Choosing The Best Drawing Table For You
Best Drawing Table
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The market for drawing tables is flooded with all manners of genuine and imitations. In your right senses, you would not wish to spend on just about any drawing table you find out there. There has to be justification for why you are spending on a particular brand. Any artist, whether you are a beginner or experienced should realize the need to choose a drawing table, here is why.
Purpose: The purpose for which you buy a specific drawing table is predominantly about whether you want it for the long or short term. Working on a short term project and away from your working station may call for one to invest in a drawing table that will serve the short -term purpose. In effect ,one will end up buying a table that is least expensive. There are those who partake of art work as a recreational activity and they too have no need to purchase a high end or extremely pricey drawing table.
Comfort: An artists’ comfort can be viewed in varying perspectives. The bottom line is that most artists work for long hours and require being in a comfortable position. Working position has in the recent past been linked to occupational diseases such as back problems. This is common for artists that don’t pay attention to the kind of stool and/ or working surface they are using. One should be specific and understand the kind of drawing table that will help maintain a healthy and comfortable posture.
Cost: In as much as you may have a desire to get the best drawing table available on the market today, how much have you set aside to spend on a drawing table? The market is flooded with a variety of drawing tables, and as such costs vary. Cheap does not necessarily guarantee good quality drawing board, neither is it a justification for one to say that a cheap table is sub- standard. Reading reviews and the specifications of the drawing table you want to purchase will help you make a financially wise choice. A choice that gives you value for money well spent.
WHAT QUALITIES MAKE A GOOD DRAWING TABLE
When contemplating on buying drawing tables, a comfortable, well-to-do working space is an essential feature that cannot be disregarded. There are various other pointers to consider while shopping for a drawing desk or art table. It is imperative to analyze your needs and requirements first.
For instance, is the table meant for a temporary use or for long-standing use? While using the drawing table, will you be sitting on a desk height chair, also known as the standard height chair, or will you just work on a drawing height chair? Which is the largest paper size that you are most likely to be using on the regular? Lastly, which element of the table matters most to you? For instance, it could be the table’s ability to fold and be tucked away, or the robustness of the table. Let’s break down these points categorically.
Short term or Long term
A short term table can be well considered when working on a short -term art project at a work site or in a hostel room. This kind of table is effective if you are going to use it for less than four years. When looking for a short term table, one should always consider looking at a much more flexible table, one that is portable with foldaway options. Furthermore, most manufacturers make drawing and art tables that fold, so this should not be hard to find. After four years, most short term tables are usually worn out and of course, the best option would be to upgrade to another kind of table or dispose of it.
A long term table is a more lasting option. It is ideal in situations where you are planning to use it for more than a decade. Long term selections are much larger, which means that you may not be limited on your paper options. Long term tables are usually four post tables.
Desk height chair vs. drawing height chair
Whether to use a desk height chair or a drafting height chair is a matter of choice. A number of people may prefer to work on a drawing height chair since it has nice features such as it allows your feet to rest on a foot rest while still permitting the chair to revolve. Despite this, several others may opt to work at a desk height chair. These inclinations on the type of chair to work on reflect on the choice of drawing table to use. It only makes sense to use a table that matches with your sitting arrangement as well. Drawing height is usually regarded as the drawing table that has been raised 36” from the floor. Desk height on the other hand is a drafting table with a tip height of 30”.
Considering the paper size that you typically use is significant and should be taken seriously, when deciding the kind of drawing table to buy. This is because you have to get a drafting table that will suitably have capacity for your sheet sizes. The most common paper sizes are 24”x36”; 30”x42” and 36”x 48”. 24”x36” is most regularly utilized in domestic designs; 30”x42” on the other hand is frequently used in commercial design set ups and 36”x48” used in big multi-phase commercial projects. While choosing a table that fits your size of paper is vital, you should not choose one that is too large, unless your table is going to be placed in a permanent setting. There is a noteworthy price difference when buying a drawing table that has dimensions above a 30”x42” table and the key reason for this is expensive shipping. Most shipping companies charge considerably high costs for shipment of drawing tables that have measurements above 30”x42”. Consequently, this adversely affects the consumer price, making it costly.
Characteristics of the table
You may choose to buy a collapsible table or a four post table. The collapsible drawing table has the up side that is portable and thus convenient to move around with. Typically the legs fold and the top turns over down. These types are approximately 5 feet. The length and width are defined by the size of the table top. The other type of table is a four post table. This kind of drawing table is basically a table that has four static legs. Of all drawing tables, these are the strongest and the most durable. They are available in almost all sizes, comprising of the largest of all being about 37.5”x72”. However, if you really want a long term drawing table that is collapsible, there are several options and sizes to choose from in the market. They are also much heavier, so limited movement for the user who prefers to move or change positions from time to time.
Anyone who takes their craft with the importance it deserves will agree that having a committed workspace to carry out your art projects is necessary and cannot be overlooked. While there is need to acknowledge that many people are well versed with technology and can now use digital software for their work, there is still a need for a working table.
Knowing the needs that you have can significantly assist you in getting a drawing table that suits your preferences. However, there are other general details, such as quality that also matter. The features of the drawing and art tables should promote a comfortable working space. There are certain qualities to look at. These are; the top style of the table, the top material used for covering the table, the frame material of the table, accessories that come attached as extra features of the table and also the storage of the drawing and art tables.
Table Top Style
When you are deciding on a drawing table, you get to decide between slanting and modifiable table top and a one-part table top. There are tables with a firm top surface which is fixed. These types of drawing tables have a single work surface, so they are less adaptable for various angles. However, they can still be used as an art work space and are quite reasonably priced.
The slanting table top will allow you to fine tune to an angle that seems to be most suitable for your work. Most tables are double tops and also flexible enough to adjust to multiple angles so finding a comfortable work space is attainable. The other part of the table stays put, making it a great space for putting a laptop that you could be using, or maybe a note pad for taking notes. However, it is noteworthy to mention that they are a bit more expensive than the solid top feature tables.
Material of the Frame
There are two types of frames meant for, drawing desks and art tables. These are steel and wood. They are both brilliant options since they are durable. Steel frames typically range from light weight to heavy weight type of steel. The light weight steel is reasonably priced, while the heavy gauge steel which is more hard-wearing is pricey. One great thing about the steel framed tables is that they can be adjusted. Wood frames, -on the other hand, are a much more pricey option than steel frames. Furthermore, the wood frames drawing desks cannot be adjusted in any way whatsoever. The advantage, however , is the fact that they are not only having a superior artistic allure but have a resolute rock-solid base which is an important aspect and is most required in drawing and art projects altogether.
Accessories of the Drawing Table
A drawing desk with several accessories is a great instrument for any artistic person. The accessories are not just for beauty, but also for the handiness and comfort of the user. A number of drafting desks come with lighting accessories. A drafting table with a built- in lamp is a helpful element to have since it lights up your work. Some drafting tables that may not have built -in lamps have an allowance for clip-on lamps. However, getting one that had a built- in lamp is more valuable since you do not have to bother about purchasing another different lamp and troubling yourself about the perfect mounting or setting for your drawing table. If you use a light box frequently in your workspace, it is a good idea to get a table that has an inbuilt light box. Fold away storage is also a useful accessory to have on your art table. Essential materials for your art project or drawing work can be stored on the table storage making it convenient.
Drawing Table Top Material
The top material of a drawing table can be a great experience to an artist. Fiberesin and melamine are a good option for a low budget. On the other end of the rope, high -pressure laminate, solid wood, and safety glass are much more resilient and hard wearing.
Fiberesin is a synthetic, high-density, thermally fused melamine composite, that has been engineered to give outstanding strength, performance and consistency.
Fiberesin as a table top material is sturdier than the typical melamine, but it is still more affordable. It amalgamates fibrous constituents such as recycled paper and wood pulp with an adhesive resin.
Melamine drawing table is engineered for durability due to its strength and stability. Melamine has a smooth and attractive looking finish. Melamine is made from a type of, wood substrate and covered in melamine laminate. It is an organic compound combined with formaldehyde thereby forming thermosetting plastic which is durable. It is then combined with a paper base to form a coat that makes it usable in different furniture and household applications. Melamine is inexpensive, durable and can be produced in a wide-ranging assortment of shades and finishes. It is easy to clean and an appropriate choice for a drawing board because an item made of melamine is easy to move due to its lightweight characteristic.
Under pressure of more than 5 pounds per square inch, high –pressure laminates such as Formica and similar plastic laminates are formed. Laminates have a close resemblance with wood and are available in a variety of different colors. They also come in varying quality and the best kind of laminate will take a considerable amount of time before it starts to wear off or chip.
A laminate is a long-lasting surface material often applied over a stable substrate like particle or fiber board. A side view of a laminate is smooth and has no color differences. Wood veneer is utilized by high-pressure laminates as a top surface. Wood grain laminates are samples of varying grains of wood that have been spread over foundation matter and sealed. Laminates are affordable and a low-cost option for drawing boards.
Solid wood is obtained from a tree that has been milled as a single solid piece of wood. Wood in its pure form does not entail wood fiber or wood chips. Unlike other fabricated wood, solid natural wood has a long lifespan and can be utilized over a period of years. When properly attended to, hardwood is known to last hundreds of years. Wood can be from a deciduous tree (hardwood) or coniferous tree (soft wood). Oak and maple are good examples of hardwood. The majority of commercial applications make use of hardwood since it is durable and sturdy. Several planks of wood can be glued together to create large surfaces. One should ensure that boards which have been glued to create wider panels match with regards to grain and color.
v) Safety Glass
Safety glass is a type of tough glass that is usually durable because it goes through various procedures involving thermal processes and lamination, which are meant to make it tough. During breakage, it does not break down into many tiny sharp pieces, but rather large pieces, thus its name, the safety glass. It is quite expensive but worthwhile.
1. Studio Designs 42” Vintage Drafting Table- Rustic Oak 13305
This easy to install drawing board with an awesome antique look and texture comes without a scantily detailed installation manual so you have to figure your way around it. It best suits artists who are no more than 5 feet 10 inches. When fixed with the table top parallel to the floor, the Rustic Oak stands at a maximum length of 5 feet. Users of this drawing board may not necessarily want to have a drafting stool to use with this table. A perfect fit , in this case, is your regular dining table chair. This is debatable and entirely depends on your height and whether you like working while standing or sited.
Any user of a drawing table is definitely concerned about the sitting posture. The 42 inches Vintage Drafting table top can adjust from a flat position (0 degrees) to 90 degrees. The user won’t have to stoop while working and this gives a break to your shoulders and back. If you have to work while sited, then you don’t have to worry about your sitting posture and related back problems. Just get the right seat adjusted to your desired height in relation to the angle of the table top.
Structurally this drawing table has a good amount of weight; for which some may find it necessary to lend a helping hand while putting it together. This drafting table is made of a solid hardwood frame for stability thus giving it a sum total weight of 39 pounds which is fairly heavy. The logic behind this weight is structural ability to hold up its own weight, any heavy material or tools that may be placed on the table top without compromising the stability and structural integrity of the drawing table.
Working area has to be sufficient enough for your sheet of paper. Measuring 42 inches long and 30 inches wide, this drafting table fits standard drawing piece of sheet an artist would love to use on this table. You sure need a fairly spacious room to place this drawing table.
To make sure your pencils don’t slip down from your working surface to the floor, the table has a built-in pencil groove with 24 inches pencil ledge. Just enough space to hold the sum of pencils an artist may use while working on a piece of art.
Save for slight manufacturer’s defects and rare structural shortcoming occasioned by the factory process, the Rustic Oak 13305 is a great bargain at $ 140.11. This drafting table was first listed on Amazon in 2013 and presently it is shipped only within the United States.
2. Studio Designs 10057 Futura Tower, Silver/ Blue Glass
The Futura Tower tables checks in at a massive 59 pounds. This Studio Designs’ mammoth drawing table is best designed for artists that like to work while having reference material close enough to see fine details but without cluttering up their working space. Thanks to the attached cork board and the added magnates for pinning paper on the glass table. The removable art trays can hold approximately 50 to 70 colored marker pens and pencils as well as brushes supplies.
This table offers six angle adjustments between 0 degrees (flat) to 40 degrees. It comes in handy for more than just drawing purpose. It is a multi- purpose table and you or other members of your family can do their assignments from the table or do other kinds of activities that require a working surface. The safety glass working area measures a massive 33 inches ×21inches giving a lot of room and versatility for the user. The glass is thick and tough. You can custom make it so that it can be able to accommodate other additional aspects you may need such as light because it is fitted with a light pad behind the glass where you can mount one. There is room for additional side shelving and rolling drawers.
The table comes with an extra-large pencil supply drawer where you can store all your drawing supplies and retrieve them effortlessly. The 24 inches pencil ledge will slide out and lock in place whenever you need to retrieve your pencils.
And for extra comfort of the artist, there are two cup holders for your coffee cups. Futura Tower is designed to hold not only the art supplies but also photos and notes. Each leg has floor levelers to give stability to the entire table. The Futura Tower 10057 drawing table currently retails on Amazon at $206. 98 and is available in silver or blue glass. Presently it is only shipped within the United States. For the past 11 years, Futura Tower has proved to be a darling among budding artists and the seasoned craftsmen.
3. Studio Design 13251 Deluxe Craft Station
The Deluxe Craft Station drawing table has been touted to cut across ages for a variety of users whether young or old. It has a three plastic molded, slide- out drawers glide easily and can hold an assortment of light items. Four side trays are at the disposal of the user for holding marker pens, paints, brushes and other accessories needed while working.
The working surface area measures 36 inches × 24 inches and is sufficient for an artist’s working space. Unlike its counterpart the Futura Tower, you need no more than a finger touch to adjust the angle of the working surface to the desired elevation then it locks in place. The drawing table top can adjust up to a maximum 40 degrees. Deluxe Craft Station is available in both white and maple shade and currently retails on Amazon at $105.00.
4. Studio Design Pro Craft Station 13245
The Pro Craft Station is widely acknowledged for its light and fairly mobile nature. The metal frame is solid and the wood used for the top is fairly good. This drawing table is equally easy to assemble and dismantle. It comes with a comprehensive instruction manual that makes the work of assembling it as easy as ABC.
It’s a good thing that it has drawers on both sides for storage with sufficient space and their heights can be adjusted but these drawers are fragile and most users had them break up trying to get them to snap into position.
The working surface can be adjusted between 0 degrees (flat) to a maximum 45 degrees. This top surface measures 38 inches × 24 inches and its overall dimensions are 45″W x 24″D x 30.5 – 46″H.
There are four removable side trays and a 24” slide-up pencil ledge. This Pro Craft Station 13245 has a padded foot rest to reduce fatigue to the artist’s foot for long hours spent working at the drawing table. The support structure has four wheels to aid mobility and two of the 4 wheels have a locking mechanism which gives it stability. You can clamp light to it and can be adjusted to a height of 5.5 feet. For a price of $115.68, this Studio Designs series is a good fit for amateur artists and it is available in a white shade with maple.
5. Studio Designs 50306 Futura LS Work Center
The safety glass is of good quality and suitable for crafters and college studio artists, the work surface comes in 2 pieces each measuring 35.25W × 20D. This gives an artist room for a drafting table where you can also place your additional drawing pencils, marker pens and other material you use for your work. Your glue and coffee too can find space on the drafting table and this generally helps you have an organized work station. Although one has to exercise caution since this top glass cannot sustain further than 45 pounds in weight.
The main working table top angle is adjustable to 45 degrees. There is also a 24 inches slide-up pencil ledge. The two pieces of working tables are designed to join at the corner using a 20 x 20 corner connector. The Futura LS Work Center is currently selling at $164.89 and comes in silver or blue glass.
Here comes the best part and this is where it gets bitter sweet. Your choice for an ideal drawing table is dependent on factors we have discussed earlier. For some people, it is hard to follow these tips by the script, but at this point let me ask a crucial question that is on somebody else’s mind if not on yours:
Of all the drawing tables presented above, which one is the best?
You guessed it right; the best drawing table is Rustic Oak 13305 Vintage Drafting Table and I will tell you why. As an artist, you need a drawing table that is durable and you can use it for a long time. Here we consider the long term use because our focus is on professional use of a drawing table. In contrast with safety glass drawing tables, yes they are durable too but if subjected to external forces beyond what they can handle; it is possible for a glass drawing table to break. The potential of a glass material to break is relatively higher than that of Oak wood. This vintage masterpiece of art can serve many years with little dents and worn out effects due to longevity and the resilient nature of Oak wood.
Amongst the competing drawing tables, this is the only table that can flex up to 180 degrees; to the benefit of the user’s body posture. Most artists suffer spinal problems which are occasioned by poorly designed drawing tables that get you in a stooping position. Studio Designs’ Rustic Oak makes certain that your shoulders and spine are angled just at the right position by tilting the working surface to the appropriate degree.
Wood is heavy and the weight of Rustic Oak 13305 largely contributes to structural stability of the entire drawing table. Its counterpart tables by Studio Designs are supported on light- weight metallic material which does not offer a holistic structural integrity as compared to the all wood Vintage Drafting table.
The 42 inches main work surface is large enough for a standard paper. An artist would require more than enough space to comfortably carry out his craftsmanship without limitation such as a small working surface. The extra space always comes handy in placing the variety of pencils, marker pens, duct tape and other painting or drawing accessories an artist has.
For a retail price of $140.11, the Rustic Oak is definitely a bargain and stands out among its peers. It offers the perfect working environment for both the amateur and experienced artist without the fancy additions found on other drawing tables. It comes with simplicity, longevity and provides a traditional working space for artists.