Drafting tables are designed to assist artists, architects and draftsmen in their chosen professions. These tables have a top with hinges on the back and a raised lip, usually made of wood or aluminum, on the front end. There are various methods by which the top’s angle can be changed, depending upon the design of the table. The height of the top is also adjustable and can be adapted to accommodate sitting or standing positions. The document, print or art paper is held to the slanted top by the combination of the lip and parallel rulers which are frequently used with drafting tables.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the drafting table was found in many gentlemen’s studies or libraries. These were big pieces of furniture, elaborately carved and made of fine woods like oak. They were designed for use while standing. A gentleman would use his table for drawing studies and other artwork. They were also used for holding heavy books and open newspapers.
With the Industrial Revolution came a switch in focus. Architecture and the arts were less likely to be pursued by wealthy amateurs and the professional artist and architect emerged as part of the workforce. The drafting table became part of the professional’s office, studio or workshop. These machines performed the same basic functions but were made of less costly materials.
Forms of them are found in courthouses and county clerks offices. They are ideal for perusing the bulky and cumbersome index books and legal ledgers. This method of displaying heavy books for reading or display is still popular. Libraries sometimes use them for displaying open newspapers and magazines.
Mostly, though, the modern drafting table is used by artists, designers, architects and some engineers. They still perform the basic functions but there are a wide range of styles and types available.
Students and amateur artists will be able to learn about and select their tables through researching the art supply stores advertising on the internet. A student table is usually fairly lightweight and is simply designed for easy dismantling and transporting. The tops have a durable, scratch and cut resistant covering over a plywood base. These basic models are readily available and reasonably priced.
There’s a good selection of professional models on the market as well. Raising mechanisms can range from the traditional lead weight pulley system to mechanized or computerized forms which offer a high degree of accuracy and perform to exacting standards.
Whether you’re a student, an artist, an architect or draftsman, you’ll find your online research of Drafting Table will be invaluable in determining which one is right for you. There are many art and architecture supply stores listed online and many of them have catalogs with pictures, dimensions and full descriptions of each table. When selecting, consider where you will be using it and whether it should be portable or a fixed version. You may prefer a simpler model that can be easily dismantled or you may need a precision instrument. Then check the shipping charges. Is the machine shipped as one piece or do you have to assemble it? Doing the research fully before you make your decision will ensure you are pleased with your purchase.