Drafting linen

Discussion in 'The Break Room' started by rickhann, Feb 13, 2018.

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  1. Feb 13, 2018 #1

    rickhann

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    Back in my young days as a civil engineer, I often worked with plan sheets drafted with ink on linen (starched). That was over 50 years ago before mylar took over. The linen had a glossy side and a matte finish side. I cannot for the life of me remember which side was used for the drawing ink. Intuitively I would think the matte side, but I remember preparing the surface prior to inking by rubbing it with pounce to take the sheen off. Does anyone know which side is used for the inking? Rick
     
  2. Feb 13, 2018 #2

    TonyM

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    If I remember correctly you draw on the matt side.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2018 #3

    BaronJ

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    Hi Rick,

    That is my recollection as well. Though I don't remember the "pounce" you refer to.
     
  4. Feb 13, 2018 #4

    bazmak

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    I remember the linen but using it was before my time.We drew on paper the Mylar was used to produce a new original and the matt side was scraped off with a scalpel so you could alter the drawing with ink or pencil.I remember using a chalk filled bag to remove pencil dust and grease when using ink
     
  5. Feb 13, 2018 #5

    Brian Rupnow

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    I started in 1965 and I am pretty sure that you inked on the matt side. The pounce bags I remember were full of finely ground rubber and were used to clean the surface you were working on after it became smudged from arm sweat. You didn't dare actually "rub" the surface of the drawing or it would smear something fierce. The old drafting office was up in the very top of the machine shop, and with 35 designers and draftsmen working in there on 85 degree days in the summer it got pretty damned muggy, right on the north shore of Lake Ontario.---We had hundreds and hundreds of "legacy files" that were all done on drafting paper. The drafting paper would start to suffer from being put through the blueprint machine so many times. In about '66 or '67 a salesman came around with a wonderful new drafting medium called "Kronaflex". It was a clear mylar with a matt finish on one side and would make gorgeous drawings. Every time work got slack. all the junior and intermediate draftsmen would be put to work tracing the old paper legacy files onto "Kronaflex". Thousands of hours went into this work over a ten year period. Then in the mid 1970's it was noticed that the matt finish was beginning to separate from the mylar backing. It came off in flakes and took whatever was drawn on it with the flakes. Talk about a disaster!! Then everything that had been traced onto Kronaflex had to be done again on proper drafting paper.
     
  6. Feb 14, 2018 #6

    rickhann

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    Thanks to all whom replied. I was a bit surprised as to what little information there is about drafting on linen when I did some googling. There is a difference between the pounce I referred to and the cleaning pads mentioned above. It is my understanding that pounce is a fine abrasive powder similar to chalk dust used to prepare the linen cloth for inking whereas the ground rubber cleaning pads were used during the drafting process to keep the drawing clean. A moot point as drafting linen is no longer being made and NOS is practically non-existent. Rick
     
  7. Feb 14, 2018 #7

    gbritnell

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    I started in the Ford Motor pattern design department in 73. Our pattern and core box drawings were done with pencil on frosted Mylar. For making quick changes we would print out a Sepia copy. Our blueprint machine would print these and paper copies depending on what was loaded. For working on the Sepias there was an eradicater fluid that smelled like a combination of vinegar and ammonia. When applied it would take off the print and bleach the Sepia white. The changes could then be drawn with pencil.
    Some of our original Mylars were 42" x whatever length, sometimes up to 8' long.
    When they closed the foundry and pattern shop they were clearing out all the old drawings and throwing them away. I got one of my old drawings from the early 80's and rescued it from the trash. The Mylar is still intact although it's showing its age.
    I also have some new pieces of Mylar that I sometimes use when doing my artwork.
    gbritnell
     
  8. Feb 14, 2018 #8

    rlukens

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    I have to smile at this post... brings back memories. My first job out of high school (1964) was as a surveyor. The office did all their work on linen. I would take the mistakes home and my mom would wash the starch out and make my handkerchiefs. As I recall, it took several washings to eliminate all the ink lines.
     
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  9. Feb 14, 2018 #9

    rickhann

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    My experience with linen was very similar yours. In 1964, I was a young engineer just out of college. Went to work for the Illinois Highway Dept. At that time, interstate system construction was at it's peak so you can imagine the thousands of plan sheets each district office had. Some of the design engineers would do as you did and take home the old plan sheets and their wives would make handkerchiefs, blouses, etc. The resulting linen cloth was of the best quality! A couple of the engineers were into muzzle loading guns and they would use the linen for patching the balls. Rick
     
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  10. Feb 16, 2018 #10

    oilmac

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    I still have some linen cloths made from boiled drawing sheets, They were from dozens of discarded drawings also from where I worked, I certainly did not boil anything whiich was useful, interesting or historical, I always used to ponder over the money that must have been spent on these lovely articles of engineering art.

    The craftsmanship of these old draughtsmen was painstaking and of a high artistic merit, I also thought that the draughtsmanship of the American draughtsmen, was most particular & pleasant to the eye, The old boys I worked with over this side of the pond would beat the modern art people any day How the computer has cut down manpower & changed the skill set.
     
  11. Feb 17, 2018 #11

    rlukens

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    It's a different world now. I fully understand (and appreciate) the evolution of technology but I have to mourn so many aspects of the lost past. Manual machining being one of them. Oh well...
     
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  12. Jan 23, 2020 #12

    jfsanford

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    Does anyone know where you can purchase Drafting Linen(Cloth)?
     
  13. Jan 24, 2020 #13

    Rickus

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    I wish I could help. Everything had pretty much gone digital today and now true drafting has essentially become a lost art. I still have a set of Leroy pens, bottle of India Ink, mechanical pencils, gum eraser, and tip sharpener. Anyway I digress, I still stay in contact with the company I use to be a draftsman at and will check with them to see if they still use the occasional manual method.
     
  14. Jan 24, 2020 #14

    awake

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    I looked and looked for the "linen" setting in my 3d CAD program, but I can't find ... :)

    Seriously, this is the sort of lost art that needs to be preserved, at least in museums if nowhere else. Anybody know of a museum dedicated to drafting or similar arts?
     
  15. Jan 24, 2020 #15

    SmithDoor

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    I started drafting in 1965 for model Aircraft.
    I still have my Leroy set
    Just all my templated

    But not used since 1995
    I started using AutoCAD 95 sill works on my Windows 10 64bit

    Dave
     
  16. Jan 25, 2020 #16

    weir-smith

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    This has brought back a few memories from when I was a drafting cadet around 1964. One of the tasks for the cadets was to update existing drawings with modifications. At that time we were making changes to an old power station built around 1920 or so and all of the drawings were done on linen. Drawing was on the mat side and pounce power was drawing chalk power which was puffed onto the linen when applying ink using a pen and ink. The powder made the ink flow particularly after making modifications.

    The old draftsmen were artists and they all had there own style and their drawings were very accurate. They also used a lot of colour to identify different sections.

    To print them, we had an original 3 part chemical dye line printer which produced what was called blue prints which were blue lines on white paper. Using colour produced different shades of blue.

    I believe the original power station drawings were given to the State museum here in Western Australia when the drawing office went digital.

    I had long moved on by then having completed University but it does bring back a memory or two.

    Bruce W-S
     
  17. Jan 25, 2020 #17

    Rickus

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    You can go to engineersupply.com Not many people carry it any longer but I was told this is where the local engineers get theirs from. Looking at what they use reminds me of the "tracing" paper I used when I was a draftsman as it made excellent blueprints. But the just may have or give you a source for the real cloth version.
     
  18. Jan 25, 2020 #18

    Richard Carlstedt

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    I still have my drawing sets and maybe Ink.
    I have Mylar if anyone wants some..free ! ( you pay the post )

    Dave, How did you get AutoCad 95 to work in Win 10 ?
    I still use 95 and have an old XP PC to run it

    Rich
     
  19. Jan 26, 2020 #19

    Mago

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    My recollection of Linen is as a metal work apprentice in the Midland Junction workshops for the railways,1950.
    The linen was rolled out on to the board and securely held down. I would have thought glossy side up but memory fades. The sheet was "sized" with a "pomme" filled with very fine chalk.
    Apprentices always were very vigorous applying the chalk to ensure that the linen and nearby draftsmen received a liberal coating.
    At a later date the compliment was returned with the fake ink blot and upturned indian ink bottle. All to the amusement of the office staff and chagrin of the recipient.
    The drawing boards were of a large size set on a bench at above waist height. This meant standing to use them or perching on a bar stool to sit.
    At the end of the day boards were covered with a cloth, not sure why.
    Drawing instruments were German "Staedtler", I still have mine,,,,,,,,,,,,somewhere.
    Drawing mistakes were made and these were removed with judicial use of a very sharp razor blade or scalpel.
    later in industry drawing film replaced linen and pencil replaced ink. Time dictated drawing accuracy and freehand replaced compasses.
    Enter CAD and that's progress.

    Mago
     
  20. Jan 26, 2020 #20

    SmithDoor

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    I found a 32 bit installed on the internet.
    If send my your email address I can email the installer to you
    I will include the one for AutoCAD 2000

    Dave

    Or you go to and post 3
    https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/sho...Hatch-Patterns-and-Linesl-Windows-information

     

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