualize building it on paper, I pretty much have committed the entire project to memory. It’s then much easier to move forward and build the piece with minimal complications and few references to the drawings.
Over the years I drew on a variety of drafting tables and knew what type suited my needs the best. I have limited office space so I knew I have to have a table that would fold up and minimize the foot print and therefore save space when not in use. I’ve always liked the simplicity, lines and functionality of arts and crafts style furniture and have closely followed the work of the masters of that movement in the early twentieth century.
My table has a folding top and legs that are piano hinged to the supporting frame. The top lifts up, the legs fold in and the top then drops down for compact storage. The table is made of red oak with a dark mission stain and sprayed lacquer finish. All of the joinery is done with traditional mortise and tenon joints. The top is made of 3/4″ Baltic birch plywood with a red oak band. I finished the top off with a standard drafting pad and a Mayline parallel bar. The pencil tray was salvaged off of an old drafting table I found in the trash.
The legs are the most unique feature of the table. The two leg frames are 1 1/2″ square red oak pieces with a suspended circular piece. The legs are a representation of the work done on this table…straight lines, square corners, angles and circles.