Monday, 7 April 2014

Portable Drafting Table

These instructions are for a Portable Drafting Table, I made this for my boyfriend for the days he works from my house. My house is pretty small so buying a full size drafting table isn't an appropriate option.

I purchased all of the wood at Home Depot and had them cut it to size there since I don't have my own large saw, since they don't always cut perfectly I trim the pieces at home to fit.

  • Drill
  • Square head (Robertson) drill bit and screw driver size 1
  • Star head (Phillips) drill bit and screw driver size 2
  • Level
  • Measuring Tape
  • Handsaw or small circular saw
  • 16 pc 6x2 wood screws $2.97
  • 100 pc 5x1/2 wood/metal screws $3.97
  • Left hand curved lid support $5.98
  • Right hand curved lid support $5.98
  • Heavy duty anti-skid pads $2.51
  • 4 pc corner braces 2" $2.98
  • 2pc narrow hinges 2"$4.48
  • 1 2x2x96 cut into 2ft lengths $2.25
  • 1 24x24 piece of flat wood $5-15

I got lucky with my top piece, there was a mis-cut from a previous customer that I found and they gave it to me for $1. I don't recommend MDF (splits easily), I'd look at the smaller pieces of plywood type material with a nice smooth surface.


Take your top piece and figure out which side is smoother and mark the rougher side "back".

Creating the frame:
  1. Measure each piece of wood that was cut, if you're lucky they'll all be the same length. Trim two pieces to exactly 24" and the other 2 pieces to exactly 20". The longer two will form the bottom and top of the frame, these are where you will attach the hinges.
  2. Square them off, with the shorter two pieces between the longer two pieces, and mount the angle bracket supports. Use the screws that they provide in the package, or the 5x1/2s totally up to you.

  3. After I had each angle squared and the angle support in I used a 6x2 screw through the top and bottom pieces into the middle piece on each corner.

 Attaching the narrow hinges:
  1. Laying the smooth side of the table top down on the table I measured 3/4" up from the bottom of it and drew a line on each side and 1/2" in from the side and drew another small line
  2. Taking the frame, I laid it flat on the table top making sure it was squared to it and that the bottom of the frame was 3/4" from the bottom of the table top and that the top of the frame was flush with the top of the table top.
  3.  On the frame I measured 1/2" in from the side on the long outside bottom edge and used the screws that came with the narrow hinges to attach each one to the frame making sure it was lining up flat with the table top it was sitting on.

  4. Then I slid it down and aligned the frame with the lines that I had drawn on the table top 3/4" up and attached the bottom portion of the hinge to the table top using the 5x1/2.

  5. I flipped it over and opened it a few times to make sure they were all attached properly.

Attaching the curved lid supports:

I don't really have instructions for this part as it was really hit and miss, we had to sit down at the table and decide on the height he wanted his table to sit at most of the time and went from there. I cheaped out on this part because it cost me around $12 for both hinges, if you aren't cheap you can purchase something like a lift-up ratchet support/hinged drafting table support to avoid the awkward metal jutting out piece when it's taken down.

After the box and table part were finished I flipped it over and attached the no-skid rubber feet to help keep it steady on our wooden kitchen table.

It took me less than an hour to build this and under $30, it's a cheap alternative and a killer space saver if I do say so myself! Plan is to sand it down lightly and coat it later-on. The top piece I found was 11Mmx24X48 G1S Poplar Hp and costs $13.42, I got my piece for 1$ because whoever cut it off-cut it by 1/4 an inch so it wasn't exactly 24" by 24" and was sitting in the junk pile.