and some right in the old cranium. I know some old guys that could
give you the cosin of an angle faster than you could enter it on a
keyboard, calculate the number of board feet of limber in a log. or on
a train -car, and lay out a tennon or a doevetail joint with an
engineers square and a compass quicker than you could enter it in
Autocad..Usually without writing anything down other than the final
Lacking the necessary gene to envision what a design looks like when
seen with a pair of eyeballs six feet off the ground, and from different
angles and distances, is precisely why I was excited to see computer
based 3D modeling technology, like SketchUp, become readily/affordably
;~) I was damn good at drafting in school, I have a few ribbons.
Strange I did not peruse a career in that direction and today probably
glad that I did not. I think ultimately it was architectural drafting
that turned me off on drafting.
Anyway I used a t-square and triangles up until 1986. That was when I
got my first computer and a few months later bought my first CAD like
program, IMSI Designer. Its was strictly 2D and specific length lines
were determined by how many times you hit the arrow key. There was not
Direct Distance Entry like most all CAD programs have now.
Fortunately you could easily change the distance each key stoke
Probably after a dozen program/upgrades changes I think you and I
finally made the permanent switch to Sketchup at about the same time.
Sketchup as a tool is as important as any tool in my shop. And as you
mentioned it gives you immediate visual confirmation of how the project
then it was SHARP pencil, t-square, triangles, and dividers to take a
measurement off the ruler. For final we had to do it in India ink.
Blueprints were really blue. Those were the days of slide rules with
a carrying case that fastened to your belt. I still have my K&E
Yeah! We were fancy though, we used the mechanical pencil with the
rotary desk sharpener. We only used the India ink for the borders. Our
drawings failed if the pencil lines did not shine.
I mentioned that I got a bad taste in my mouth with architectural
drafting. We were graded on the blueprint, not the drawing for our
final grade. The instructor sent a seating chart around to all of us,
we drew lines or scribbled in the spot that represented where we sat.
That was our only practice to see how a blueprint would come out from
our drawings. Luckily I got a 99 on that blueprint but he subtracted 10
points because I did not turn the drawing in on time. The drawing was
in the class room and completed 1 week before it was due. I had been
out of school sick for 4 days. Still got an A. That was in the early 70's.
I still have everything too, except I have not seen the drawing board
for a loooong time. ;!)
OH! I still have my electric eraser too!
You talking about the pencil sharpener that you put the pencil in, and
move the pencil around and it sharpens it? I have one of those. I like
the old style pencils for layouts When I can't see my knife lines, I'll
switch to one of those and put a new point on my pencil.
Buy a good apron to hold your pencil. I recommend a Rockler
cabinetmakers Mechanical Pencil for around 10 bucks. It comes with a box
of thick and strong 2mm lead, and a sharpener. Really nice for the shop.
Their shop apron is decent as well, for around $20, on sale. If you are
over 6'2 and 280 or so, it won't fit, otherwise, pretty decent apron.
This is the one I like:
You won't misplace your pencil if it's a really nice one, and you have a
handy place to keep it.
Add Life to your Days not Days to your Life.
That would be a long held habit I would have to break. From my school
drafting days the pencil was always laid down to prevent point breakage.
We probably resharpened/fine tuned our drafting pencils 40~50 times
When I use an apron, seldom in the summer because of the heat, I use
On Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 2:07:47 PM UTC-6, dadiOH wrote:
Right there with you dadiOH! Even in shop environment, I have became one wi
th an apron. For all manner of reasons including the advent of sturdy $12
jeans, I don't worry about the clothes I wear on the job and see them as di
sposable tools that are replaced as needed. Shirts seem to last a long tim
Worse still, when I start a job that is mostly cabinet/trims/moldings, I st
ill use a regular yellow #2 pencil! And even worse than that, since I can
usually shave with my pocket knives (I carry two every day to work), I hand
sharpen out on site with a pocket knife! Yikes!
I can put long thin points on the pencils for trims, and will often sharpen
"point up" to make just two or three marks. I can put on blunt points fo
r general marking, or for writing all over job walls as I am known to do.
That way for me, one pencil fits all. If I am actually doing a day of fram
ing (rare these days) I buy a framing pencil.
I carry my pencil behind my ear as I have since I started out. If I am doi
ng a lot of trim that requires a fine point on the marker, I will sharpen u
p two or three pencils at a time and carry the extras in my pocket until re
ady for use.
I tried the 1.5mm and 2mm pencils and one wasn't sturdy enough and the othe
r left a mark that was too fat. I bought harder leads from the office supp
ly house, and the 1.5 left a mark that was too faint to see.
Interestingly, one of the few very successful furniture makers I know uses
a BIC brand fine point with the plain white barrel, sometimes medium, as hi
s only marking tool. He also teaches, and that is what he recommends. Mar
ks are easy to see, as fine as you would like, and the pen never needs shar
I find a .5mm pencil, the kind with the retractable metal shield, works
well. If the point breaks the shield just pushes back a little. Making
a long mark on a rough surface you need to make sure the mark went all
the way to the end but otherwise it works fine.
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