To the person about to begin a new occupation the first consideration is, what tools and materials does he need? In the following description of the appliances, tools and materials likely to be of service to the pattern cutter in the class of work in which he is supposed to be the most interested, the description is limited to articles of general use. Those who are interested in drawing tools and materials upon a broader basis than here presented are referred to special treatises on drawing and to the catalogues of manufacturers and dealers in drawing materials and drawing instruments.
Drafting Tables. - A drafting table suitable for a jobbing shop should be about five feet in length and three to four feet in width. It is better to have a table somewhat too large, than to have one so small that it is frequently inadequate for work that comes in. In hight the table should be such that the draftsman, as he stands up. may not be compelled to stoop to his work. While for some reasons it. is desirable that the table should be fixed upon a strong frame and legs, for convenience such tables are generally made portable. Two horses are used for supports and a movable drawing board for the top. A shallow drawer is hung by cleats fastened to the under side, and is arranged for pulling either way. Sometimes horizontal pieces are fastened to the legs of the horses, and a shelf or shelves are formed by laying boards upon them. Fig. 96 shows such a table as is here described. When properly made, using heavy rather than light material, such a table is quite solid and substantial, and when not in use can be packed away into a very small space.
For cornice makers' use, a table similar in construction to the one described and illustrated (Fig. 96) is well adapted. Its dimensions, however, considering the extremes of work that are likely to arise, should be twelve to fourteen feet in length by about five feet in breadth. Three horses are necessary, and two drawers may be suspended. For very large work, one draftsman or pattern cutter will require the whole table, but for ordinary work, such as window caps, cornices, etc., two men can work at it without interfering with or incommoding each other.
Various woods may be used for drawing tables, but white pine is the cheapest and best for the purpose. Inch and one-half to two-inch stuff will be found economical, as it allows for frequent redressing - made necessary by pricking in the process of pattern cutting. Narrow stuff, tongued and grooved together or joined by glue, is preferable to wide plank, as it is less liable to warp. Rods run through the table edgeways, as shown in Fig. 96, are desirable for drawing the parts together and holding them in one compact piece. The nut and washer are sunk into the edge of the table, a socket wrench being used to operate them. A drafting table should be an accurate rectangle - that is, every corner should be a right angle, and the opposite sides should be parallel. The edges should be exactly straight throughout their length. Methods of testing drafting tables and drawing boards,. with reference to these points, are given below. The usual way of adjusting a table or board to make it accurate is to plane off its edges as required. But this is a task less simple than it appears. It requires the nicest skill and accuracy to render it at all satisfactory.
Fig. 96. - Drafting Table.
When it is remembered that ho matter how well sea-Boned the lumber employed may be the table will be affected by even slight changes in the atmosphere, it is apparent that dressing oil the edges with a plane, under certain circumstances, might be constantly required. For great accuracy, adjustable metal strips may be fastened to the edges of the table in such a manner that, by simply turning a few screws, any variation in the table may be compensated. This ar-rangement may be accomplished in the following manner: The edge of the table on all sides is cut away so as to allow a bar of steel, say one-eighth or one-sixteenth of an inch thick and about an inch wide, to lie in the cutting, so that its surface is even with the face of the table, with its outer edge projecting somewhat beyond the edge of the table. Slotted holes are made in the table through which bolts with heads countersunk into the metal are passed for holding the steel strips. A washer and nut are used on the under side of the table. The adjustment required is, of course, very slight. The edge of the metal projecting slightly, as described, is well adapted for receiving the head of the T-square, rendering the use of that instrument more satisfactory than when it is used against the plane edge of the table, even if equally accurate.
Drawing Boards. - The principal difference between a drafting table and a drawing board is in the size. The same general requirements in point of accuracy, etc., are necessary in each. Convenient sizes of tables for various uses have been mentioned, but to point out sizes of boards for different purposes is not so easy a matter, their application being far more extended and their use more general. A drawing board may be made of any required size, from the smallest for which such an article is adapted up to the extreme limit consistent with convenience in handling. In the larger sizes the general features of construction noted under drafting tables are entirely applicable, save that thinner material should be used in order to reduce the weight. In small sizes there is a choice between several different modes of construction, two or three of which will be described, although boards of almost any required construction can be purchased ordinarily of dealers in drawing tools and materials at lower prices than they can be made. However, it is very convenient, in many cases, to have boards made to order, and therefore detailed descriptions of good constructions are desirable. Any carpenter or cabinet maker should be able to do the work.