How to Build an Artist Drawing Table

Written by adam benjamin
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A good drawing table can be adjusted to raise before you for freehand drawing, and lowered for involved work. Supported by a fair stand, the table turns to suit your needs. By placing the drawing platform in just the right place, you set a tilt best for the hand's touch. The even drawing surface makes your art pieces clear to the view so you can lay out your works in a good order. Create a table with wood, bolts and wing nuts.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3/4 inch by 5 feet by 4 feet plywood (pine, cedar or oak)
  • Two 3/4 inch by 1 inch by 9 foot boards (pine, cedar or oak)
  • 1 inch by 4 inch by 4 foot board
  • 1 and 1/2 inch by 3 foot by 2 foot board
  • 1 and 1/2 inch by 5 inch by 4 foot board
  • 1 inch by 3 inch by 8 foot board
  • 1 inch by 3 inch by 8 foot board
  • 2 bolts, 3 inches long
  • 2 wing nuts
  • Wood screws, 24
  • Wood glue
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • 80 grit sandpaper
  • 120 grit sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Lay out the piece cuts. Mark out in pencil the 4 foot 3 inch by 3 foot table piece on the plywood. On the 9 foot boards, draw four table trim pieces with paired 45 degree angles; two pieces are 4 foot 5 inches and two 3 feet 2 inches. On the 4 inch board, make two 1 foot 11 inch supports.

    For the two 1 and 1/2 inch thick stand ends, draw two 2 foot 4 inch by 9 inch ends on the 3 foot by 2 foot board. Lay out the base support 3 feet 5 inches long on the 5 inch wide board. Mark off the two posts at 3 feet 5 inches on the first 8 foot board. Line in two frame cross supports, 3 feet 3 inches long, on the second 8 foot board.

  2. 2

    Saw out the pieces. Cut out all the pieces along the marks. Sand each piece smooth with 80 grit, then 120 grit sand paper.

  3. 3

    Shape the stand ends, posts and table supports. The stand ends involve cutting some turns. Draw in and saw out a wide bell shape on the two pieces that have a 5-inch wide top, an 11-inch wide middle and a 2 foot 4-inch wide base.

    Round a semicircle on the top on the posts. Drill a hole a for bolt to set in 1 and 1/2 inches from the top at the post middle. Angle the two table supports by making the top edge 1 foot 11 inches long and the bottom edge 1 foot 4 inches long, 3 inches in from left. Drill bolt holes at 12 inches from the left, 1 and 1/2 inches above the bottom.

  4. 4

    Assemble the frame and base. Join two frame ends into a base by connecting a horizontal 5-inch base board to both ends; attach each end to the board with screws at 1 and 1/2 inches above the bell bottoms.

    Make the frame by joining the two posts with two cross supports. Place the horizontal cross support 9 inches up from the post bottom. Place the vertical cross support at 2 feet.

    Set the frame in the base. Place the two posts on top of the base support and screw to the stand ends.

  5. 5

    Assemble the table. On the table bottom, place the two supports 3 feet 3 inches apart. The 45 degree angles face the table top back. The support fronts lay on a line at 5 inches from the front table top edge. Attach each with two screws, one in 5 inches from front and one in 6 inches from the back. Glue on the four trim pieces to frame the table top.

  6. 6

    Place the table on the stand. Align the table support and post holes. From the inside, send a bolt through each hole and secure with wing nuts.

  7. 7

    Sand, stain and finish.

Tips and warnings

  • • To tilt the table loosen the wings nuts, adjust to the right tilt and tighten the nuts.
  • • Saw fine cuts. Flush faces fit nicely together.
  • • Give the table a fine flat finish that does not scratch under drawing pencils and pens.
  • • Add a pen and pencil holder by cutting 2 feet 4 inches from the 3/4 inch by 1 inch wood. Glue the holder to the centre front edge of the table top, the wide face against the table frame, so 1/2 inch stands out from the table top.

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