Making Drawings

Use our simple tips to help you draw out your project.

Photo: Flickr

Making professional working drawings takes training and practice. For many simple, around-the-home kinds of jobs, however, even the in­experienced hand can devise working plans. With the invest­ment of a few dollars and given a minimum of practice, useful drawings can be made—and later mistakes avoided.

The Drafting Board. While elaborate drafting tables can cost many hundreds of dol­lars, you may opt to purchase a portable drawing board, some of which these days come with a handy, built-in T square. Another option for the occasional draftsman is to use a desk or tabletop.

The Equipment. A basic draw­ing kit need only consist of a T square, a triangle, some graph paper, a roll of masking tape, and pencils.

Getting Started. For the beginner, graph paper makes the process a great deal easier. Tape a sheet to your working surface, aligning it with the T square. Identify the longest dimension of the object you’re drawing, then deter­mine the largest scale you can use to fit the object onto the sheet. Depending upon the size of the object to be drawn, the scale could be one square to a square foot, one square to a square inch, or whatever proportion makes sense.

Turning Pro. Once you’ve mastered some of the basic skills, you may decide to leave the graph paper behind and confront the somewhat in­timidating emptiness of a plain sheet. If you do, you’ll need a scale (it’s a triangular ruler with different scales along each edge). There are plenty of other fancy imple­ments to help, too (among them pencils with leads of varying softness for darker or lighter lines), but such sub­tleties aren’t required to master the basics.