10.04.2012

draughty in here...

I used to own a draughting board. I made it in the Wood shop at high school. Most of a 3/4" thick, 4'x6' sheet of cabinet grade ply ended up as the top. The frame and legs were made from 5/4 poplar, with through mortises and lapped mitres. Based on the finished results, the teacher asked me to make him a table, too (a great compliment, frankly). Everything from deck design to charcoal sketches and Dungeon maps happened on this spacious worktop. Many years later, it was sold to a fellow who did technical illustrations. I vaguely regret the decision to do so, but I'm sure it did the job for him.

One of my classmates had made a smaller "artists" table with a tilting top which was equally adept at doing small draughting jobs (up to C size). I inherited this board when he passed away and enjoyed using it as a sketching surface for several years. A fairly talented watercolour artist was thrilled to become the new owner of this table as her primary work space; I'm sure its creator approves.

Fast forward a few years; I was required to take a course on technical drawings as part of the machining programme at a local college. It was supposed to be "Interpretation of Engineering Drawings" which, as the title suggests, is an analytic exercise. However, by the time this course was to begin, it had somehow magically transformed into "Introduction to Basic Drafting" (sic). Back to the drawing board, indeed. Surprisingly, I was able to locate my cache of supplies from high school, avoiding an extra cost but not the disappointment at this ham-fisted re-jigging of the curriculum.

The college was in the middle of an upgrade effort at the time and, as luck would have it, I was able to obtain one of their old, parallel-equipped boards for homework completion. A good size and more convenient than using my venerable T-squares. Upon finishing this programme, the board went on to a college girl undertaking Interior Design. I hope it serves her well.

While I have some facility with CAD software (both 2D and 3D) there are still many tasks which are made more pleasant by having an actual, physical board to putter about upon. My better half recently located a portable board of decent size which I quickly commandeered and re-assembled. It is equipped with a sliding parallel and is meant to be used while resting on another table top, making it dead easy to put away when not needed (a triumph compared to having a 4'x6', limited purpose table sitting in the room). Once again the pencils & erasing shields are out...

Seems I can't really live without a draughting board of some kind. I guess I'm just old fashioned.



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