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Drafting Tools Used in the Past

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Drafting has been around for a long time, allowing designers and architects to create instructions for buildings and other structures. In the past, drafting was done by hand and required tools that are no longer commonly used. Some old-school drafters still use these tools, but many are moving toward computer-aided drafting.


Drafting furniture is specifically designed to give drafters the biggest advantage in their drawing. Tables are angled to allow drafters to get the best view of their work and to be able to draw more comfortably without having to lean forward too far or sit up too straight. A sturdy chair that can be adjusted to meet the drafter's needs is also important to have. Many drafters also prefer to have a lamp that attaches to the table for additional lighting.

Drafting Paper

To create blueprints, drafters who work by hand must use special types of paper to draw their plans. Three different types of paper are used in drafting. Bond paper is very similar to paper that is used in the typical office. It is the least expensive paper and comes in varying weights. Mylar paper is plastic in nature and allows for easy erasing, even with ink. This type of paper is more durable than bond paper and is somewhat transparent. Vellum is also more durable than bond paper and allows for repeated erasing of pencil lines without causing damage. This type of paper is less expensive than mylar.

Manual Tools

Specific tools are required to draft by hand. These tools help drafters to measure, create angles and draw straight lines. Protractors and compasses help drafters measure angles and draw lines that follow specific curves. T-sqaures allow drafters to draw perfect 90 degree angles and straight lines. Triangles, arc rulers, parallel rulers and drafting curves all help with various aspects of hand drafting.

Out-Dated Tools

Some drafting tools are no longer used, even by those who still choose to draft by hand. Sepias, for instance, were once used to create a secondary copy of an original blueprint. These secondary copies could be changed using a pencil while keeping the original lines intact. Computers have made this material obsolete. Track machines are also a thing of the past. These machines featured a sliding component that helped drafters hold the drawing tools steadily over the paper to keep it from moving and causing an error.


About the Author

Kimberly Turtenwald began writing professionally in 2000. She has written content for various websites, including Lights 2 You, Online Consultation, Corpus Personal Injury and more. Turtenwald studied editing and publishing at Wisconsin Lutheran College.