Drafting Tools & Instruments

Written by neal litherland
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Drafting Tools & Instruments
Draftsmen use a variety of tools and instruments. (antique draftsman set image by Yali Shi from Fotolia.com)

Drafting requires many tools and instruments for draftsman to obtain the correct appearance that they want for their blueprints. While many tools are now computerised, a number of original tools still are used by draftsman in making their initial drawings.

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One tool that most often is associated with draftsmen is the compass. The compass consists of two, equidistant metal legs that are attached to a rotating metal wheel at the top. One leg ends in a metal point, while the other contains a pencil. If you put the point down and you extend the compass to a certain degree then you can easily draw a circle or a semicircle of a certain size. Compasses often are considered the easiest way to draw a perfect circle without tracing a pre-existing one.


Triangles, which sometimes are called speed squares when used by carpenters, are another tool used by draftsmen. The triangle is a right triangle, with a 90-degree angle. The triangle acts as a good straightedge, and is extremely effective when drawing a line that connects at a 90-degree angle to another line. These triangles also have miniature rulers on the bottom edge, while the hypotenuse may contain tick marks to represent angles.


The most common tool that a draftsman will use is a pencil. While a draftsman technically could use a standard, number two pencil, other varieties of lead may be used. The colour may be blue or red, but in general the lead is softer that number two lead and is also easier to erase. It's very important that draftsmen be able to erase mistakes completely to avoid a flawed diagram that is difficult to interpret.

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