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brassworks

A bit of pre-AutoCAD drafting history

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brassworks

Among other interests, I reenact the American Civil War. With my hand-drafting experience dating from the early 1980s, and my lifetime fascination for maps, it was a natural evolution to learn how to reproduce Civil War era maps using period drafting instruments. Over the years, I've picked up bits and pieces of information here and there, besides a functional assortment of old instruments. And I've produced some nice hand-drafted replicas of period maps, learning a lot about hand-drafting with ruling pens and such.

 

A ruling pen, though made of steel, does wear irregularly with constant use, and I can see evidence of that wear on old ruling pens I have acquired over the years, although I've never drafted long enough to effect that amount of wear myself. I've read instructions about how to use fine sharpening stones on the elliptical ends of the blades of the ruling pens to hone them back into shape.

 

Imagine my delight a few weeks ago, when poking through an old hobby box that had belonged to my father, to find a drawer full of sharpening stones, including one about the size of a small matchbox, in its original cardboard box, stamped with a brand, identification as to the contents, and its purpose, which included "for sharpening" [among other things] "surgical instruments and drafting instruments." Not a whole lot of folks these days would understand why drafting instruments would need sharpening. The stone is so fine that it resembles marble or soapstone. That's a fine treasure to add to my collection.

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ReMark

I might be dating myself here but I used ruling pens at one time and still have one or two hanging around. Don't know why I can't part with them even though they haven't been used in many years.

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Guest Alan Cullen

Bit like me, ReMark....

 

Still have all my drafting gear from the 60's in the bottom desk draw.....can't part with any of it.......I guess it's a reminder of how we used to do things.......and how lucky we are today in comparison....

 

But, brassworks....hang onto that stuff.....unfortunately in my day ruling pens were going out of style....replaced with rapidographs.....and I still have a heap of those.......the ink has probably dried so well they will never work again......no matter how hard I lick the nib.......still got a lot of tatoos where I stabbed myself with the bloody nibs.....Indian ink :x

 

This all does bring back memories.......:D

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Strix

do we get to see pics then? :)

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SLW210

I still have some of my drafting equipment around somewhere.

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ReMark

I also have a draw full of templates for circles, squares, pipe fittings, architectural symbols, structural steel shapes, highway signage, ellipses, fluid power and arrows. Kept them all plus a nice assortment of french curves.

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Guest Alan Cullen

And lets not forget the old brass parrallel ruler.......which one of our enginners knocked off from me some 10 years ago...I still have a problem reclaiming that every now and then.....just so he knows it actually belongs to me.......

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zars

Yeah post some pics for those of us who have never seen equipment like that.

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Guest Alan Cullen

I'll see what I can come up with tomorrow.......:lol:

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dbroada

soon after I entered the DO our office went mad for "MIFA" pencils. They took rectangular leads of 0.5mm & 0.3mm width so were great for drawing - and we had tracers back then for doing the inky work. The trouble with these pencils was that the lead holder wore away down one side so mine regularly got a brass sleeve soldered in place as a "temporary" repair. Not long after that the tracers disappeared and Rotring pens became the norm.

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Guest Alan Cullen

I remenber the days of tracers....still remember a funny story happened a long time ago.....

 

One of the drafties wrote "6000 wide driveway" on the plan (in his sloppy manner).....the tracer typed "good wide driveway"......and that got missed on the check.....and went out to contract.......:lol:

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Guest Alan Cullen

Okay.....he's some piccies of old drafting aids ......:lol:

 

Fench curves, circle templates......

french curves.jpg

 

Lettering stencils, Leroy lettering stencils.....

lettering.jpg

 

Drawing pens, scalpel (for scapping out to amend), drawing set......

pens.jpg

 

Railway curves......

railway.jpg

 

Parrallel ruler, set squares, erasing shield, protractor......

set squares.jpg

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dbroada
I remenber the days of tracers....still remember a funny story happened a long time ago.....

 

One of the drafties wrote "6000 wide driveway" on the plan (in his sloppy manner).....the tracer typed "good wide driveway"......and that got missed on the check.....and went out to contract.......:lol:

one of our tracers kept producing drawings with lots of little circles up in one corner. When asked why she said that it was on the original drawing. When her drawing board was checked they were circles on her backing sheet in he area she used to start her drop bow compass. :lol:

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Strix

oh wow! Railway curves? I must show those to Mr Strix :D

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brassworks

An office I worked in located in Portland, Maine, had a set of railroad curves made of zinc-galvanized steel, with the patent date stamped on them of "Nov 1, '98." When I worked there, it was in the early 1990s; these curves were manufactured in 1898. The set was still complete but for a couple of the smallest curves. They were even beveled for use with ink. Each had a hole in one end for hanging up, which we did.

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Cymro

Those Photos bring back memories.

 

Haven't seen railway curves in years and they were often used essentials not so long ago.

The scalpel was was also an often used tool before the erase command.:D

 

I too have a few tattoos to remind me of the times i stabbed myself with the Rotring.

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SLW210

AC.....I was expecting to see everything made out of stone. :D

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Guest Alan Cullen
AC.....I was expecting to see everything made out of stone. :D

 

Yeah....angry green man......I'm not THAT old.......buggar of a man.....:lol:

 

Notice how some of the templates were taped together?

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brassworks

Even the Romans were modern enough to use iron to make some of their drafting instruments, like dividers.

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Guest Alan Cullen

brassworks.....

 

Just whose side are you on here.....????????

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