My dad, as a civil engineer, produced drawings like that. Here's a
subtle illustration that someone may possibly understand. When he was
'promoted' to "The City Engineer" he moved his drafting table with him
into his new office. I realize that is a complex illustration and you
either understand it or you don't. I don't mind sharing the story
because I think it illustrates passion.
Larry, Well, I got the DP installed on the base board up to the point in
the instructions where two people are required to lift the head on the
pole. I'll try to find a willing victim--I mean helper, tomorrow.
Progress is good.
When I flipped my Griz 18" bandsaur up onto its stand, I used a milk
crate as a lever. The heavy old girl went up with just one guy. Now,
I'd have considered my engine hoist to lift 'er.
G'luck finding a victim. You're making better-than-bowsaur time with
"The history of temperature change over time is related to
the shape of the continents, the shape of the sea floor,
the pulling apart of the crust, the stitching back together
of the crust, the opening and closing of sea ways, changes
in the Earth's orbit, changes in solar energy, supernoval
eruptions, comet dust, impacts by comets and asteroids,
volcanic activity, bacteria, soil formation, sedimentation,
ocean currents, and the chemistry of air. If we humans, in
a fit of ego, think we can change these normal planetary
processes, then we need stronger medication."
_Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science_
My experience agrees with this. I spend quite a bit of my planning time
sketching things based on what little I learned in high school about
drafting. I keep a spiral bound notebook around the shop so I can have
something to draw/sketch/figure on. (Other than the workbench. ;-))
Often, I'll only bother with showing the interesting (complicated) part
of the piece I'm working on. No need to show the joinery on all four
corners when it's all the same.
Strange phenomenon, may be not as practice makes perfect. I also found
that my script hand writing improved dramatically as a result from all
the structured lettering required in the mechanical and architectural
Whoa! Mine sure didn't. I was born left-handed and teachers tried to
"fix" me. The last teacher who tried that had her ass reamed by Mom
after she put me in a metal hand brace to hold the pencil. I was so
frustrated when I got home I was still crying. Mom fixed her wagon. ;)
Anywho, after that, the only thing I wrote in cursive script was my
signature. Everything else is block. When I write script, I tend to
squeeze the writing instrument into submission, smearing lead or ink
all over the page, still thinking about that damned teacher and her
To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.
-- Chinese Proverb
Similar misguided teacher but even worse--this one wanted all the
tablets lined up the same way on the desks as she looked at them so
forced me from the correct way as left-handed to the upside-down crabbed
thing one sees fairly often w/ those who aren't taught correctly.
Still suffer from it--by time Mom figure out what was going on, I was
seemingly beyond recovery despite having tried to break the habit over
I'm pretty much ambidextrous--throw righty, write/eat lefty. Tore up
shoulder in HS b-ball and taught self to write righty enough to get by
until it healed enough to begin to use again...
It's good that she handled it well. Ambidexterity is a _definite_
bonus in life. As a mechanic, I had to learn how to thread a nut onto
a bolt upside down, offhanded, and out of sight, while holding the
flange with one finger, the washer with another, and the nut with the
other two. One learns to think in 3 dimensions after doing a couple of
those types of projects. It's great. I hope you encourage your girl
to go for it!
To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.
-- Chinese Proverb
I put myself thru school working in drafting rooms.
Also had to submit engineering lab reports in printed format.
Got to the point where I could take notes faster printing than using
By the time I was 40, had totally forgotten how to form script
To this day, I scribble my signature and print every thing else.
I'm a bit late to the party, but before computers became affordable, I
did a lot 3D drawings, to scale, using "Lawson Charts"
They were a little tricky at the beginning, but once it 'clicked',
they were easy to use and the results spectacular.
I created a couple of designs for which I needed funding, and the
powers at be, the guys with their chequebooks didn't 'get' what I was
trying to show them... till they saw it 3D.
It is basically a series of charts with different vanishing points and
angles of view, over which you lay your vellum or acetate (my
preference was to draw on acetate).
Google and you will get lots of info on those charts. They are
everywhere and cheap.
Here's some on Amazon:
There are a lot of good books on drafting and the one I would
recommend, if you can find one, is "Engineering Drawing" by French and
Verick (sp). I went through a pretty intensive two year course in
Design Technology during the mid 1960's and this was the bible for
drafting. This was board drafting with drafting machines or parallel
bars, triangles, instruments, etc. I later went through company-
sponsored courses in CAD and CATIA. The heart of understanding
drafting, and creation of working drawings, is the understanding and
practice of orthographic projection. I'll draw fire for this, but
most of the young draftsmen and engineers who go through drafting
today have no Idea what projection is. You have to control the
layout, but the machine does most of the projection for you. Learning
the basics of projection will give you a much better idea of how, and
why, the various sides of an object relate.
I do shop sketches for most of my bigger projects on a drawing board
in the basement that is equipped with an old, very stable parallel
bar. I don't develop fancy drawings. Most of the shop sketches are
on par with what we might call conceptual layouts; and my quality
would probably drive my old instructors nuts. I am not even tempted
to acquire a CAD package or even use Sketchup. I get a much better
idea of how a cabinet or other project will fit together by thinking
it through on the table.
Side Note: It used to drive my wife nuts when she would ask how big
something was and I would hold my fingers apart and say 3-1/2"
inches. She would respond that isn't 3-1/2"! I would hold the pose
until she got a ruler and was usually pretty darned close. After
several years on the drafting table, doing aircraft drawings by hand,
I developed a pretty good micrometer eyeball. I have been off of the
board for about 25-30 years but I still have a pretty good eye for
sizes in the 0-36" range.
For some reason I'm that ways with thicknesses ... I can generally tell
in a photo how thick a table top, leg, etc. is ... and am seldom off by
an 1/8" in real life, but totally miss the boat with metric.
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