Lost art of technical drawing / drafting

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Little Scrapper

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I'm in the middle of service calls and stopped home for lunch and decided to pull out a fun book to read. I bought this many years ago on eBay for like $5. This is a text book for the Carnegie Mellon school of technical trades in Pittsburgh PA. It's dated 1908.

I bought a bunch of these books because I just felt they were worth owning and enjoyable to read and learn. This is book 1and it takes you through a series of lessons starting with sharpening a pencil, to drawing lines, to drawing a square, then a bolt, then letters, all the way to complex drawings like the tailstock on a lathe.

It's a lost art these days. Anyone here old enough to remember drawing by hand like this prior to CAD? There's something really neat about hand drawings that really pull me in. I can't be the only one who likes this?

Older scratch built airplane planes can be pretty fun to look at just for this very reason, the art, the uniqueness of it.

Hopefully the few photos I took of the book show up for clarity.

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TFF

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Nothing better to look at than a set of plans. My grandfather was an architect and I got his stuff when he retired. I had this huge drafting table and all the goodies as a kid. I wish I had them now. When I took drafting it was still pencil but computers were coming. I just did not like how clunky they were at the time. I will still draw over computer.
 

Little Scrapper

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Nothing better to look at than a set of plans. My grandfather was an architect and I got his stuff when he retired. I had this huge drafting table and all the goodies as a kid. I wish I had them now. When I took drafting it was still pencil but computers were coming. I just did not like how clunky they were at the time. I will still draw over computer.
When I went to plumbing school I had to learn drafting. Brunnig? (Spelling) mechanical drafting arms. They were being phased out I believe I was the last class to have them.
 

don january

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Years ago in my outlaw days I got a hitch in Rawlins Wyo and I was lucky enough to get a drafting class of pencil and paper and I must confess I couldn't get enough of it. and I remember taking a copy of that very book to my guest room and reading. OH what good times.:gig:
 

BJC

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.... Anyone here old enough to remember drawing by hand like this prior to CAD? There's something really neat about hand drawings that really pull me in.
Guilty as charged. I work a crossword puzzle and a Sudoku puzzle each day. I delight in printing the numbers and letters in the puzzles as I did on designs.

BTW, between the era of doing my own design drafting and having CAD operators who produced the working drawings, was an era of designers. Extremely talented people who increased the productivity of engineered dramatically.


BJC
 

Little Scrapper

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How do you suppose the Pietenpole drawings were drawn? It's been a while since I've seen my set but it looks like it was made from pen? I remember the lines being pretty thick?

I'm curious about the history of a drawing like that, from the 20's. The lines are not razor sharp or straight, almost cartoonist in a sense. I'm thinking his neighbor who drew them probably used just a pencil/pen and a ruler?
 

TerryM76

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Unfortunately this subject and others are simply not being taught nowadays due to the advancements in technology. I loved my drafting classes in high-school as well as welding, auto repair, etc.

From what I have seen with my students, they have the hardest time printing legibly, understanding what they are reading and most cannot read cursive. They certainly don't struggle when fiddling ostentatiously with their electronic devices which seems to consume their interests.
 

cvairwerks

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Between the board and the tube, I've got at least 11,000 hours of drawing time over the years. Last full set of drawings I did on paper were for a transonic wind tunnel model, back in 1984. That model still gets pulled out and used every so often at the university. The last velum work I did was in 1997, doing ISO9000 updates to some CT/MRI/X-ray power tubes for a company based in the UK. All the wording and labels on the prints was in German, and all the prints were done in reverse, on the back side of the velum. Lay them face up on the table and they were correct. You had to flip them over and work everything on the back side of the sheet....kinda weird at first, but got to be fun as I went thru them.

CAD wise, started with AutoCad 6, progressed all the way to 13, Mechanical Desktop2 and 3, and had some time with Catia 3 and 5. Been using Draftsight off and on now and will probably end up with a copy of SolidWorks since I'm an EAA member.
 

Tiger Tim

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I was in high school when the switch happened and was lucky enough to do some basic drafting as well as learning Autocad, and later Mastercam. I was good at the computer-aided stuff but absolutely loved the pencil-and-paper work. Gotta get back to it sometime.

For a time reference, I'm presently 34.
 

wsimpso1

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A year and half in high school as part of engineering prep. We did our own drawings at ACCO chain conveyor (1978) and at Remington Arms (1980 to 1984). Have not done a drawing since as an engineer. Always had draftsmen, which came to be called designers. Then the CAD geometry could be passed electronically to the plants/suppliers for fabrication/tooling/quality and to CAE for all manner of analysis.

Go to the homebuilt airplane, and let me tell you, I have drawing board with a parallel rule, triangles, scales, you name it. Gotta draw out my templates, fixtures, etc. Even that does not get much work.

Yeah, it is a lost art.

Billski
 

Dana

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I started out on the board, wasn't until my third job that I was 100% CAD. I still enjoy doing an occasional hand drawn layout, and frequent hand sketches, but I'd hate to go back to hand drafting full time.

I still have Dad's drawing board and compass set.
 

Chris In Marshfield

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The Bearhawk plans are all drawn by hand. So many questions asked in the forum about how something is supposed to look because many can't "think" in three dimensions without a 3D CAD drawing to look at. I personally appreciate it having learned to draw by hand myself. :)
 

BJC

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When I was a co-op student working for an electric utility company, I had to use a Leroy lettering set (ink) to print powerplant protective relay ID tags. Yes, it would have been faster to type them or print them, but they had this thing called “tradition”.


BJC
 

cluttonfred

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I took a pencil and paper architectural drawing class almost 20 years ago, really enjoyed it, was thinking about becoming an architect but already had a wife and son and couldn’t afford to go back to school and then apprentice. So I took the foreign service exam instead....
 

TerryM76

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My copies of the Kelleher Lark blue prints are beautiful, hand-drawn pieces of art.
 

Lucrum

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I took mechanical drawing in high school, would have been around 1977
With the exception of an X-Plane model, all the drawings I have of my project I did myself on a board with pencil T-square etc.
 

Sockmonkey

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I learned basic drafting in high school too. Liked it so much I did my friend's homework for in that class for him. I was kind of sad we didn't get to the more interesting bits later in the book.
 
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