Bringing Back an Old Friend

Drafting Table

Last week I had my fellows bring out an old friend from deep storage and set it up in the back corner of the dining room. This drafting table for many years was my primary work surface. Several years ago, I switched it out for a wooden drawing table in the studio that is more flexible, lighter, and has a better vertical slant, but for years this table was my workhorse. The beauty and necessity of this table is its parallel bar, attached to a wire-operated pulley system. There is nothing better for lining up paper in preparation for formal writing. Part of the restoration of this table was figuring out how to rewire the pulley system. Once I found help on the interwebs (the wires cross inside the bar, the important invisible key to the system), and obtained some new wire from the hardware store, I was back in business.

Drafting Table Work Whereas

The pricked paper at left above has been marked out evenly with dividers, including not only the baseline but the waistline of the letter height. When I get relaxed while writing, my letters grow larger. These “Whereas’s” are the last bit I can show you of these jobs, for privacy concerns.

Drafting Table Rainbows

And even in the most mundane of work, there are bits of rainbows and other lights that enliven the way. And memories. This table has been around most of my life.  It was my father’s and then my mother’s, and then mine.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Jane Brenner 05/21/2014, 8:36 am

    I read this post with a great sense of shared experience! But I’m still working on my wooden drawing board, purchased at Flax, S.F. about 1962. I still use the parallel rule on it, though the wire snapped and I, also, had to figure out how to rewire the darn thing. It’s such a valuable tool for so many projects I hope it will last my lifetime. Now, if I could only find an analog copier to replace my wonderful Canon A-10, I’d be happy. That machine would accept paper of any size, down to 2″, so I could copy on scraps and odds and ends of any dimension.

    • Cari 05/21/2014, 9:05 am

      Jane, my drawing table has no parallel bar, alas, and a T-square and triangle just don’t cut it for this kind of work. I don’t do a lot of this anymore which is why I retired this table, but am so glad I kept it. Sometimes the old ways just are the best!

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