Drafting Table

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Project by Todd Sauer posted 03-24-2014 02:15 AM 3023 views 18 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is the drafting table I just finished. It is curly maple and African mahogany, finished with Tung Oil. The design came together really well, and it looks like it did in my head before making it. There are mistakes and little issues which my wife insists only I see, but overall I think it came out very well. It is adjustable with regard to tabletop height and tilt. The curves on the top are not inlaid, but rather curved pieces glued up into the top. I would love comments or suggestions.

My main question are regarding how humidity may affect the moving parts. It’s winter, and I’m in Minnesota, so there simply isn’t any humidity at the moment, but spring is here (meaning it’s above zero today) and summer is coming (for a week in July), and I’m wondering if this will cause any changes. Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks!


-- --Sauerkins; Duluth, MN

25 comments so far

View wunderaa's profile


248 posts in 3011 days

#1 posted 03-24-2014 02:47 AM

Beautiful. That is an heirloom piece for certain!

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1396 posts in 2442 days

#2 posted 03-24-2014 02:49 AM

Well that’s a good question.

But enjoy the moment, it looks nice, very tough design to pull off. Give us an update on how it moves with the humidity.

Fortunately you are not in the north east, where it would move heavily.

Nice work.

Btw : welcome to LJ’s..that’s an impressive entrance for a project.

-- Jeff NJ

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 3378 days

#3 posted 03-24-2014 03:08 AM

Posts like this only solidify what I already know: Im never moving to Minnesota! It’s nice, I’m sure; lotsa lakes and stuff. Anyway, that’s an awesome build. How much play is there in the moving parts? Do you anticipate that with average humidity it will seize up? I like this, though; nice work.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 4461 days

#4 posted 03-24-2014 03:21 AM

Beautiful drafting table. I like the design and the ingenious adjustment mechanism

-- Yves

View Todd Sauer's profile

Todd Sauer

28 posts in 2334 days

#5 posted 03-24-2014 03:26 AM

Thanks all!

Josh, there is some play with the moving parts, so it will be interesting to watch. The moving parts can be adjusted to an extent (by sanding mostly) if it tries to seize up. There’s more play with the grain then there is across it.

Also…it’s supposed to be above freezing by the end of the week! But we got a foot of snow last week. March in Minnesota really tests a guy’s optimism.

-- --Sauerkins; Duluth, MN

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 2820 days

#6 posted 03-24-2014 05:15 AM

That’s pretty slick Todd. Now maybe a matching stool to compliment?

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 2679 days

#7 posted 03-24-2014 05:22 AM

Woah, this is awe inspiring. It would be a shame to cover up that top with anything.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2633 days

#8 posted 03-24-2014 09:44 AM

Very nice Todd, Beautiful Drafting table wood choice and design, not just in the table top but the whole project.
Excellent job….thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View 489tad's profile


3865 posts in 3820 days

#9 posted 03-24-2014 12:16 PM

I still like to make mechanical drawings and that table is just too nice. Wood combination is great. Welcome to LJ’s.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 2419 days

#10 posted 03-24-2014 12:39 PM

That is very cool, great work

-- steve, simple and effective

View Dinger's profile


145 posts in 3071 days

#11 posted 03-24-2014 01:37 PM

Very nice table. The top sure looks inlaid to me! I wouldn’t worry too much about wood movement if your home is conditioned. In most houses that are the humidity only tends to fluctuate +/-20% which is enough for wood to move, but it’s not like it’s 0% in your house in the winter and 90% that one week in the summer. Even if there is some, you’ll be able to remove the parts and make fines adjustments with sand paper. I’m usually more worried about captive panels splitting my work. That’s a lot harder to fix. Plus, your finish is a breeze to reapply, then you’ll be back to drafting your next woodworking project on that fine table!

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

View Ron10's profile


31 posts in 2508 days

#12 posted 03-24-2014 02:03 PM

Very nice looking piece. I really like the design. As for how the coming humidity will affect it only time will tell. Keep us posted.


View LesB's profile


2576 posts in 4252 days

#13 posted 03-24-2014 04:52 PM

Nice work.
I used a drafting table for school work and drawing through high school and after. Plenty of room.
Wood movement is a problem when making a large piece like that from solid wood. A plywood wood center section on the top might have been better but I suspect your biggest problem will be the frame around the top.
Did you you connect the frame on the top with floating or “bread board” type connections that allow for some movement?

-- Les B, Oregon

View Todd Sauer's profile

Todd Sauer

28 posts in 2334 days

#14 posted 03-24-2014 05:01 PM

LesB, That was my main concern too. I used mortises and tenons to connect the pieces of the frame to each other, and then half-lap joints to connect it to the center piece. The mortises and tenons are not ridiculously tight, so I think there is a little room for some movement. It certainly could end up being a learning experience, but I don’t think it will be too hard to repair if something happens. Thanks!

-- --Sauerkins; Duluth, MN

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4403 days

#15 posted 03-24-2014 06:29 PM

WOW amazing beautiful I love it, I’m a cadd drafter now but I started out on one of these many a year ago. Mine never looked this good

Thanks for sharing

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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