Mess??? You've got to be kidding. That's not a mess! 
We should have a contest on Mess, except we would only embarrass ourselves, or else I would. 

Thanks for sharing your table setup, it looks very efficient and flexible. 

I once made a drafting table with a 36x48" white laminate "drawing board"  and drilled in the  corners, a mayline drafting rule (with the two vertical wires). I set it up on two legal-sized wooden filing cabinets, and raised the top with bricks to create an angle. I worked on that for years. The front stuck out enough to put my knees under it and I had storage for references. I used it flat now (without the mayline rule), as a spread table that is designated for a single job. I am extremely fortunate to have a large studio space, and have a table for each project (or try to). So it helps me to organize an otherwise chaotic pile of materials. 

But my original thought, is that a very workable table can be made without big bucks. It does not address, of course, the issue of standing and working. 

Linda M. Feltner Artist, LLC
P.O. Box 325
Hereford, AZ 85615
(520) 803-0538

On Jun 11, 2014, at 11:19 AM, Julie Himes wrote:

Being on a budget, I really wanted a drafting table and couldn't find one that I liked in my price range. I wanted a pretty large surface to work on. I ended up building my own tabletop drafting board. I can't stand up at it without getting a taller table, but it made a huge difference, especially for back and neck pain! The final cost of materials was $32, but I already had tools and leftover wood finish from an old project. I also sit on one of those yoga balls and that is super helpful for my back and posture.

Here's a blog post that I wrote about it:

And a photo of me working with my assistant, Ash. (please excuse the mess!).


Julie Himes

On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 11:04 AM, Gail Guth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I use an ancient Mayline (I think??) table, a bit rickety but it works and it's a goodly size, maybe 42 x 30 or close to that. I can adjust the angle but it's like pulling the proverbial teeth, so I leave it fixed at my angle. I have a two drawer iris cabinet on rollers with a flat solid top for various supplies and to hold my big porcelain palette and brush holder; and a whole bunch of shelves i had put in when we fixed up the basement, on the other. I have all rolling stock except for the table, as I have a small area and sometimes need to move things around to do this or that.

I have a combo of lights, Ott and a combo flourescent/incandescent. The mix seems to work well. I'm in the basement so I need lots of light, and I put on everything I have. 100w ceiling, another light over my flat desk, the extra ambient lighting is helpful.


On 6/11/14 1:15 PM, Karen Ackoff wrote:
I have an old IKEA drafting table… bought circa 1980. I've made a few adaptations to keep the table top at a set angle, and I angle it only very slightly so I can put my paints, water, etc. on it. Then I put a table easel on top of it. I use one of two…

Paper & Ink Arts (which cater largely to a calligraphic and crafts crowd) sell table top easels in two different sizes (or they used to… I only see the 18x24 size on their web site now). The adjust to an almost vertical angle, and the top is a white plexi, so you could place a light behind it and easily use it as a light table. They are very light and great for traveling.

For smaller works, I like an easel that Koo Schadler's husband makes (Koo is a phenomenal egg tempera and silverpoint artist who works in the style of master paintings). It is heavier, which I like when I'm working at home. It is 14 x 20 inches. 

For the record, I have a very old small drafting table, probably bought from Sears circa 1940. My father studied architecture, and it was his. In his won't, he later painted it white and black. I'm tempted to strip it down, although I'm sure it's made of inexpensive pine. But it still works just fine.

I'd be curious to know what kind of lighting people are using. I still like my old desk lamp better than anything… a combo of florescent and incandescent. But of course incandescent bulbs are slowly going the way of the dinosaur. Ott lights and lights of that sort are too blue for me, and they also seem to make things "flat". 

My studio is also equipped with 2 black cats, both rescued from the street, who routinely knock things over. I find erasers on the floor in the corner. They also like to sleep on my router, despite all my attempts to the contrary. The dogs and birds live in the upper levels of my house. And just as an aside, I just lost my mustache parakeet, Nakeeta. He was 29 and died of liver cancer (he had liver disease for 15 years, and took his meds twice a day, every day, without complaint. Good-byes are hard.


On Jun 11, 2014, at 11:53 AM, Bruce Bartrug <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

What a great idea, Amy.  In the past, I used the same approach to change the height of a desk, depending on what I was working on.  It wasn't to allow standing, just to allow the work to get closer to my eyes, so I could remove my glasses and not have to bend over to get close to the work.  I'm more than a little near-sighted, as you may have guessed :).  That was before I gained a few decades and needed lenses to help with close vision.  The more I think about it, however, I may revive the arrangement.  I wouldn't need a coffee table either, just a wooden box of appropriate height.......


On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM, Jennifer Gibas <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi Amy, I have a lightweight $30 IKEA Lack coffee table set on top of my desk, legs cut to fit my height.  There's enough room for my mouse, keyboard, Wacom drawing tablet and a cup of coffee. It's been totally great. I put it up and down to alternate between sitting and standing a couple of times a day. Because it's so light, no problem. I looked around for "real" standing desks before doing this, and didn't find anything that would work as well for what I do. 
The listserv won't let photo attachments go through, so email me privately if you want to see it.
Jen Gibas


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Gail Guth
Guth Illustration & Design
139 Lathrop Avenue
Battle Creek, MI  49014-5076
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