A Drafting Table Made From an IKEA Coffee Table




No laser cutter? No CNC machine? No 3-D printer? Fear not comrades, this is an instructable for the everyman.

This instructable is meant more to inspire than to copy, as I believe most instructables tend to do that anyway, not to mention the fact that is seems unlikely that you would build  this table to these specs.

That being said, I'm a college student and I recently needed a better work surface, and fast. I had weather beaten  scrap wood and an IKEA coffee table top I found in my garage.

Here's how it goes.

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Step 1: Lubricate

A handful of these'll do.

Step 2: Pool Your Resources and Scheme

Now that the anxiety is gone we can concentrate. Now, what do we need, and what's on hand?

I used this IKEA/ Rubbermaid getup for about 6 months, not bad but definitely not preferable. Let's see what happens when we check our inventory.

Measure everything and break it down mentally and through notes; there won't be much wiggle room.
I think we can pull it off.

Step 3: Getting Started: the Base

Begin with the base. It needs to be able to clear my office chair's armrests, about 31." The mechanism needs to clear 31," as you'll see shortly. Interestingly enough the base is almost a cube at around 32 x 31 1/2 x 31 (abouts). The table top is around 34 x 42.

Oh, and when working with wood like this Pre-drill everything. I pre-drill everything anyway. Also, you'll notice I'm not using wood glue, as I want to have the option to break it down readily.

Step 4: The Table Top and Mechanism

So we've reached the juicy bit: how it works. Check it out.

Step 5: Glory

Now it's time sit back, relax, lose your mind over deadlines at your new drafting table.

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    16 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    very nice. my old man helped me make a similar design after i got an A in my high school drafting class. we used a pair of springs (one on each side) to help hold the notched parts in position. the idea was to make it a bit less likely that your knee might bump it out of place accidentally, causing the top to drop suddenly.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    lucky I would have killed to be able to take a drafting class in high school


    4 years ago

    Thank you and love the chair too

    thanks for this instructable!!!! almost done with mine. tried making a drafting table a few years back but didn't like my tilting mechanism. This gave the push/ how to to finally make it


    7 years ago on Introduction

    + light strips under the glass and bam light table perfect for drafting and penciling.