Drafting Furniture, Equipment & Products Used to Design and Draw Furniture Plans

If you are thinking about designing your own custom furniture, it is probably wise to invest in some drafting tools, drafting equipment, and drafting supplies that can help you design like a pro. Some of the common products used by custom furniture designers include drafting paper, drafting tables, drafting lamps, roll files, T-squares, drafting straight edges, drawing boards, graph paper, drafting triangles and protractors. To find a great selection of drafting tools online from top drafting suppliers such as Alvin, Fairgate, Kohinoor, and Staedtler, go to www.draftingsteals.com. They can answer any product questions, and assist with selection of drawing tools, equipment, supplies, and furniture.

Whether you draft your concept as a finished blueprint, or simply sketch your idea on a napkin, you can submit your design Chagrin Valley Custom Furniture and we will be happy to review and refine it to be construction-ready. We can make any necessary adjustments or have one of our custom furniture designers do a professional draft from scratch (or sketch) and then build the furniture to your exact specifications. To submit your design to Chagrin Valley Custom Furniture, click here.

Making Furniture On Drafting Table

Shel Myeroff carefully drafting a custom furniture project for a client.

Following is a list and description of furniture design products used by architects, engineers and contractors in the USA.

For starters, you’ll want to have a compass, dividers, and a drafting instrument set to help you draw arcs and circles, as well as take measurements. Drafting sets generally include both a divider and compass plus additional tools for inking and lettering.

You’ll need a variety of drafting triangles for drawing vertical and angled lines on your technical drawings. They create exact 90°, 30°, 60°, and 45° angled lines. There are also adjustable triangles to create a variety of angled lines. To keep the triangle perfectly level on the paper, you’ll need a T-square as well. The T-square is placed with its head against the side of the drawing board, and the blade makes a perfectly level horizontal line for you to draw on or to set the triangle on.

Protractors are used in drafting to draw and measure angles other than 30°, 45°, 60°, or 90°. Semi-circle protractors have 180° graduations, full circle protractors 360° graduations, and Tru-Angle Bevel protractors have two swinging arms that measure 360°.

Did you know there’s actually a drafting instrument that spaces lines equidistance apart? It’s called an Equal Space Divider. Its riveted pivot points expand and contract for precise spacing of lines.
A proportional divider maintains scale ratio when transferring design elements from one drawing to another. The two-pointed equal length divider legs are attached with an adjustable pivot point that makes design elements proportionally larger, smaller or the same size when transferring.

Curve rulers and flexible curves are used for drawing and measuring curves. Drafting curves include French curves, adjustable curves, flexible curves, graduated curves, and more. A parallel glider is a rolling ruler used to draw parallel, perpendicular, angled lines and circles. It combines the features of a straightedge, compass, triangle, protractor and more – all in one tool!

A pantograph creates, enlarges, and reduces drawings up to ten times in scale. To use it, select the ratio of reduction or enlargement, connect the clamp to the board and pantograph, and use the trace point to trace over the original drawing while tracing a reproduction on a new piece of paper at the same time.

Drafting pencils and mechanical pencils have lead that varies in hardness from soft to hard. Harder leads are used for lighter, narrow lines and softer leads for darker, wider lines. 4H pencils are generally used for light layout and guide lines, H pencils for thin dark lettering, dimension and extension lines, and F pencils for thick, dark object lines. DraftingSteals offers mechanical pencils, clutch style lead holders, and architectural wood pencils from Alvin, Sanford, General, Kohinoor, Pentel and other drafting suppliers.

Technical illustration pens and markers are used for writing, lettering, and drawing the crisp sharp lines needed for technical furniture design drawings. Precision illustration and lettering ruling pens assure a clean and even line in your manual drawings.

Drafting paper has special qualities that allow you to draw on it better with pencils and pens. It’s smooth, erasable and made from friendly drawing materials like vellum and film. You can buy it in pads, sheets, and rolls. Translucent drafting vellum, made of 100% new cotton fiber, is preferred for its erasability, strength, and archival qualities. Polyester drafting film won’t tear, cut, stain, become brittle or discolored with age. Graph paper, with its printed grids, is beneficial for recording, diagramming, charting, and plotting data.

In addition to the drafting tools, supplies and equipment, you may want to invest in some drafting furniture to create a more productive work environment. Drafting furniture includes tables, chairs, lighting, and storage designed specifically for the needs of a draftsman. DraftingSteals has large selection of furniture from the most popular names in drafting like Alvin, Mayline, Safco, SMI and Studio Designs.

The drafting table is a multipurpose desk serving as a stable platform for drawing and reading blueprints. Most tables are height adjustable so that you can stand or sit while working. A key feature found in drafting tables is the ability to adjust the board incline angle to the most comfortable drawing position.

If you don’t purchase a drafting table, you can always get a portable drafting board that offers a perfectly flat, smooth, and soft surface for you to draw on. Put it on any surface and take it with you wherever you prefer to do your drafting. Drafting lamps attach to the drafting table and have swinging arms to provide the right amount of light to the right area of your drawing. They come with Halogen, Florescent, or Incandescent lights.

The ideal drafting chair offers ergonomic features that include height adjustment and swivel. The ability to change seating positions and even to stand up for spells is important for creating a comfortable, healthy work experience.

There are different types of storage racks and cabinets for filing and protecting your drafting plans. Flat file cabinets are recommended when protecting large format documents. The drawings lie flat on the shelves and are hidden from exposure to light and other elements that can damage your plans. Roll file storage is an inexpensive way to store and organize large sheets of drafting paper rolled and held in an upright position.

Now that you have all your drafting tools, equipment, and furniture, all you need is the knowhow to create the furniture designs in a manner that can translated into a functional piece of furniture.

Furniture design apps, books and software teach you how to sketch, draw and design your own custom wood and metal furniture and to executive professional drafts. Learn how to visualize, plan, render, 3D model, measure and share custom designed furniture for woodworking projects, carpentry, interior design and cabinet design. Click here to learn about furniture design apps, books and software.

Protractors, compasses, pens and more. 

Rulers – a staple for precise craftsmen.

A triangle, used for measuring and sketching angles.

T-Square Drafting Tool

A T-square used in the CVCF offices for blueprinting to perfection.

A professional, angel-adjustable drafting table.

If you are really serious about designing your own furniture, numerous colleges, universities, and trade schools offer degree programs in furniture design. Knowing how to draw and use color is an important skill furniture designers need. You will also learn all about the materials available to furniture makers, including wood, metal, and ceramic materials. While many furniture designers still create customized furniture designs using traditional design tools, equipment and methods, many now use computer-aided design (CAD) technology to develop realistic-looking designs.

To learn about furniture design and CAD technology, you can apply online for the SCAD furniture design program.

Southern New Hampshire University also offers online courses in woodworking and furniture design. They include a Drawing Digital Designs and Designing Furniture course in which students consider material use, wood choice, and function to create original designs.

Academic Earth offers online certificate programs in furniture making which include the design of custom-made pieces, as well as products rendered in manufacturing facilities.

Penn Foster Career School’s Online Furniture and Cabinet Maker Diploma Program includes instruction in how to apply the fundamentals of design to furniture making, how to design furniture to fit the user, and how to use sketches, drawings, and mock-ups in furniture design.

When you’re ready to submit a polished custom furniture design or simple sketch of your concept, you can submit your design to Chagrin Valley Custom Furniture. We will be happy to review it and refine it for manufacturing at our custom furniture making facility outside Cleveland, Ohio. To submit your design, click here.