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What are Drafting Tables?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 17, 2024
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Drafting tables, originally known in many regions as "draughting" tables, are elaborate desks used for many purposes, including cartography, or the art of map drawing. They still serve a variety of functions, but they are commonly associated with an architect drawing up a blueprint. While these tables make perfect surfaces for such work, or any other work that requires more space than a typical desk, they also offer other valuable features.

The ability to tilt a drafting table and work from different angles makes it a popular choice for many different types of artists. Commercial artists, advertising layout specialists and many kinds of designers can benefit from using one. Any work that requires lengthy periods of drawing, sketching or reading is best done on this type of table. One is also useful for crafts and other art projects.

Not only is the person doing the work able to view it from different angles when using this type of table, but he or she is also able to avoid a slouched, head-down position, which can cause neck and back pain, especially after many consecutive hours. Many tables can tilt up to 45 degrees. The knobs and wheels are generally easy to access, as well as simple to adjust to the perfect angle.

Drafting tables are available in many different styles and models, from the very simple to the elaborate, from portable to stationary. They can be contemporary or very traditional, and antique ones are often used as furnishings and art pieces as much as they are for function. Tops surfaces are available in a variety of materials, from glass and wood to plastic and metal.

Some styles also offer built in rulers along the edges and trays to keep writing utensils in place. Others offer interior lighting and are useful for tracing. There are miniature versions available for younger artists as well. Drafting chairs are also available to provide for overall comfort. As a drafting table is adjusted to different heights and angles, a drafting chair can be raised or lowered to achieve the proper height and the most comfortable reach.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon9758 — On Mar 13, 2008

how do you define a correct drafting table?

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