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If the kid wants a unicorn Dangit, we’re gonna make that happen. When I went to high school, it was a time when shop classes still existed and you could learn some skills essential for your future maker self. It was the worst of times. It was the best of timesI think one of the most important skills to be gotten out of that was learning how to draw and read technical drawings, things like architect plans, blueprints, parts specifications. Most of our shop teachers were veterans, you know, the curmudgeony type where something was not quite right. I think that it was the missing cigar stogie to chomp on because they wouldn’t allow it in school. Anyway, we had one that told of his story of landing a machinist’s job because during one job interview he was able to sketch out a dimensioned drawing of a part that was needed to fix a machine that he saw during the tour of the shop.
There is a lot more detail to what I am going to show but this ible should be enough to get you started. So whether you are a budding artist just starting to draw cars, treehouses, redecorating your room, or thinking about drawing up plans for the next generation starship, this is for you. Note: The drawings I will use to illustrate the techniques might take on the form of sketching and not as formalized as using with instruments. There are tons of references and standards which you can look up to see what professionals do. I hope you get the idea and just try. The rest is really to make things neat and exact.
There is a whole range of hardnesses of the pencil lead. HB or harder is good for technical drawing since it produces a crisper line and doesn’t smudge as much. Now there are mechanical pencils that you can get in various thicknesses and lead hardness. If, if you make a mistake, there are gum erasers, real rubber erasers, composite erasers and cheap erasers. Try them all out to see what doesn’t leave streaks and tear up your paper. We used to have a special bag of fine eraser crumbs to dust the drawing with so that the T-square or other implements moving across the drawing would not smudge the pencil lines. These had fine needle nibs that drew exact lines in various size widths.
You had to clean them out after use so they would not clog with the fountain pen like ink system. I think markers have evolved to take the place of technical drawing pens. Plain paper is anything you can write on, the back of an envelope, reused scrap from the copy machine, napkin, toilet paper I am going to use graph paper so what I am drawing might be a little clearer to you. Go to the art or craft store to feel up all the different types of quality paper. You will appreciate a good paper once you use it. You can start out with a basic school ruler or get an architectural scale, 3 straightedges joined lenghtwise at the core for one handy instrument marked for different scale measures.
I actually found a pack of protractors and triangles at the thrift store. The common angles used in drafting are made into the 45 – 45 – 90 degree triangle and the 30 – 60 – 90 right triangle. Those two triangles are very useful as you will see later. They come in big and small sizes for ease of use on the size of the drawing area. You need one with a pencil attached to one side for drawing circles or perfect arcs. Dividers are what we know as compasses with points at both leg tips to be used for scribing or as an accurate tool to transfer measurements.
The following are nice things to have to improve the accuracy of your drawing but you learn to do without or improvise when out in the field. A T-square is just a straightedge with a perpendicular piece at one end that rides along a straight object edge like that of a drawing board or the side of your tabletop. This tool makes it easy for your to draw parallel horizontal or vertical lines depending on where you hook the end of the T-square. Due to a lack of space and portability, we can improvise by lining up one of our triangles along the page edge or lines to act as the T-square. T-square are lined up and parallel. For other fancy tools, actually go to the office supply store and browse their professional artists section.