Drafting Table: Structure and Build

Published: 23rd November 2009
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The paper and pencil graphics are still the main choice of architects when it comes to choosing between the simple drafting table and the computer generated drafting. This may be because drafting table has always been closely associated as one of the most important equipments in their workplace. This conventional way of drafting is still held onto by many, even with the advances in technology.

The drafted tables are generally supported by steel structures. The steel table has the advantage over the oak wood table as it is more portable and gives the same strength. The top surface of the table consists of a layer of fiberboard that is tightly packed. This layer is then laminated by formica sheets to give it a glazed feel. Screws are used to attach the top surface to the metallic frame and if the table requires to be transported the screwed top surface can very easily be unscrewed.

To control the height and the angle of the top surface, the steel frame can have mechanical linkages bonded to it. This helps in making the top surface so much more adjustable. In most tables, a foot paddle controls a clutch which further controls the angle at which the top surface of the table is positioned. A heavy lead counterweight averts the top surface from springing up straight and causing danger to the user if the foot paddle were to be suddenly released. But if you want this safety measure to keep working properly, appropriate maintenance steps should be taken regarding the clutch and the linkages incorporated in the table frame.

The drafting table surface is covered with the help of a board cover. It is a thin vinyl sheet meant to give the surface its glossy smooth feel. It also helps in providing a favorable surface for drafting with the help of a pen and a pencil. This way the compasses and dividers, used in drafting, do not sabotage the wooden surface of the board. However, the board cover requires regular cleaning to avert the building up of graphite on the surface which would make the new drawings appear grubby. A strip of aluminum at the bottom edge of the table is employed to hold the pencils. Sometimes steel may also be used for this purpose. Some tables come with many other purpose built trays that are able to hold the stationary even while the table is being adjusted to the desired position.

Some tables have drafting equipment such as the parallel rulers attached to the table. These rulers run parallel to the top and bottom edge of the board and can be adjusted lengthwise. The purpose of such equipment is to help the draftsman in his measurements and making drafting easier. Such rulers are mostly pre calibrated. Sometimes, simple projectors may be transformed into a multi-touch table. For this one just needs a trip to the hardware store and an internet connection.

Some tables use motors to allow for mechanized adjustment of height and angle, using a push button. However such tables are not as portable as the mechanical ones but are just as heavy as the oak or steel framed structures. They are available for prices starting from US $120.

For free articles and reviews on portable drafting tables , visit Drafting Tables blog.

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