Drafting boards, recommendation/thoughts ?

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  05 May 2005
Drafting tables, recommendation/thoughts ?

I've been looking for a drafting table (sick of using the kitchen table and having to move my stuff all the time) for some time and I've narrowed down my searches to this one:

Alvin CraftMaster


Description link

But suddenly I thought, maybe some persons here would say don't go with this one or go with another one.

So if you have anything to say, speak !
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Last edited by Schwinnz : 05 May 2005 at 12:25 AM. Reason: Title error !
 
  05 May 2005
If you can afford an Alvin CraftMaster then I say go for it. I used to have this antique drafting table, sigh, but I lost that a long time ago. Oh poop! I miss that.

A nice light drawing board that you can take into the field is great. Or a sketch book, but you need stiff card stock or a masonite board for backing.
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  05 May 2005
ensure your table has the following:

a) It is stable - you don't want a board that rocks back and forth if you are drawing with vigorous strokes

b) Make sure you can easily change the angle of the drawing surface

c) ability to change the table height with ease

d) a good horizontal guide - you know a ruler that slides up and down the table - make sure your table has one! you will never regret having this - even if you are not doing technical drawing!

also pick up 45 and 60-30 set squares, and a good quality steel rule - very useful - again even if you are not doing technical illustration

One final note: if you are going to do any cutting using your tools (trimming paper - whatever) - never, never place cutting blades (xacto knives etc) in direct contact with plastic edges - always place a steel rule against your set square/whatever and use the edge of the steel ruler, as a guide for cutting - otherwise you will knick and thus ruin your tools.

Gord
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Last edited by gordonm : 05 May 2005 at 03:35 AM.
 
  05 May 2005
An inexpensive and space saving drafting board: get a board of a suitable size. Screw it to the wall with hinges, preferably next to a smallish table. Lift the board so that it rests on the table (it should be screwed on the wall at a height that will give it the proper angle when resting on the table beneath). Now you have yourself an adjustable drafting board which can be cleared away at a moment's notice.
 
  05 May 2005
GordonM's is the one to listen to... I'm looking at about 8 or 10 "mayline" drafting tables right now and Alvin's always been a good one also... Some of my favorite gear is Alvin.

The only things I have to say that is of relevance to you is this... the bar going across is called a "Parallel Bar." You can also get many type of whats called a "drafting machine" which does the same thing but imagine a L shaped hand that can rotate with angle snaps and it moves around the desk via. an arm or track...
 
  05 May 2005
Originally Posted by glassefx: GordonM's is the one to listen to... I'm looking at about 8 or 10 "mayline" drafting tables right now and Alvin's always been a good one also... Some of my favorite gear is Alvin.

The only things I have to say that is of relevance to you is this... the bar going across is called a "Parallel Bar."


Parallel Bar - Dang! Thats what its called - I had long since forgotten

Personally, I think the Parallel Bar is a better all purpose tool than the drafting machine - more flexible in terms of function. The drafting machine is usually more expensive and more specific in its usage (technical/architectual drawing etc).

Gord
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Last edited by gordonm : 05 May 2005 at 03:44 AM.
 
  05 May 2005
GordonM, can a T ruler be enough ?

I almost never used a ruler when drawings, I don't see why I'd need it.
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  05 May 2005
Originally Posted by Schwinnz: GordonM, can a T ruler be enough ?

I almost never used a ruler when drawings, I don't see why I'd need it.


Gosh - I have used the Parallel Bar so extensively, that I cant imagine a board without it.

Lotsa use in lining up work/reference material on the board, laying down guidelines, grids etc... (as well as some techie stuff which I now usually do in a CG program)

It gives you an extra hand to work with - this is alot more important than it might seem - serious convenience!

I have set drawing pads on it - so I could draw in a sketch pad without ripping out the piece of paper I was working on.

I have even for such really trivial things as momentarily placing a pencil on it (hardly its intended use ) but great convenience.

I can only offer my personal experience - which is that I will never regret the extra cost, and if I were to buy another board, I wouldn't buy one without a Parallel Bar - even though most of my work is not technical in nature.

But all of this is just my opinion. Good luck! (and I hope you enjoy whatever you decide on)

Gord
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Last edited by gordonm : 05 May 2005 at 05:42 PM.
 
  05 May 2005
I've never used a parallel rule, but I've drawn crooked lines because my t-square wasn't flush against the table edge. If you can afford the parallel rule it's a good idea, but you can live without it if you're on a budget. I always did comics pages on my drawing table, so I needed the t-square and triangles for drawing panel boarders, etc.

BTW, gordonm's first rule about the table being stable (s+table = stable ) is very important. The casters on the bottom of that table you're looking at make me nervous, although I'm sure you can just leave them off.
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Last edited by Ilikesoup : 05 May 2005 at 06:56 PM.
 
  05 May 2005
The DIY approach to parallel rulers

It's basically just a long piece of plexiglas. Don't know how much the official ones cost, but if you manage to figure out the string-attachment thing, a bit of plexiglas shouldn't be too expensive.
 
  05 May 2005
at sears.com u can get a craft table that tilts for $99. i have one its really nice and big.
its also on wheels that lock.
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  05 May 2005
Make your own out of a door. Go to home depot and buy a inexpensive hollow door. Then you can cut it to the exact size you need/want and then buy the horz. slider separately and install that.
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  05 May 2005
Hey leonec... Thats real nice of you trying to help... BUT... Here at work we have lots of drafting tables - some are doors... The problem is with hollow-core units is that the flex on the Y-axis (local) and I think one should have a nice firm surface to draft/draw on. We use the hollow-core doors for "utility" tables - meaning we stack drawings on them and colate drawings on them too... One real bad thing about them is if you use traditional drafting equipment on them like a compus that has a pin for centering its going to make a hole. This is no biggie but after some time these holes will usually "flake" off surrounding the hole then eventually you have a two or three inch piece thats got no outter layer to it. This is mute to some extent (minus the Y-flex) if your gonna get a outter vyanil (SP?) colvering which you DO want These are usually colored green to promote peace in the mind (really!) but you can get alot of other colors as well these days. Some are self-healing so you can use the X-Acto blades without creating a groove which will catch your pencil-lead and make a nasty looking pencil-line. If your going to get a P-BAR you def. want to get a solid-core door for the same reasons plus you need good attachment points where the cables tie-in to the board.
You can get a P-BAR with mounting kit for around $100.00 and this would be a 36" model. They can be up to 48"... Probably longer. Those Drafting machines can run up into the four-digit figures, especially if you get one that rolls on a trackbar vs. a lamp looking arm.
 
  05 May 2005
Originally Posted by glassefx: if your gonna get a outter vyanil (SP?) colvering


Vinyl board cover (VBC). A good idea to get one. They're usually sold with double sided tape so you can adhere the cover to the table. You can trim it to the size of your table with a utility knife.
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  05 May 2005
Originally Posted by Ilikesoup: Vinyl board cover (VBC). A good idea to get one. They're usually sold with double sided tape so you can adhere the cover to the table. You can trim it to the size of your table with a utility knife.


I agree. Many boards come with vinyl - mine did - this is another important feature - it protects your board, is easy to clean, can - if need be replaced, and provides an even, texureless backing for you drawing surface.

Gord
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