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Pantograph to enlarge plans


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Yes, plans of other types but exacting subjects. I used a custom built smallish (A2 original max size) pantograph and, once, a 'proper' drawing office gigantic piece, name unknown.

If you have a choice, use a modern photocopying service. There will be others with different experiences but modern copiers and scanners are soooooo much easier I would never consider using a pantograph again.

 

Regards,

Bruce

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    I have tried that once and was not satisfied with the results.  Although to be honest, the pantograph that I used was made of wood and some more pricey metal units are available, you still need a sharp eye and a very steady hand with the stylus to follow the original lines.  I found that I had to use a light touch with a 4H lead in the stylus so that I could later redraw and even out the lines with ships curves.  All in all, going to a professional print shop will give you a much faster and more accurate result.  Also, if the ship is small enough to fit your available paper size, you can even use your computers' printer if it has enlargement and reduction capabilities.

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I’ve used FedEx office many times with great success and excellent accuracy. I’m not sure about the prices but I “think” a 20” x 30” print might cost about $30. They also offer sizes larger than that. $30 may be expensive but for me the benefits are substantial...Moab

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For almost all the parts on a plan that we will make,  the size of a particular unit that we work with will fit on a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.   It is satisfying to have the whole on a single sheet, but it is not necessary.

My point is that  a home copy/print computer accessory can do the job  at a practical level.

For the cost of a  couple of $30 copies, you can almost buy a scanner/printer.   The ink is so expensive that the printer can almost be a free item and they still make out like bandits.

Just be alert to the "adjustment"  in scale that each scanner "adds".  The "return to 1:1" factor  is constant for a specific machine, but different between machines.

Using a pantograph  now is pointless punishment.

 

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See if there's a "builder's" service in your town.  They can usually do copy enlargements and reductions far cheaper than places like FedEx and stationary stores.   I did the whole set for my current build of 15 plans for around $25.  That included 1 hard copy and also a CD with a PDF of each print.  

 

I've also found that a "builder's" service is far more likely to give me an exact % of increase or decrease compared to the places like FedEX and the stationary stores.

 

Also, what Jaager says.  Printer/Copiers are pretty cheap and you can pull the scan into something like Corel Draw to size, clean up, modify, etc.

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Just a word of caution about photocopied plans.  I had a set of guitar plans copied and laminated in plastic for the building on the benchtop. (I file the originals away for safekeeping).  During construction, I used a commonly-used online fret spacing calculator for the fingerboard.  When the guitar was finally strung up, it didn't sound right.  It turned out that intonation (distance from nut to saddle) was off because the dimensions of the photocopy were a few percentage points too short.  It was not too difficult to correct, but next time I'll check closely.

For your purposes, this is probably not a matter of great concern, so long as you have all the copies that you need made at the same copying session.   If you go several times, the last copy may not match the first.

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I add a scale to  drawings that I print at home or at FedEx, Staples  or architectural service places.   If my own CAD drawings I take the drawings on a flash drive.  I check the first print with a they make with caliper to be sure the scale on the printed copy is EXACT (6") .   If it not, they can adjust accordingly.   Once adjusted, the following prints on that machine at that time will be exactly right.  The same can be done if you give them a small drawing that you want enlarged.   If the small drawing has a scale of say 5", and the enlargement is 4X, the scale should be 20"  I have seen the first copy be off as much as an 1/8" or more so it is good to check.  They never charged me for their mistakes and happy to make the adjustment.    $30??     For drawings from a flash drive, Staples charges $1.80 for Arch C (18X24"), $3.60 for Arch D (24X36") and $7.30 for Arch E (36X48) in black and white.  Color is $3, $6, and $12 for the same three sizes.    Not sure on enlarging copies from an existing paper drawing, but I think they are similar in price.   

Allan

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Without more insight from the original poster it is difficult to know if the problem is solved. However, the thread has covered some useful ground and it seems like a good place to point out another tool: proportional dividers.

I use them and they are as helpful now as they were decades ago when drawing offices had no scalable digital images or CAD systems. Just pick 'em up, set the scale and shazam, it works. Here is one:

 https://www.artsupplies.co.uk/item-derwent-scale-dividers.htm

 

Also, they are easy to make.

HTH

Bruce

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On 10/2/2019 at 1:31 PM, druxey said:

Pantographs were originally used for enlarging sketches, not scale drawings. As remarked already, scan and print to the size you need is far more accurate and reliable!

I collect mechanical drawing instruments and have a fairly good metal pantograph, although not one of the fantastic contraptions that were once (rarely) sold back in the day. As druxey said, pantographs were generally used for sketch enlargement, and not for highly detailed changes in scale to close tolerances. It's my understanding that when they were used at all in technical drawing, they were used primarily to transfer points of a scaled drawing. The scaled drawing was then redrawn using the transferred points for reference and these were checked for accuracy, of course. To enlarge or reduce a curve, the pantograph would be used to lay out a series of points and then standard drafting curves, rather than the pantograph, were used to draw the curve itself. 

 

This is what the "professional grade" pantographs looked like. They're now very expensive collectables. They weren't cheap to begin with and few have survived with all their parts intact.

 

  • s-l1000.jpg
     
     
     

pantograph_15715.tiff

Edited by Bob Cleek
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8 hours ago, bruce d said:

Without more insight from the original poster it is difficult to know if the problem is solved. However, the thread has covered some useful ground and it seems like a good place to point out another tool: proportional dividers.

I use them and they are as helpful now as they were decades ago when drawing offices had no scalable digital images or CAD systems. Just pick 'em up, set the scale and shazam, it works. Here is one:

 https://www.artsupplies.co.uk/item-derwent-scale-dividers.htm

 

Also, they are easy to make.

HTH

Bruce

 

The "scale dividers" pictured in the link above are for artists' use and are rather crude.  For modeling use, what one wants is a highly accurate set of "proportional dividers." The best ever made can still be found on eBay for relatively reasonable, and sometimes "steal me," prices. See this MSW thread about them: 

 

keuffel-esser-k-e-806-paragon-proportion

 

Image result for Keuffel and esser proportional dividers

 

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