I have some basic tools, but no knowledge or experience making furniture. Despite all of that, this process was pretty easy and I ended up with a simple, adjustable, large drawing board.
First, I bought all of my materials at the hardware store. The priciest piece was the 2' x 3' birch top that is my drawing surface (a whopping $14). I had the guy at the store cut pieces for the frame and support pieces.
I then screwed the frame together using wood screws and inserted two pieces in the middle of the frame that will hold the pegs used for adjusting the tilt. I also screwed a dowel between the two support beams.
I’m really happy with the outcome. Despite starting with some slightly warped beams, the end result is very stable and sturdy. It is really large, so there is a lot of room to lay out my paintings and reference photos. It would be nice to have a clever way to hold the artwork in place. Currently I’m using blue tape and that works well, but maybe in the future I will come up with something better. Any suggestions?
Total cost: $32
Update: I added a little more space and functionality with a folding table that slides under my desk when I'm not working.