Drawing Tables and Surfaces

To produce quality drawings for interior design projects, it is necessary to establish a dedicated workplace. Designs can be drawn manually on a drawing board set on a tabletop surface, on a handmade drafting table, or on a ready-made drafting table. Or they can be drawn using computer drafting hardware and software that augments a drawing board or replaces it totally. In this chapter, commonly used manual drafting tables, equipment and tools are discussed. Computer drawing and drafting are discussed in more detail in Chapter 16.

For interior designers, a fairly large layout and drawing surface is needed most of the time. It is vital to have a drawing surface that will hold large presentation boards and standard sheets up to 24 x 36 inches (731 x 914 mm). Even larger sheets may be necessary for perspective drawings and full-size furniture drawings. A drawing board or table approximately 30 x 50 inches (.762 x 1.27 m) should be obtained if possible. This will allow adequate space around the actual drawing sheet to place and maneuver the drawing tools and materials.

Ready-made drafting tables are manufactured in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and prices (Figure 2-1). Some styles have an adjustable top and rest on four legs. Other models have a single or double pedestal base with a top that can be raised or lowered according to the chair or stool height. This enables drafters to sit in a chair with a comfortable back and thus to work with less fatigue. The newer models also allow the top to tilt at various angles for comfort. This allows the drafter to work whether sitting or standing. Space-saving folding tables are also produced, although they are not generally as sturdy as the fixed models.

Figure 2-1 A variety of pre-manufactured drafting tables are available to designers. They range from very basic, with few options for adjustment, to quite sophisticated, with electronic controls.

Manufactured tables have drawing surfaces that range in size from 30 x 48 inches (762 x 1.21 mm) to 30 x 60 inches (.762 x 1.52 m) and are usually made of wood or hardboard over a cellular core. However, a wood drawing surface can become scored and grooved over time, which affects the drawing quality of the surface. It is best to cover the bare wood top with a protective finish such as plastic melamine or a vinyl drawing-board cover that gives a bit of resiliency and is easy to keep clean. The latter covering is often produced with an off-white and a colored side. Which side to leave faceup is left to the individual.

Drawing-board and table surfaces do not have to be manufactured, as a self-made surface can also be satisfactory and less expensive. For example, a hollow-core, flush door can be supported on blocks or handmade legs made of 2x4 lumber with metal brackets. However, the height and angle that suits individual work habits must first be determined, as this type of drawing area will be fixed and not adjustable.

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