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How to make your own pantograph

Updated February 21, 2017

A pantograph is essential to enlarging or making a copy of an image by hand. Pantographs allow an individual to trace an image with excellent accuracy. This instrument can be used in art classes and well as woodworking classes. The pantograph works by following an original image and tracing a copy on a separate sheet of paper. Pantographs can be purchased at art supply stores, woodworking stores and online. Luckily, you can save your money and make one that is as efficient as the manufactured kind.

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  1. Cut the cardboard into four strips, 3/4-inches wide and 13-inches long. Ask Mr. Science states that you should cut parallel to the waves in the cardboard, not across them.

  2. Lay out the cardboard strips into the standard pantograph design. Drill the pencil into the end of the pantograph design. The pencil will be used for tracing. Gently push the pencil through the cardboard.

  3. Use pushpins to connect the pantograph together. Each pushpin should be placed on the four corners of the design. The pushpins go upside-down; you can use small pieces of cork to cover the sharp points and protect yourself and others from injury.

  4. Push the drywall screw through the cardboard strip, 3 inches away from the pushpin that is parallel to the pencil.

  5. Tape the 3/4-inch-thick block of wood to the table. The piece of wood will keep the pantograph stationary. Hammer the nail through the cardboard end that isn’t occupied, into the piece of wood.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • 4 pushpins
  • Pencil with sharp point
  • 1-inch drywall screw
  • ¾-inch-thick block of wood
  • Nail
  • Masking tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Cork (optional)

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Ashley Leonard has been writing professionally since 2007. Her articles have appeared on rsportscars.com and various other websites. Leonard holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marymount Manhattan College.

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