You don't have to spend a fortune on fancy equipment to produce perfectly acceptable shop drawings. All you really need are the following basic tools. Drafting equipment can be purchased locally at any good art supply store.
DRAWING BOARD-The drawing board should be as large as possible—24 x 36 in. is a good size for most woodworking projects. It should have a smooth, flat surface. Metal edges are nice, but not necessary.
T-SOUARE—The T-square is a guide for drawing all horizontal lines. It should be the same length as the length of the drawing board. T-squares with plastic edges are best because you can see through the edge to line up on a line or a point below.
TRIANGLES-You'll need three kinds of triangles: a 45° triangle, a 30/60° triangle and an adjustable triangle. The 45° triangle has two 45° angles and a 90° angle. The 30/60° triangle has a 30°. a 603 and a 903 angle. The adjustable triangle, as its name implies, can be adjusted to any angle. Triangles are made of see-through plastic and range in size from 2 to 24 in. An 8-in. triangle is probably best for most woodworking drawings.
COMPASS—The compass is a tool that draws radii, arcs and circles. It has two legs with a point at the tip of one leg and a pointed lead on the other leg. Compasses come in all sizes and styles, but I recommend a 6-inch compass with a center-wheel adjustment. The center wheel locks the arms in place. Keep the lead very sharp and extended out from the compass leg a minimum of V* in. A 2-H lead works best; sharpen it with sandpaper to a chisel-shaped edge with the bevel facing away from the center point.
SCALE—A scale is the draftsman's ruler. Because not all drawings are actual size—some projects are too large to fit on a regular sheet of paper—the drawings must be scaled down. A drafting scale is triangular, and each face has measurements drawn to a given scale. With a scale, you can measure directly without having to make any mathematical calculations. A scale with full-scale
(1), half-scale (V2). quarter-scale ('/*) and one-eighth scale ('/«) is a good one to buy.
PENCILS—To produce professional drawings you need a high-quality drafting pencil, not a common old #2 pencil with an eraser. Lead varies fn hardness from soft HB lead to very hard 9-H lead. A 4-H lead is good for light layout lines and a 2-H lead works well for all finish lines. For high quality, professional drawings, keep the lead very sharp at all times.
LEAD POINTER—The lead pointer is a one-handed version of a regular pencil sharpener and puts a sharp, tapered tip on the end of the lead. Unless you do a lot of drawing, purchase an inexpensive lead pointer.
IRREGULAR OR FRENCH CURVES-No line on a drawing is made freehand. While straight lines are drawn with a T-square or triangle, and circles are drawn with a compass, all other curved lines are drawn with an irregular or French-curve template. Irregular-curve templates come in all shapes and sizes. It is best to have two or three different irregular-curve templates on hand so you can draw almost any kind of a curved line. Draw an irregular curve a section at a time. First draw the part of the curve that matches a section of your template and then move the template to match the required curve. I usually draw curves lightly freehand and darken them with the irregular curve.
PAPER—The best inexpensive drawing paper is called vellum. It is translucent and can therefore be used to make blueprints should you ever want to make inexpensive copies of your drawings. It also erases easily if necessary and comes in standard sizes: 8'/: x 11 in.; 11x17 in.; and 17x22 in. and larger. The 17-x22-in. size is good for most woodworking projects.
DRAFTING TAPE-Drafting tape holds the vellum paper on the drawing board. Line up the bottom edge of the vellum with the T-square and tape the four corners of the vellum with /-»-in. long pieces of tape. I recommend tape V»-in. wide for general use. A roll of drafting tape will last you a very long time.— J.N.
FIG. 5: A PICTURE BOOK OF LINES
OBJECT LINES Object lines show the outline of an object
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