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Drawing Instruments

It is not intended or necessary to enter into an elaborate discussion of the various kinds of drawing instruments, since the purchaser can obtain a good set of drawing instruments from a reputable dealer by paying a proportionate price, and must per force learn to use such as his means enable him to purchase. It is recommended that the beginner purchase as good a set of instruments as his means will permit, and that if his means are limited he purchase less than a full set of instruments, having the same of good quality.

All the instruments that need be used in the examples of this book are as follows:

A small spring bow-pen for circles, a lining pen or pen for straight lines, a small spring bow-pencil for circles, a large bow-pen with a removable leg to replace by a divider leg or a pencil leg, and having an extension piece to increase its capacity.

The spring bow-pen should have a stiff spring, and should be opened out to its full capacity to see that the spring acts well when so opened out, keeping the legs stiff when opened for the larger diameters. The purchaser should see that the joint for opening and closing the legs is an easy but not a loose fit on the screw, and that the legs will not move sideways. To test this latter, which is of great importance in the spring bow-pencil as well as in the pen, it is well to close the legs nearly together and taking one leg in one hand and the other leg in the other hand (between the forefinger and thumb), pushing and pulling them sideways, any motion in that direction being sufficient to condemn the instrument. It is safest and best to have the two legs of the bow-pen and pencil made from one piece of metal, and not of two separate pieces screwed together at the top, as the screw will rarely hold them firmly together. The points should be long and fine, and as round as possible. In very small instruments separate points that are fastened with a screw are objectionable, because, in very small circles, they hide the point and make it difficult to apply the instrument to the exact proper point or spot on the drawing.

The joints of the large bow or circle-pen should also be somewhat stiff, and quite free from side motion, and the extension piece should be rigidly secured when held by the screw. It is a good plan in purchasing to put in the extension piece, open the joint and the pen to their fullest, and draw a circle, moving the pen in one direction, and then redraw it, moving it in the other direction, and if one line only appears and that not thickened by the second drawing, the pen is a good one.

The lead pencil should be of hard lead, and it is recommended that they be of the H, H, H, H, H, H, in the English grades, which corresponds to the V, V, H, of the Dixon grade. The pencil lines should be made as lightly as possible; first, because the presence of the lead on the paper tends to prevent the ink from passing to the paper; and, secondly, because in rubbing out the pencil lines the ink lines are reduced in blackness and the surface of the paper becomes roughened, so that it will soil easier and be harder to clean. In order to produce fine pencil lines without requiring a very frequent sharpening of the pencil it is best to sharpen the pencil as in Figures 7 and 8, so that the edge shall be long in the direction in which it is moved, which is denoted by the arrow in Figure 7. But when very fine work is to be done, as in the case of Patent Office drawings, a long, round point is preferable, because the eye can see plainer just where the pencil will begin to mark and leave off; hence the pencil lines will not be so liable to overrun.

Fig. 7.

Fig. 8.

In place of the ordinary wood-covered lead pencils there may be obtained at the drawing material stores pencil holders for holding the fine, round sticks of lead, and these are by far the best for a learner. They are easier to sharpen, and will slip in the holder, giving warning when the draftsman is pressing them too hard on the paper, as he is apt to do. The best method of trimming these leads, as also lead pencils after they have been roughly shaped, is with a small fine file, holding the file still and moving the pencil; or a good piece of emery paper or sand paper is good, moving the pencil as before.

All lines in pencilling as in inking in should begin at the left hand and be drawn towards the right, or when triangles are used the lines are begun at the bottom and drawn towards the top or away from the operator. The rubber used should not be of a harsh grade, since that will roughen the face of the paper and probably cause the ink to run. The less rubbing out the better the learner will progress, and the more satisfaction he will receive from the results. If it becomes necessary to scratch out it is best done with a penknife well sharpened, and not applied too forcibly to the paper but somewhat lightly, and moved in different and not all in one direction. After the penknife the rubber may sometimes be used to advantage, since it will, if of a smooth grade, leave the paper smoother than the knife. Finally, before inking in, the surface that has been scraped should be condensed again by rubbing some clean, hard substance over it which will prevent the ink from spreading. The end of a paper-cutter or the end of a rounded ivory handled drawing instrument is excellent for this purpose.

Fig. 9.

Fig. 10.

It is well to use the rubber for general purposes in such a way as to fit it for special purposes; thus, in cleaning the sheet of paper, the rubber may be applied first, as in Figure 9, as at A, and then as at B, and if it be moved sideways at the same time it will wear to the form shown in Figure 10, which will enable it to be applied along a line that may require to be rubbed out without removing other and neighboring lines. If the rubber is in the form of a square stick one end may be bevelled, as in Figure 11, which is an excellent form, or it may be made to have a point, as in Figure 12. The object is in each case to enable the rubber action to be confined to the desired location on the paper, so as to destroy its smooth surface as little as possible.

Fig. 11.

Fig 12.

For simple cleaning purposes, or to efface the pencil lines when they are drawn very lightly, squares of sponge-rubber answer admirably, these being furnished by the dealers in drawing materials.

A piece of bread will answer a similar purpose, but it is less convenient.

For glazed surface paper, as Bristol-board, the smoothest rubber must be used, the grade termed velvet rubber answering well.

Next: The Drawing Paper

Previous: Curves

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