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How to Use the T-Square for the Draftsman

Nov 25, 2007
Mechanical drawing is entirely different from freehand drawing. In freehand drawing the artist takes a pencil and some paper and sketches roughly what he sees - whether it is a portrait, a landscape or a nude figure. In doing this he makes use of his creative ability - his artistic sense - as well as his knowledge of design and anatomy. If he is sufficiently creative and gifted, his drawing will be a "work of art" even though it will be far from an accurate representation of the real thing.

Now the draftsman is not an artist in the above sense. He is not supposed to be an artist, and he need have no artistic ability or knowledge of anatomy for his important profession. He never draws from nature because all his subjects are man-made things.

Good draftsmanship is really accurate, neat, clear line representation of mechanical objects drawn solely for the purpose of enabling carpenters, contractors and mechanics to make these objects. A mechanical drawing of a large oak tree or a beautiful nude girl would be just as impractical as a rough and totally inaccurate sketch of a vital machine part. Anyone can be a draftsman if he is willing to work and apply himself to accurate precision drawing.

There is absolutely no doubt that the postwar period will make extreme demands on the draftsman. All branches of engineering, as well as architecture, are sure to spurt ahead as never before. Technical men are sure to be in great demand, particularly in the field of electronics and electronic machinery, and in the building field.

In all fields, whether in engineering, architectural or machine shop work, the draftsman is a very important person, for he is the middleman between the engineer and contractor; the architect and builder; the designing engineer and the machine shop mechanic.

Below are some useful exercises to practice using the t-square used in mechanical drawing. Follow these steps carefully and do everything that you are told to do:


Place a sheet of paper on your drawing board and secure it to the board by means of the tape or the thumb tacks (one tack in each corner). There should be about an inch margin all around the paper; or, in other words, the paper should be 2 inches shorter and 2 inches narrower than the drawing board.


Hold the T-square in position and draw a line clear across the paper, from left to right. Move the T-square up and down and draw six or seven other lines clear across the paper.


Take your ruler and measure off 9-1/2 inches somewhere near the top of the paper. Do this by making two small points 9-1/2 inches apart. Now bring the T-square up to these points and draw a line connecting them. This is the way to draw a line of a given length with your T-square. Practice by measuring off other distances, like 7-1/4 inches, 11 inches, etc., and draw lines connecting them.


Now place the ruler in a vertical position at the left of the paper and mark off every half inch for four inches. You will have eight tiny points, one under the other. Now draw a line through each of these eight points with your T-square; you will then have eight parallel lines spaced a half-inch apart.

Repeat this operation, marking off quarter-inch points instead of half-inch points. Mark off 16 points a quarter of an inch apart, one under the other, and draw the sixteen lines with your T-square. Now do the same thing with sixteenths of an inch and draw the thirty-two lines with the T-square. This is excellent practice in the use of the T-square.
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