Author Topic: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?  (Read 2372 times)

Offline Gas_mantle

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Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« on: September 15, 2018, 04:39:04 PM »
The title says it all really.

I'm wanting to try and build a decent sized steam engine to my own design later in the year. Nothing huge but perhaps about 2.5" bore, I've built a few little engines by making it up as I go along but I think to build something of a decent size and get it to look right I really need to draw some plans first.

I'm kinda working through Fusion 360 but progress is slow and I still think I'm some way off being able to use to create usable working drawings. I know drawing boards old technology but I do think in my case there might be some merit in buying one if it isn't going to cost the earth.

Any other Luddites out there ?

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 04:58:15 PM »
I remember toting one around campus back in engineering school (way before personal computers and CAD). There are a few folks out there that still do it old school (Doug Kelley for one), but CAD is just so much better and easier to change when needed. Not unlike the difference between a manual typewriter and todays word processing. I think I still have an old T-square about but that's as close as I come these days. You might check into whether the local community college offers classes in CAD. That could speed the learning curve.

Bill

Offline gerritv

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 05:25:39 PM »
I try to doodle using 3D tools but still miss my drafting table. For some things it still seems the more appropriate way :-) though 3D tools are easier to erase lines in .
Don't confuse activity with progress

Offline Tin Falcon

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 05:27:01 PM »
Old tech is always an option . I would think f360 would have a n option to generate 2d drawing from 3d but have not used it enough to know.
If you have the time check the second hand shops , thrift stores  tag sales and antique shops. Before buynig new.

The old tools are still available at staples and the like here in the staes . drawling boards you like need to special order or order on line.
I picked up one of these at a thrift store a couple years ago for about ten cents on the dollar.

https://www.schooloutfitters.com/catalog/product_info/pfam_id/PFAM7333/products_id/PRO18603






Offline Brian Rupnow

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 08:20:39 PM »
I worked on a drafting board for 30 years before I was pulled kicking and screaming into computer world. I had a beautiful big K and E counterweighted board, with a parallel track K and E drafting machine on it. I decided to get rid of it so I could make room for my little machine shop, but I overlooked one thing. I quite often get asked to reverse engineer something, where I am brought a finished part or machine and asked to create mechanical drawings of it. Now with a drafting board, that's not a big deal. Throw on some paper, lay the part on it, and trace around the outline with a pencil. Now you can use the arms of the drafting machine to determine length, angles, or whatever you need. You can't do that on a computer. A few times I've had to resort to my dining room table with a T square and some old clear plastic triangles and a beam compass.

Offline steam guy willy

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2018, 08:39:35 PM »
Hi I do all my drawing on a Rotring A3 drawing board. What i like about paper drawings is that you can photocopy them from large to actual size then glue them as a templet onto your metal and cut them out. You can photo copy them as many times as you want. you can also reverse the drawings on a photo copier etc etc....you can also make them smaller to save space then enlarge them again. You can also Tippex out parts and re print them on a new piece of paper !! you can also do free hand curves and colour them in..
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 08:47:51 PM by steam guy willy »

Offline MMan

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2018, 09:47:27 PM »
I used a drawing board when I started work, always said I would get one for home one day. But CAD has made having one seem like a huge space commitment.

If you have a traditional drafting background you might find a 2D package like Draftsight quicker to get your head around: 2D is like pencil and paper - draw circles and lines until you get what you want. 3D is like Play-Doh - extrude this cookie cutter that. Having said that Fusion 360 is a marvellous tool and Lars Christensen's YouTube channel is very informative.

All the best

Martin

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2018, 11:07:27 PM »
I took drafting in high school and enjoyed it very much. I even got the drafting award but that was probably because all the other guys (there were no girls) treated the class like a study hall. I've found that skill very useful over the years.

I have an old Air Force drafting table and I still use it. I've lost my T-square but have most of the tools I used in high school.

I do prefer using the computer now. It's easy to correct mistakes, make copies, save originals, make enlargements, do studies without changing the original. Quite frankly, having taken drafting made it easier for me to learn CAD.

But I do use the old drafting table a lot - just not for 'real' drawings. Sometimes it's quicker to sketch something out. And sometimes it's good to see paper copy or enlargement all in one piece rather than having to scroll around on the computer.

I don't think it's in the same class as buggy whips. Still very useful.
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Offline GWRdriver

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2018, 11:23:35 PM »
Like Brian, I spent almost 30 years on a board and then embraced Cad.  I wouldn't go back for any reason.
I do have a small "board" area where I occasionally use T-square and triangles to mark out sheet stock, templates, card for mock-ups, and such, but mostly they spend their lives hanging on a closet wall.
Cheers,
Harry

Offline kuhncw

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2018, 01:24:16 AM »
I learned manual drafting and spent time on the board.  I would not go back to manual as several others have also mentioned.

I learned 2nd CAD  and when Alibre came along I learned 3D.  I find 2D very handy for laying out an engine design.  Once I've got crank and cam centers, top deck height, cylinder spacing, etc sorted out in 2D, then I can model the individual parts in 3D.  Next comes the 3D assembly and tweeking the parts as needed.  3D is great for getting a visual idea of what the parts look like and for cutting sections.  Generating 2D detailed drawings for the shop is then easy in the 3D software.

To me, this is like the old board days in a way.  Engine designs started as a layout drawing, then the detail part drawings were made. 

My 2D package is Visual Cadd, but Draftsight is free.

Anyway, that is the way I look at model design.

Regards,

Chuck


Online Jasonb

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2018, 07:09:41 AM »
I tend to do a basic layout on squared paper, easy to get the "look" right and positions of ctr lines, distance between crank and ctr of cylinder etc then do the more detailed work on the computer.

Offline Lew Hartswick

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2018, 02:55:27 PM »
I have one about like the one Tin Falcon has a pix of (No handle on mine) that I use when I need a good pix to scan for net, otherwise it's just scribbling free-hand on re-purposed scrap pages. :-)
   ...lew... I used mine for many years to draw Schematics and Logic diagrams as that was my main "occupation" back in history.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 03:00:08 PM by Lew Hartswick »

Offline Roger B

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2018, 04:45:03 PM »
I use a 2D CAD package (DraftSight) but like Jason I tend to do my initial thinking on paper.
As a slight aside. When I was in England at conferences and training courses you would be given lined paper. In Europe you would be given squared paper that I find much better for thinking with. Recently I am getting paper with a square pattern of dots which is even better for thinking with as it gives a dimension grid but does not force you into perpendicular lines  :)
Best regards

Roger

Offline steamer

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2018, 04:45:33 PM »
I have a nice K&E band machine from about the 40's ...I still have it, and used to use it years ago professionally.  Then in the late 80's early 90's CAD really took over, and I've not really used it since....every once in a while I get nostalgic, break open my compass set and try to draw something, and realize how much of a PITA it is, and a few more years goes by.....

Dave

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Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: Drawing boards, anyone still use them?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2018, 09:09:49 PM »
Thanks guys, it's kind of heartening to realise an item of old technology does still have a few users.

I'll take a look at what is available new and what ebay has to offer then maybe buy one shortly  :)