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1.1: Tools

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    Drafting tools are needed to lay out the different shapes and lines used to create drawings and sketches. A basic knowledge of the available tools and how to use them will assist you in your drawing.

    Drafting board or table

    The drafting board is an essential tool. Paper will be attached and kept straight and still, so the surface of the drafting board must be smooth and true, with no warps or twists. The surfaces of most drafting boards are covered with vinyl because it is smooth and even.

    The drafting board or table should have two parallel outside working edges made of either hardwood or steel.

    Most drafting table tops can be set at different heights from the floor and at any angle from vertical to horizontal. Other drafting tables may not have the same adjustments and may be limited to being raised only from horizontal to a low slope.

    To reduce back strain, use an adjustable drafting stool when working at a drafting table. Tables or boards should be a minimum of 1.2 m (4') in width and 0.9 m (3') in height.


    The fixed head T-square is used for most work. It should be made of durable materials and have a transparent edge on the blade. To do accurate work, the blade must be perfectly square and straight; this should be checked regularly.

    The T-square is used to draw horizontal lines and to align other drawing instruments. If you are right-handed, you hold it tight against the left edge of the drawing board and move it up and down as required. When you make close adjustments, your fingers should be on top of the square and you should use your thumb to control the T-square’s movement (Figure 1).

    1. Using a T-square
    2. Rabbeted edge
    3. Testing a triangle
    4. Drawing angles with one or two triangles
    5. Protractor
    6. Drafting machine
    7. Wood and mechanical pencils
    8. Erasers and erasing shield
    9. Templates
      1. French curve

    1.1: Tools is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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