3 Leaf, Angle and Height Adjustable Drawing Table

Build it yourself! 6-10 hours. Less than $200

Posted by Vance on February 8, 2016

Why? It folds up nicely. It looks cool. It's modular and expandable indefinitely! To paint the ForeverScape, I need to see at least 20-40 pages in front of me at the same time. That can get cumbersome. I used to have to lean far across my flat drawing table, to reach the gap between it and the second angle-adjustable

table behind it. Well, after a few years of hunching over my drawing tables, I pinched a nerve in my spine, making daily life nearly impossible for a couple months. Heat pads, physical therapy, non-stop Ibuprofen regigment... you know the drill. My previous table, a foam-core door that my friend Jonathan screwed onto a drafting table base was great, but I was overdue for an upgrade.


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Having three leafs enables me to plan longer chunks of the 'scape. I can fit 60 pages on there now! I can take a step back and visualize how large segments fit together, without having to move all my pieces to the floor. I can also drop the middle leaf, and jump between sections quicker now. I could theoretically keep

Video: Construction Timelapse


adding hook-on leafs with relatively little effort. But, I think three is more than I'll need, for now. You're likely only going to need two leafs.

Materials

2 Leafs

Lumber

  • Pine 12 count @ 6 ft. 3 1/2"x3/4" (Half thickness of 2x4)
  • 4 count 7/8" Dowels
  • 4 count 7/8" Dowels
  • 4 count 1" x 3/4" x 8 ft strips, light pressed cedar?
  • 2 count 34" x 77" Masonite (have the lumber yard cut this for you)
  • 12 feet of 2"x6" or 4"x4" (the base can be improved)
  • 4 count 8 foot 2”x4”

Hardware

  • 50 count 3/4" Wood Screws (Estimate)
  • 50 count 1 1/4" Wood Screws (Estimate)
  • 50 count 1 1/4" Self-Drilling Deck Screws (Estimate)
  • 30 count 1/2" finish screws (Estimate)
  • Small amount wood glue
  • 12 2"x2"x3" 90 degree steel fence brackets

Tools

  • Light Electric Drill (good for finish screws)
  • Heavy electric drill or drill press (dowel holes)
  • 7/8" flat hole cutting bit
  • Phillips bit
  • Hex deck screw bit
  • Angle-cutting Chop Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • 2-4 C Clamps
  • Stud Finder

+Extra Leaf

  • +6 count 3 1/2"x 3/4 pine lumber
  • +2 Dowels
  • +2 Masonite
  • +2 thin 1" x 3/4" wood Strips

Optional

  • 4 Bessey STC-IHH25 Clamps (For positional locking)

Basic Concepts

  • Rule of Thirty Sixes - Most cuts are this size. Stick to it, and it is easy!
  • Frame Section - A modular frame piece, square in shape.
  • Movable Base - A stand that the edge of the desk sits on.
  • Rack Support - A pair of beams on the wall with slots cut for the dowel pegs.

Build It!

  1. Cut 12 36" segments of the 2"x3/4" Pine. I chose 6' lengths because this is half the board and it makes planning easier.
  2. Do this for six of the pieces: Measure 1 3/4 inches from either side, mark. Measure 1 1/2 inches from the end, mark. I like to stack these two high and clamp to save on time. Drill 7/8" a hole. Carefully let the drill stay on as you pull the bit out, to give a little extra gouge to it. Drill holes on both ends.
  3. Put a dowel through both sides of the pieces to form a rectangle. Lay it flat, and connect two more boards to either side of one of the dowels. Already, you can put them together and it should look like something almost useful.

  4. Several of the 36" Chunks. Cross-supports shown
    (horizontal pieces) parallel with with dowels.
  5. Lay down your frame and dowel square on the floor. Get your fence brackets in place. Screw in cross-supports 6 inches in from the ends. If you're doing the three leaf version, affix these 12 inches in from the ends. I ran into an issue where the third leaf frame section was blocked from hanging when not in use.

  6. Brackets after assembly.
  7. Now, do the second square, but cut your cross-supports at some length UNDER 36" so there's clearance between arms. My preference was to make the next section fit inside. Go ahead and fit your next section on the dowel. Now you should now have two squares, connected by a shared dowel. Measure and cut your cross-supports to fit. Attach using brackets. You should be able to bend this into a triangle, using the shared dowel as a hinge.
  8. Cut 6 pieces of the 3/4" pine to 12". On one side of each piece, drill holes at 1 1/4" and 1 1/2" mark.
  9. Let's cut the hooks! Make one vertical cut from the long side down to the very side of the drilled hole. Stop at the midpoint of the hole. Make a second cut, but at a 15 degree angle, so that the cut is triangular, down to the other side of the whole, getting wider toward the top.

  10. Hooks

  11. With the two remaining 36" sections with holes, make identical cuts as the hooks to one side of each piece. Now you can make one more 36 inch square section, this time using only one dowel. Screw 5 screws in a X pattern to connect the 12" and the 36" pieces together (also glue if you wish) so that they fit perfectly, creating a single hook groove.
  12. Glue and screw the remaining 12" hook pieces together in pairs. You should have two reinforced hook sections. Set these aside.
  13. Building the base
  14. I made my base out of reclaimed 2"x6". Cut the vertical legs at 30" high. I then added a cross support/shelf made of the 2x6 measuring 45 inches wide. Make your cross support long enough so that your frame sections could hang on hooks set on the frame's interior. Attach crossbar/shelf pieces with deck screws, going through the legs and into the ends.
  15. Add a backing for your shelf. 3.5"x3/4" pine to fit on the back of the legts with screws. I also added a thin strip for the front holder on the shelf.
  16. Make two 25" 2x6 sections. Cut a 30 degree corner off of them.

  17. Leg Pattern


    Base with Shelf

  18. Measure and cut a bracket out of your pine, matching the angles if you wish. Screw an X pattern using your long deck screws. I like deck screws because the self drilling makes free-standing work easier.
  19. Add two more triangles of 2x6. Place on your legs, measure to cut more pine brackets. Attach pine brackets like so:

  20. Feet brackets

  21. Now attach you hooks to the stand/base station using a X pattern of screws. They should overhang your base station so you don't trip on the shelf while drawing.

  22. Reinforced, glued hooks

    Wall Mount
  23. Cut your 2x4 to the appropriate height. I would probably use four vertical 2x4s with a sharper groove angle than the one I have here, for stability. Instead of 30 degrees, I may try 45 degrees. It will keep the dowels from popping out easily. This makes the wood a little more brittle, so that's why I suggest doubling it up.
  24. Drill a series of holes in your 2x4. I went with six inch spacing, center to center.

  25. Holes every 6"

  26. Cut your slots from 30 degrees to 45 degrees depending on your preference. I tested with a dowel to make sure each grove was wide enough, to avoid doing having to schlep the 2x4s around.

  27. Slice your grooves

  28. Locate the studs in the wall. Level and screw two six-foot pine section into studs, at about 2 foot and 7 feet high on the wall.
  29. Using any 90 degree fence bracket, attach your verticals to you horizontal supports.

  30. Wall brackets

  31. Put it all together! Hang your triangle section on the vertical mounts. Your last section should sit in your base-stand hooks, and hook over the triangle section's joining dowel.

  32. Wall brackets

    Extra Leaf
  33. Make one extra section that hangs off the triangle piece. In the above picture, you can see it just dangling there. Put in your cross supports, just like the others. Make sure it can swing freely. It has a dowel on the low end, not attached to any other piece.
  34. Make a simple vertical stand. Two verticals (measured to fit your swinging piece, at bout 40" off the floor. Your hinged-piece can rest on these legs. Drill and cut your ends out like this:




  35. The "Small Base"

    Surfaces
  36. Cut the thin wood strips to match the length of the surfaces. My surfaces are 77"x34" to fit my paper exactly. You can use what ever dimension over 48" wide. 34" high is a good height to fit the leafs on. I'd recommend it.
  37. Using the finish screws, drill down through your surface into the thin strips, placed at the top and bottom of your masonite surface.
  38. I added cross bars from bottom to top like this:

  39. Back of the surface masonite

  40. Using two more brackets, I added these feet to support the surface. Measure the distance from the bottom of the distance to inside of the frame's cross bars. This is the crossbar on each 36" section. Get the distance from the bottom to the inside of the cross-beam. This is where you want your surface's feet to be. These feet will rest against it, keeping your surface from sliding off.
  41. Place you surfaces on the table! That's it!
  42. Optionally, you can add the Bessey clamps to the surface, pointing outward at the wall of the 36" section. Then, you can clamp the surface into juuuust the right spot.

  43. Mount the bessey clamp to the back of the surface




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