How to build a drafting table

How to build a drafting table

The first thing you will need to do is decide how much space you have to work with and what size you want your table to be. The table we will be building is 36” inches wide x 72” inches long across the drawing board and sits around 36” high. (I will be using inches for ease of measurement.) The table we will build here will not be adjustable as to the height and pitch that can be applied to the table. We will use a combination that should work well for most people.

See the Bill Of Material (BOM) listed below for the parts you will need.

  • B.O.M. & Tools you will need: (note: write the name on each pc in pencil.)
  • 1 pc ¾” thick plywood cut to 36” w x 72” L – tabletop
  • 2 pcs 2 x 4 cut to 36” L – front legs
  • 2 pcs 2 x 4 cut to 42” L – back legs
  • 4 pcs 2 x 4 cut to 21” L – 2-top frame/ 2-bottom frame
  • 4 pcs 2 x 4 cut to 60” L – 2-top frame/ 2-bottom frame
  • 1 pc Borco Self Healing Dwg. Board Cover 37” x 72” (can be purchased from for around $60.00)
  • 8 pcs 2” dry wall screws
  • 32 pcs 3” dry wall screws
  • 1 Drill with Philips Head Screw tip
  • 1 Tape measure or yardstick
  • 1 Carpenters Pencil

Take your tabletop pc and draw a box on each side using your pencil. The box will be 6-3/4” in from the edge on all sides. Ensure you extend the lines to the edge of the work pc creating intersecting lines. This will be your guide for lining up the frames and installing the screws to hold them in place.

Assemble the two frames by laying out the two 61” pcs parallel to each other. Place the 21” pcs to the inside of the 61” pcs to make a box. Run (2) 3” screws through the 61” pcs and into the end of the 21” pc. Repeat on all sides and on both frames you build.

The next step may require a helper. Using one of the frames you just built and the tabletop. Have your helper stand with the tabletop leaning against him/her. This will allow them to now hold the frame in place while you screw the tabletop to the frame from the β€œTop” side of the table, using the 2” screws. Make sure your helper holds the frame in place over the box you drew and uses the lines to eyeball the center of the frame. Screw in the top two corners from the β€œTop” side where the lines intersect. This should be dead center of the frame on the other side. Check it to make sure you hit your mark, and then screw in the other two corners if everything is lined up properly.

We’re now ready for the legs. Lay the tabletop face down on the floor. The frame should be facing up. Take the (2) 36” front legs and place one in each corner of the same side. Secure them with (2) 3” screws each. Do the same with the (2) 42” legs. This now gives you a front and back of your table. (Note: Make sure you have the legs on the same long side of the table.)

Next, measure down on each leg and make a mark at 10”. Then take your remaining frame and slide it over the legs, lining it up on the marks you made. Attach the frame there using (2) 3” screws on each corner.

You’re now ready to flip your table over and see how it looks before the last step. Depending on how well your cuts where and how well you attached the legs, you may have to trim a little here and there to get the table perfectly level.

Finally you are ready to put on the Borco cover. I suggest using your manufacture instructions for this task.

You now have a completed drafting table and are ready to start sketching away.

Leave a Comment