Picture of Antique-Inspired Drawing Table w/ Built-In Lightbox
I wanted a bigger, perhaps even fancier, drawing table than what I've been using for a few years; and I had a pile of wood left over from other projects, so! I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

The instructions here are different from what I did in a couple places, because I realized after the fact a better/more efficient/etc way of doing it.

Hi-Res Blueprint

What You Need
Wood: I used mostly mahogany and poplar; but the pegs are oak dowels, the roll guard (not the real term, but I don't know what it's actually called) is pine; the lightbox, pivot plates and angle rings are plywood (obviously would be fancier with real wood); the bottom of the lightbox is pressboard
Glass or Plastic Sheet: 24x36" piece; glass is cheaper, but plastic--plexiglass, acrylic, etc--would be sturdier; if you do go plexiglass, you'll need a thicker piece than with glass, as it's not as stiff, and so will need to route out more of the top to make it flush
Light(s): I used a set of under-cabinet lights; might get more even illumination with a flourescent bar-type light
Spray-On Glass Frost: in addition to diffusing the light in the lightbox, this also gives the glass a decent enough texture to keep stuff from sliding around on the desk
Stain 1: a light color; this will be your base; I went with a "sunbleached" shade; you just need a small can of this and your other stain color
Stain: a darker color; I went with a burgandy; again, just need a small can
Shellac: I used an amber shellac, as it imparts a warm, aged look to the wood; you could substitute lacquer or polyurethane; you'll need enough for at least 2 coats, more if using a more porous wood (mahogany, oak, etc.) and wanting a very smooth finish
12 Small L-Braces: these are used to strengthen the pivot plates and angle rings
2 Wooden Knobs: these will be fixed to the angle rings' pegs
2 Small Chains, 6" each: these are fixed to the pivot plates' pegs
Wood Glue

StephanieK7 made it!18 days ago

Some modifications to the original design...even added an outlet for charging phone/listening to music while working :).

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jmacfarlane (author)  StephanieK718 days ago

Very cool! The hardware changes you made should make it more stable than my version, as well. Looks great.

PZ4567 months ago

Have you thought about led rope lights? Would they give off enough light to work by?

redbyrob1 year ago
Awesome. I made a small one awhile back using a glass cutting board from a thrift store & a fluorescent light. This one is very nice.
Boygasmo1 year ago

You can use opauqe plexiglass.

jmacfarlane (author)  Boygasmo1 year ago
You can; I didn't because a piece of plexiglass the needed size is about $60 whereas real glass was $15.

Make me one too ??? LOL. This is great idea. I plan on making this soon.

mao77777772 years ago
My dad used to make one for me, but did you do so flexible, good!
wilsone02 years ago
I made a similar drawing table, but I used a florescent light.
I placed aluminum foil under the light and this brightened things up considerably, making it easier to trace.......
jmacfarlane (author)  wilsone02 years ago
I thought about doing something like that, but with the lights pointing up it didn't seem like it would make that much of a difference. I'll give that a shot--it's good enough as is, but I'm all for making it better where possible.