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Author Topic: Low-tech designing 1  (Read 837 times)

GG

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Low-tech designing 1
« on: August 18, 2021, 01:10:49 pm »

Not sure if this is the best place to post this item, but nowhere else seems to be a good match.


I suspect that many people are put off submitting plans for the publication in a magazine with the excuse that they couldn't meet the standards of those published.  This really isn't true.


My first attempt to draw a plan up for publication was for the editor Vic Smeed (which might tell you how long ago that was..!) and it was a complete mess. Without a proper drawing board, tee-square and such like, the layout was all over the place and many parts out of shape.  With a young family, the solution had to be cheap.  this turned out to be a sheet of hardboard (4 x 2 feet) and sheets of Imperial one inch square graph paper.  The inch squares being further subdivided in 1/10 inch squares.


The use of graph paper allowed me to keep the model plan and parts all neatly aligned.  It also greatly helped to get the right sizes and shapes to the parts.  This must have worked since I've use the basically the same method ever since, well, with metrication sometimes Metric A1 sheets of graph paper have been used.


As long as your drawings are clear, accurate and properly annotated, then publishers can employ a skilled draftsman to redraw then to fit their needs.  The only tip being to draw all lines faintly with a hard grade of pencil, double check it's correct before going over it with a softer pencil (something like a 4B grade).  This will save a lot of work with an eraser....!!!


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GG

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Low-tech Designing 2
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2021, 03:16:05 pm »

Confession- well it's supposed to be good for the soul


My models are usually started without a drawing of the full size model first.  With most, a reduced scale, something like a quarter to a fifth size, general layout sketch has been used.  This is good enough to ensure that the design will work, all the important bits fit inside the hull and, just as important, be accessible/removable..!


Yes, problems might and sometimes do occur and result in changes having to be made.  But, I've yet to produce a model that will not float and go although sometimes "adjustments" have been called for before satisfaction has been achieved.  In this case I'm glad not to have spent a lot of time and effort on first drawing up a detailed and what I foolishly believed was a "perfect design".  Any plans drawn up for publication have been based upon the final successful and thoroughly tested model.


There have been a few occasions when I had to draw a model out fill size before building though. Once was a large liner and I couldn't get the right appearance with the reduced scale drafts.  It was a bit like "Goldilocks" two funnels weren't enough, four too many but three, just right..!


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GG

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Low-tech Designing 3
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2021, 03:34:12 pm »

Another confession - really working on my soul..!


This might cause the devotes of CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) to splutter and spill their cappuccinos since I have admitted that all my plans are drawn up the "old fashioned" way with pencil on paper.  It's the way I learnt some decades ago, even have an "O level" certificate somewhere to that effect and it has served me well in all my professional lives.  But, it's not an admission of a reluctance to learn about CAD, more a deliberate choice.


All the time, effort and probably expense to acquire the skills needed to use a CAD program do not seem justified for a couple of models a year.  I'm realistic in the knowledge that the interval between models would almost certainly result in having to relearn how to use the CAD program whereas using the right end of a pencil comes naturally.  I have enough trouble making these word processing programs do just what is wanted at times...


So, if you can draw accurate shapes with a pencil on paper, annotate them clearly and legibly then that ought to be good enough.  It is not essential to go back to school and learn the CAD way to draw up acceptable plans.  But do remember, an immaculately drawn and presented plan will never compensate for a rubbish model design. 


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Ralph

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2021, 04:19:10 pm »

Very true Glynn, like you I have a certificate somewhere for "old fashioned" drawing skills and when I started teaching myself CAD in the early 1990s I found the paper and pencil knowledge invaluable in setting out drawings on the screen - definitely worth learning even in these days of computers and there is something strangely satisfying about creating a pencil drawing.


I got caught out with a CAD drawing once - Chris Jackson published a couple of my designs in MMI many many many years ago which I had drawn up on CAD then printed off and posted to him (e-mailing files was very much hit or miss back then, I did say it was a long time ago).  The larger sections were drawn at a reduced scale with dimensions added however the small parts I drew full size and didn't bother dimensioning.  Unfortunately the drawings were then reduced to fit the magazine page with the accompanying article "wrapped" round them >>:-( . Just hope no one got caught out.  Maybe a wee lesson there for both designers and publishers.

cheers


Ralph
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grendel

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2021, 05:48:39 pm »

as a time served draughtsman / Drawing office manager, I learned the old fashioned way, and for us it was a 5H pencil for guidelines and a 2H for finished lines, any of the B pencils were too soft and smudged resulting in messy drawings.
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Baldrick

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2021, 07:34:28 pm »

For our sins we had to work on linen using indian ink in a ruling pen and a selection of mapping pen nibs for lettering  Thank goodness the Rotring pens soon came along .  Nightmare was that no alterations could be made . If they changed anything it was start again. Upside was that if it was scrapped you could take the linen paper home and wash out the dressing in the bath and then had some lovely material for boat sails.
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derekwarner

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2021, 01:09:59 am »

Before the white 'plastic' eraser was introduced, correcting errors was achieved with an eraser molded from grey/whiteish rubber. Invariably the more you attempted to clean up errors or changes, the more you rubbed and rubbed until greater the chance of eroding the paper into a hole  <*<


[Naturally those red and grey erasers were also of rubber, but these were for ink text and not for pencil drawings


Does anyone remember using a slice of white bread as a final clean-up medium to take away grey marks of the completed drawing sheet?


But Technical Drawing was more than 2 or 3 views, the best parts were intersecting planes through differing shaped objects, then creating a true sectional elevation of the intersection


I watched my elder brother spend days and days on the piping development work for the Snowy Hydro-Electric Scheme   ........long before the days of CAD........without being flippant, if we had a power outage, today's Professional Graduates would not be able to design such pipework


Derek :-X



 
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Circlip

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2021, 11:01:19 am »

And don't forget the predecessor to Rotring (Where's the umlauts?) UNO and the green rubbers in the electric paper disintegrators and Pounce. Despite being taught how to draw at full size on a monitor after twentyfive years doing  it the "Hard" way, when talking to a mate in the states via Skype, I used to amaze him how quickly I could sketch something and hold it up to the camera to explain a point. ALWAYS had a pencil and sketch pad at hand. The ability to think in 3D and draw in 2D seems to be a dying art and there's more to being a "Draughty" than the ability to scribe a few lines on a slate, be it white paper or a screen. Only problem in converting our humble renderings to the realms of electrons by a Graphic "Designer" is that many don't understand the concept of toy boats/aircraft drawings as opposed to arty farty renderings and how bits actually FIT together.
    There's STILL a place for "Luddites" GG at al.


  Regards  Ian.
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redpmg

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2021, 06:16:46 pm »

As someone who used to design anything with pencil & paper and then started with Corel Draw 10 years ago still find it far easier to draw a rough sketch , scan it and then use that in Corel. Much easier to correct &  redraw to produce symmetrical drawings etc. Sometimes also use scanned photos - for instance when designing model vehicles for Laser cutting in MDF . Find its almost impossible to create a drawing of a 3d object from scratch in Corel . Sometimes a particular section of a boat may appeal - used the stern of one,  the bow of another with the superstructure of a third for instance !. And by manipulating a drawing of the motor /propshaft with the desired size prop - motor placement , shaft length calculation, keel slots for the shaft tube & rudder post are easy to do. Corel also works very well when converting a static model to RC such as the Billings Norden & St Roch . Find it far easier than using paper & pencil in that instance . I am lucky enough to have access to a work Laser cutter - so the drawings need to be very accurate which unfortunately a lot of the older plans are not. Spent quite a lot of time redrawing the parts for those as very often neither the former's nor the hull are symmetrical. Its Horse's for Courses - really in the end its what you prefer or need.

PS still have a couple of Rottring Pens too - probably unusable now as they have not been touched for 30 odd years - .3mm  & .5mm fineliners came on the market and were used to produce a couple of Tug plans for Rocky Mountain Shipyards around then............ Paper originals however are pretty much unreadable now.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2021, 06:51:14 pm »

A lot of those older plans seem to have been reproduced extensively, both officially and unofficially, so that significant distortions have crept in.

In the case of Model Maker/Model Boats, many of the plans were published in the magazine to a high degree of accuracy and if you can lay hold of a copy which includes them then you will have access to accurate source material which may be relatively small scale but which is likely to be accurate.

Colin
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redpmg

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2021, 07:40:57 pm »

Unfortunately Colin most of the old plans that were produced by hand are not nearly accurate enough for laser cutting - even when scanning the originals as I have done . Especially  the ones using slotted keels like the Aerokit types. One of the old MB plans the frames were undersized - even allowing for planking thickness - so a boat produced would be about a 1/2in less beam - not that it would had been noticed as unlike the plane builder we don't tend to use the plan for building on - a couple had  frames that were off centre by 3mm at the keel - which is a real problem when the main keel is only that thickness before adding the outside pieces like Les Rowells designs. Cant remember which particular plans now - at my age yesterday is a problem remembering ........20 years ago is easy.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2021, 08:16:44 pm »

I would reject that argument I'm afraid.

My Granada model which was awarded a Silver Medal at the 1981 MEX exhibition was built from the 50 ft =1 inch MAP plans.

As aways, dimensions off plans should be regarded as a guide and checked independently. No need for lasers, just some empirical judgement and checking against independent sources.

Applying modern methods is not always the best or more accurate way to do things and people can be disappointed as a result.

Colin
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redpmg

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2021, 08:49:51 pm »

Afraid I cant agree with you Colin - most kits are now CNC cut with either Lasers or Routers - and slot together easily (that does not include some of the Chinese ones ) . Wish they had done so when I was young -  most of the kits left a lot to be desired in terms of fitting and alignment. I personally prefer the CNC cut types as the cutting is much more accurate than doing so by hand . Even full size boat plans suffered problems - a 8ft American Duckboat my father and I built had two of the five frames 1-1/2inches undersize width on the plan . Some problems were also had with the stitch & glue 11ft Mermaid dinghy. Having built a few disappointing old kits its been a pleasure to remake a couple with redrawn laser cut parts.  Much prefer it to using my scrollsaw or Xacto knife now.

A friend from NZ is posting the build of a Runabout from a old MB plan on another forum - he has had some problems with the frame sizes & alignment

That is not to say that all of the plans are inaccurate - its mostly the ones that show the frames as a separate drawing although there are some that show half frame lines that don't correspond  with the Plan & GA views
Your award winning model (which is stunning by the way ) was obviously built from a plan that was accurate.
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belli

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2021, 09:14:55 pm »

Well Glynn, I have one of your plans here and it looks perfect to me...
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redpmg

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2021, 09:19:12 pm »

Have to agree with you Belli - nothing wrong with it at all - don't think I have seen one of Glynn's that I have a problem with .
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2021, 09:23:55 pm »

Redpmg

I didn't build from a kit, just  from the plan. Nothing to do with kits.

Colin
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redpmg

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2021, 10:01:09 pm »

Colin you are talking about a scale model - there were a lot of plans out there that were not scale models so there was no reference data to check.  I am simply using the Laser as a cutting tool  instead of the scrollsaw or knife blade. To give you an idea I redrew the Ohm Maid (which SLEC now market as the Sea Breeze) for myself in Aerokits style and the 16ft Tod Boat (now Mr Tom also from SLEC) for amusement whilst ill.I have also redrawn parts for other boats & aircraft to match plans - for friends as well as myself . Currently playing with the old Keil Kraft Pixie and the old Artesania Latina Costa Dorada kit to convert it to RC. The KK printed parts leave a great deal to be desired - half the wing frames are not the same as each other for instance - so rechecking with the plan is essential.
Because of the paucity of model boat components in Rhodesia and SA it was far easier to work from a kit which had all the parts supplied - my first one being the Anglian tug from Hobbies of Dereham complete with Mighty Midget motor 65 years ago - it would have been a pleasure to build with accurate laser cut parts. My first inkling of Model Boat magazines was only in the mid seventies - and the availability of plans .  Built a few from the free plans & others from the US but struggled for items like propshafts & propellers and usually had to resort to making them along with rudders etc - even motors other than IC were hard to come by. Speed controllers were unheard of except for a few German ones at outrageous prices .
We are hijacking Glynns thread anyway - and have wandered off the point - and that is that most newer hand drawn plans are perfectly fine - but you will still have to redraw to CNC cut them .
 
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RST

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2021, 11:25:37 pm »

I caused a stir in France when I started there a couple of years ago.  No "Engineer" is allowed to touch pencil on paper, god forbid have any CAD skills unless you are a fully qualified draughtsman.  No, no no, just not allowed -the unions are listening!!  None of them can actually draw anything on a scrap of paper for love nor money in return apart from a signature, but that's no different I've vound over the last 2 decades anyway.  In some respects fair play to them but they have misseed an entire eduction of pencil on paper.  On the flip side they are all 3-D CAD kids and think nothing of it -but they have absolutely no concept of what they have on the screen.

When I was at sea in the UK and we couldn't get a draughtsman for love nor money to work for us to comply with law nevermind safety.  For some drawings we just needed to put the ship profile flat then project outwards and take simple readings from point to point in 3-D space.  No draughtsman in the office could comprehend that so we upgraged my cad package and it was sorted afterwards.  I ended up the first person in the fleet to have proper drawings for some things and set the standard -sacked the company drawing office!  More an example of how pathetic our drawing office guys were than anything else.

I was taught to draw when I was a nipper by a relative, long story short but I appreciate some have a bent for it.  I've not touched my Rorting pens for decades now -but the last 2 years I've gone back to the old schafer 2mm lead drawing pencils though the leads are not easy to come by but neither are 0.5, 0.7, 0.9 propelling pencil leads these days either!

...By the way I put a laser kit together from a relatively new suppier last year and maybe 80% of it went together fine.  It wasn't their cutting that was wrong just some parts that were wprk of fiction in the first place.  I have a kit bought at the same time from a wrell known German suppier and I found so far the laser cut parts are so far off, I stalled after maybe 5% of it as a supposedley quick build, nothing fits together.

....If you look on modelboats forum there is a gentleman who explicitly models in CAD before he touches anything in reality and the research / prep for building is amazing.  That's entirely his thing.  Lets not get too tied up whether we envisage things on paper or computer.  Just we can put something out or together that works?

Rock on GG...

One thing bugs me is I can't remember how to do perspective drawings to scale.  It used to be bread and butter -I can't remember just how to do it now.


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BrianB6

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2021, 12:22:21 am »

I still have my drawing board from 60 years ago although I have not used it for years.  Who remembers Graphos pens for ink work.  Messy things but produced lines varying from too thin to print to several mm.   Mine are somewhere in a drawer.   0.5mm pencils are usually good enough for most drawings.
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derekwarner

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2021, 01:26:52 am »

I treated myself to this about 45 something? years ago........still used last year for a sketch  O0  ....


An option for Shipyard Office Drawing was a feed system or roller bank on either side of the board to hold & feed a continuous roll of paper


[yes in either direction  :o  ]....at one stage, I was engaged to trace some Blue Ammonia prints >>:-(

Derek
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Derek Warner

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2021, 08:58:00 am »

For our sins we had to work on linen using indian ink in a ruling pen and a selection of mapping pen nibs for lettering.................. Upside was that if it was scrapped you could take the linen paper home and wash out the dressing in the bath and then had some lovely material for boat sails.

With all you drawing experts I am embarrased to ask (I only have "O" Level Technical Drawing which was pencil & paper only) but please tell me about "linen". Is it the paper faced cloth material that old OS maps were printed on or something else? I mentally have a picture of you drawing on a tablecloth but that is obviously wrong.

I thought that Indian Ink was permanant which would make for some interesting sails.
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Circlip

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2021, 09:57:45 am »

Linen used in D/Os was a media used for "Master" drawings due to its stability as a base. As has been mentioned many times, paper based renditions are subject to atmospheric problems ie. when "Damp"  they grow and drying out, they shrink. Even now, with the advent of drawing on screen, when reprinted by plotting, the base is still paper and still subject to variations. Linen usually was impregnated with a pale blue "Starch" which readily accepted ink without it soaking in, indeed "Scrap" drawings could be thoroughly washed to get the starch out and many linen Handkerchiefs generated. It was replaced with polyester films either with a matt grey or a pale blue coating (throwback) as a stable drawing media. Paper/linen backed maps were for durability, printed on paper side.


   Regards  Ian.


  Extra mod. One thing NOT mentioned, using "Low Teck" methods you can actually SEE in full size what you're doing, difficult on a screen.
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Baldrick

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2021, 11:03:44 am »

I still have my drawing board from 60 years ago although I have not used it for years.  Who remembers Graphos pens for ink work.  Messy things but produced lines varying from too thin to print to several mm.   Mine are somewhere in a drawer.   0.5mm pencils are usually good enough for most drawings.


Thank you for reminding me about the Graphos pens and how orrible they were. Little nibs fitting onto a holder. Each nib had a little reservoir you had to charge with Indian Ink ( which used to corrode the nibs) Occasionally the nib used to fall off the handle and splatt , ink all over your work.  Oh, the good old days. 
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Low-tech designing 1
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2021, 12:41:28 pm »

Linen used in D/Os was a media used for "Master" drawings due to its stability as a base. As has been mentioned many times, paper based renditions are subject to atmospheric problems ie. when "Damp"  they grow and drying out, they shrink. Even now, with the advent of drawing on screen, when reprinted by plotting, the base is still paper and still subject to variations. Linen usually was impregnated with a pale blue "Starch" which readily accepted ink without it soaking in, indeed "Scrap" drawings could be thoroughly washed to get the starch out and many linen Handkerchiefs generated. It was replaced with polyester films either with a matt grey or a pale blue coating (throwback) as a stable drawing media. Paper/linen backed maps were for durability, printed on paper side.

   Regards  Ian.

  Extra mod. One thing NOT mentioned, using "Low Teck" methods you can actually SEE in full size what you're doing, difficult on a screen.

Thank you for the explanation. I am familiar with blue plastic film but the linen had passed me by.
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