Complete Development Of Different Sections

It is not economy of time to finish one view before beginning another. It is better to take some single detail of the drawing and develop it in all views, in order to study it from all sides. What is completed in one view may be found to be totally wrong when developed from another side, and the time spent on the first view will be wholly wasted. For example, in the present case the steam ports should be drawn in side elevation, end elevation, and plan, and when thus completed the mind can leave them and in a similar fashion take up the study of the flanges, then the cylinder foot, and so on. Thus again the draftsman is master of his drawing, for he is continually making it tell him whether he is right or wrong. If, on the contrary, he allows himself to look at but one side at a time, and works from that standpoint alone, it may lead him into many difficulties from which he cannot readily extricate himself.

Do not be afraid to use the eraser. The draftsman who hesitates to draw until he is positive that no change will be necessary, is likely to spend the greater portion of his time in unprofitable dreams, for he is attempting the impossible. A drawing is a means, not an end; and, as has been already pointed out, it greatly assists the draftsman in clearing up many doubtful questions which the imagination alone cannot do.

A bold attack of a problem shows the quickest path to its solution, even if lines must be erased again and again. It is a sign of serious lack of ability to hesitate in the use of pencil and eraser.

Clearness Of Drawings An Important Point

Attention is called to the simple, straightforward character of Plate B. Notice the almost entire absence of dotted lines; the enlarged section through the ports, giving ample opportunity for dimensions without confusion; the use of a half end elevation and a half cross section - the one to make clear the flange and bolt layout; the other to show the exhaust opening, the small auxiliary views (drawn at convenient points) of the exhaust flange layout, the cylinderfoot, and the drip boss.

A steam cylinder is a fairly complicated casting; and it would be an easy matter, by the use of elaborate views, the dotting in of parts already completely shown, and careless linework, to rob this drawing almost entirely of its clearness and directness of illustration. Just what is necessary (for clearness' sake) and no more (for cheapness' sake), is the whole matter in a nutshell, and is what determines its shop and commercial value.

Dimensions And Letters

A good line drawing can be spoiled by poorly arranged dimensions and hasty lettering. The five principal points to be kept in mind to develop excellence in this respect are: (1) system; (2) accuracy; (3) clearness; (4) completeness; (5) character.


The habit of system in placing figures and letters on a drawing is the one element which, to a large extent, controls all the others. If the systematic habit is established early, the other requirements will be fulfilled more easily. A haphazard method will, on the contrary, just as surely prevent the successful cultivation of the ability to figure a drawing. In fact, if the haphazard habit is continued it will itself, by the dissatisfaction which it causes, soon compel the draftsman to change his occupation.

In the first place, whatever part of a machine detail is to be dimensioned, that particular part should receive attention until it has been completely figured. Do not jump from one point to another, putting in a figure here and another there. Stick to one thing until it is done.

For example, take Plate D and the simple detail of the steam pipe. Suppose we start with one of the square flanges. The first question is: "Where is this flange located?" This is answered by the dimensions 5-inch and 21-inch centers, which refer the face of the flange to the center of the pipe and the flanges to each other.

The next question is: "What are the three dimensions of the flange - length, breadth, and thickness?" This is readily answered as shown on the drawing. The next question is: "What further description is necessary to completely specify the shape of the flange?" This is answered by the radius of the corners, inch R. Next, "What drilling or special feature exists in the flange?" This is answered by 11/16 -inch drill, 3-inch centers, and the letter / to denote that the face is to be finished.

The round flange of this pipe is approached and figured in the same way, except that the location of the face is preferably referred to the face of the square flange by the figure 8 inches, instead of to the center of the pipe, because the planer hand will more naturally use this figure.

These flanges are now to be connected by a pipe involving two sizes. The main pipe is 3 inches diameter inside, 4 inches outside, and inch thick, running into the two branches by fillets and radii, as figured. The two branches are really one pipe, 2 inches inside, 3 inches outside, inch thick, and sweeping down into the square flanges by 4-inch radii.

This systematic method takes longer to explain than to actually execute, but it is typical of the train of thought which must be followed on all pieces, simple or complicated, in order to properly place dimensions.

In general, it may be stated that all parts of a piece must be referred either to each other, or to some common reference line, or to both. Each part so referred must then be figured as a piece by itself, and then its connections to the principal structure. Thus, figuring a machine detail involves three things: (1) relative location of its parts; (2) proportions of these parts; (3) proportions of connecting members.

As in the original design of a piece, so in the figuring of it the draftsman must as far as possible put himself in the place of the workman, judging the methods and processes of construction and available tools. This will largely influence the arrangement of the dimensions. Of course it implies considerable experience in shop work, which some students do not possess. He can begin none too early, however, to learn to look at his work from the shop standpoint, and surely make it some better on that account.

Pieces must not only be systematically dimensioned, but regularly specified and called for by suitable titles.

A title should specify at least three things: (1) name of piece; (2) number wanted for one machine; (3) material.

To these might be added a fourth; viz, pattern or piece number. The latter is not specified on the drawings under discussion, because systems of pattern and piece numbering are so varied that little would be gained by developing one for this special study.

These titles should always be put on in the same way, as the workmen become used to a certain system and are likely to misunderstand directions if a regular plan is not followed. A good way to arrange titles is suggested on the plates, although there are others which might be used.

Bolts are usually specified by diameter and length under the head, the length of thread being determined by some standard system in use by the shop, unless otherwise called for. Bolts are specified on the sheet containing the piece into which they are tapped. In the case of through bolts, tapped into neither piece, they are preferably called for in connection with the principal member.