|CHAPTER 6, LESSON 1 of 3
GOAL: To understand the importance of accurate, detailed drawings to the process of building a project.
A dictionary definition of a drawing is a representation by lines or the delineation of form without reference to color. What this definition doesn’t mention is the array of different drawing types that are drawn for different reasons. This lesson will serve as an introduction to three kinds of formal drawings used in woodworking and will show how a drawing conveys the design intent clearly.
|The two proposal drawings shown above and below were drawn in different eras, but both serve the purpose of providing an overall sense of the project while also highlighting choice details.
Recording the scope and detail of even the simplest project by drawing should be done before work begins. The penalties for not doing so take various forms: failed memory, changed dimensions, confused details. What initially seemed clear becomes vague or lost.
An effective way of recording the design intent is to employ a drawing system called Orthographic Projection, which will be discussed in the next lesson. First, it’s helpful to explore the different kinds of drawings used in woodworking.
Three Drawing Types
There are generally three drawing types associated with furniture: proposal, working and shop.
A proposal drawing, sometimes called a client drawing, consists of scaled elevations sufficient to explain the designer’s intentions to the client. They begin with sketches and are the simplest of the formal drawings to understand and execute. They are essential for expressing your ideas to a client, spouse, friend — even yourself — and form the basis for a coherent discussion about changes.
Regardless of scale, proposal drawings allow you to see the proportion of the parts and spaces as if you were looking at the pieces from the front.
This is a vital element to establish and a place from which to begin communicating other information. Additionally, proposal drawings include written information communicating the title of the piece, the date of the drawing, the name of the draftsperson and miscellaneous notes. The goal is to give the client the best impression of the piece, along with some choice details, to win approval of the work.
A working drawing has complete views and sections sufficient for the piece to be made in any way chosen by the maker, guided by the drawing details. From the working drawing, the maker can calculate the quantities and dimensions of the materials needed, the time it will take to do the job and the costs. The goal is a final piece whose appearance complies with the drawing, but there is room for interpretation and personal preference as to how the item is made.
A shop drawing has details that direct the maker to make the piece exactly as the drawing specifies. It details the work in every way — if necessary, even down to screw size, type and material, as well as what distance they are apart on centers. This level of detail is necessary because a third party is involved, namely, a designer or an architect who must approve the shop drawing or have it modified. At this point it becomes a contract for the protection of both parties.
|A collection of some of the drafting tools a woodworker can use to make a formal drawing
Drawing board: If you have space for a tilting, freestanding drafting board with parallel motion or a traveling square, one often can be found for little expense. On the other hand, a piece of hollow core door will do the job. You can sit or stand with the board tilted or flat. Two basic requirements are that the board is flat and has a square edge that the T-square runs on. It also needs to be covered with some sort of resilient material.
T-square: They’re made of wood, plastic or metal and come in different lengths. You need one at least 24" long.
Triangle: You need one with a 10" edge. 45° is generally more useful. Scale rule: This is a three-sided scale graduated in inches and multiples of 1/8".
Brush: This is the only effective way to clean off the debris left by an eraser.
Circle template: This enables you to effectively draft circles of various sizes to suit the scale of your drawing.
Pencils: It’s important to match pencils with paper. Use H–2H and harder on vellum and HB and softer on regular paper.
Paper types: The two paper types you are most likely to use are vellum and drawing paper. Both are available in pads of standard sizes with a clear description of qualities and uses on the cover. Vellum has a very hard surface that is slightly rough. Errors can be erased without leaving smudges or pencil grooves. Vellum is also good if you intend to print the drawing in some way. Drawing paper comes in several weights; the heavier the weight, the greater the thickness.