Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Benefits of Flat Storage Systems

There are great benefits of having flat paper storage in a home or office, including protecting larger documents such as maps, artwork and architectural drawings that need to be kept flat instead of rolled or placed on edges to keep the items in the best condition. It is not always easy to find storage devices that will hold large sheets of paper or vellum safely while still permitting quick access. The best place to find the right devices for storing flat documents is an online specialty store that caters to architects or drafters. To store documents correctly, students, librarians or architects need a flat file cabinet that is durable and compact.

Protection from Sunlight, Dust, and Moisture

A sturdy metal flat file cabinet is suitable for storing X-rays, blueprints and drawings kept by businesses such as medical facilities, architectural firms, and art galleries. A public or university library may need a cabinet to store ancient maps, paintings and genealogical documents. The purpose of storage for these types of documents includes long-term protection from dust, sunlight, and moisture that degrade paper and fabric fibers. Heavy-duty steel storage systems with smooth finishes and tight construction are necessary to prevent damage to sensitive documents. In addition, businesses want to have storage systems that are available in a variety of colors, styles and dimensions to hold particular sizes of documents and complement décor.

Storage Systems have Sturdy Locks

Businesses can choose to order flat paper storage systems that have five or 10 drawers that are placed directly on the floor or on strong metal bases that often have shelving for additional storage. Filing systems have one or more handles to open each drawer along with locks to prevent theft. Drawers typically have label holders to assist with organization of documents. Each drawer is designed to hold up to 5,000 sheets of paper, fabric or poster board, depending on the thickness of items. Flat storage drawers are often designed to stack securely, permitting someone to store as many as 25,000 documents safely to prevent damage or theft.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Drawing Better Triangles

When a carpenter, woodworker or anyone else needs to draw a triangle, they don't often rely on their own ability to draw. Instead, they turn to a triangle drawing tool. In simple terms, these tools are shaped like a triangle and often have a cut out - either another triangle or a circle - inside to allow for smaller triangles or easy storage, respectively. The brands (and therefore features, size, etc.) differ from store to store, but all include the basic triangle shape.

The purposes of each triangle drawing tool differ as well. Some brands are for carpentry. Others are cheap for a geometry class (and often last long enough). With each purpose comes a different angle size - thirty degrees, sixty degrees, a right angle, etc. Some will adjust; others do not. Depending on what size the triangle needs to be, a tool that will assist in drawing thirty, sixty, and ninety-degree triangles is best. Other triangles may simply require a tool that does forty-five degree and ninety-degree angles.

The materials for each tool differ as well. These drafting triangles come in aluminum, plastic, and acrylic. While pencil may mark up plastic and acrylic, the aluminum is unaffected - but by the end of a geometry class, who honestly cares if the plastic or acrylic one is destroyed? Aluminum is the material on the next step up - mainly for professionals or those who will be in many math classes and need a good triangle tool.

However, acrylic and plastic serve their own purpose in the professional world. These two materials are better suited for a color change than aluminum, which can allow a busy work place a little ease when someone needs a loaner and offers an easier way to locate a borrowed one in class.

Whatever material or degree range is needed, a drafting triangle tool is a good way to go.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Different Types of Architectural Tables

Uses for Drafting Boards

Architectural tables are a necessity for anyone sketching on a large sheet of paper to create a diagram or blueprint. Also known as a multipurpose desk or drafting board, there are hundreds of designs to choose from to complement an office’s décor. Primarily used by professional architects or students studying architecture, drafting tables are also used by artists working on enormous pieces of canvas, vellum or poster board. An individual working on a sheet of paper on a drafting board’s surface may want to sit on a chair or tall stool while other individuals prefer to stand. Before ordering one of these specialized desks, it is important to consider a variety of factors, including the size of the room and financial budget.

Specially Designed Tabletop Edges

An important aspect of drafting desks is the tabletop construction that has a raised edge to assist with holding paper in place. As someone working on one of these tables moves or slants its top, the paper should remain in place due to the specially designed edge. In addition, most of these tables are designed to hold clips along the other edges to keep paper or poster board firmly in place. Modern architects and artists also are able to clip equipment such as lamps and measuring devices to the edges of the desks.

Protect a Table’s Surface

To protect wood or plastic tabletops, manufacturers suggest that a desk owner place a vinyl cover on the device to prevent marks from pencils and pens. Architectural tables are designed to tilt at various angles that are comfortable for painters or drafters. When someone needs to order multipurpose desks for an office or school rather than a home, it is a good idea to choose a model that is easy to adjust quickly. Students needing to carry a drafting desk to a classroom or someone living in a small apartment should select portable or foldable designs. A drafting board may also have built-in storage with drawers in the middle or on one side to hold measuring devices or writing tools.

Friday, July 17, 2015

About The Alvin Draft/Matic Mechanical Pencil

The Alvin Draft Matic mechanical pencil is a high-quality drafting tool made by Alvin & Company in Windsor, Connecticut. Alvin has been in business since 1950 and provides products used in drafting, sign making, photography, graphic arts, and other similar applications. Alvin imports, manufactures, and distributes drawing supplies, including tools, media, and furniture for any drawing job as well as arts and crafts supplies for hobbyists. In addition to manufacturing its own line of art products, it distributes items produced by some of the nation’s best-known companies. It ships its products worldwide from its warehouses in Connecticut and Texas.

The Draft Matic is, as its name implies, intended for use in drafting but its design makes it quite suitable for any drawing job. This pencil has a knurled stainless steel grip that makes it easy to handle while reducing finger tension. It's weight of 0.03 lbs. (about half an ounce) is about the same as two silver dollars which gives the pencil the feel of a serious instrument in the user’s hand. The lead extends from a 4 mm stainless steel sleeve which facilitates its use with triangles and straight edges. There is an eraser concealed under the cap.

The Draft Matic is available for use with 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9 leads and is color-coded to identify its size. It can use any hardness of lead and has a handy rotating window which can be set to identify what type of lead it is loaded with. The Draft Matic is a durable, well-crafted drawing tool which will give many years of excellent service.

The Alvin Draft Matic mechanical pencil, like all Alvin products, can be ordered online. For those whose drawing requirements are more modest, Alvin offers other pencils at lower prices but with the same high quality as the Draft Matic.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What Is So Great About Vellum?

Whether you use it for arts and crafts or for drafting and tracing, vellum is among the finest quality paper you can use. Our vellum is made with 100% cotton fibers and comes out naturally transparent. It's highly resistant to yellowing and doesn't turn opaque or brittle with age, meaning whatever you're using it for will last for years to come. No wonder it's valued in photo printing, drafting and other projects you want to keep preserved. It's also sturdy – even when it's subjected to heat, light, humidity or any other atmosphere, vellum maintains its strength.

Originally vellum was made from animal skins, similar to parchment. Today it's made with new rag cotton fibers, giving it a stronger quality for less cost. Your ink or pencil will come out sharp without bleeding or ghosting. You can erase any mistakes and redraw or rewrite without problems. Some say it is the closest you can get to writing on clouds!

For centuries, people have used vellum for archival purposes. Today people who take an enthusiastic approach to their craft use it for journaling, drawing (especially with charcoal), scrapbooking and drafting. Some use it to personalize envelopes or invitations to special events, giving their presentation an elegant touch. Many artists favor the sturdy, reusable qualities of vellum over other paper for their beautiful creations. Writers who want a more traditional experience use vellum to write down their own thoughts. Fashion designers and architects alike draft designs and schematics that are easily traced onto different layers. Those who want to impress craft vellum resumes as well.

Purchasing vellum is almost as interesting as learning about it. Not only can you buy vellum in sheets, but it also comes as a roll. A roll of vellum is great for drafting, murals or for creating scrolls (for those that enjoy unique designs/decorations). If you're looking for a new adventure in what paper you buy, pick up some sheets or a roll of vellum to spice up your creativity.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Products for Large Poster Storage

In years past, there were few options available for storing large posters. Some people used traditional poster tubes while others simply rolled them up and put a rubber band around them. However, for students who need to carry artwork to and from class, or architects who need to protect blueprints before an important presentation, there are many options available today. Gone are the plain poster tubes of yesteryear, replaced instead by ones that are expandable, telescoping and even available in bright neon colors. 

Alvin Ice Tubes 
Used for carrying posters, drawings, and other art projects, these tubes are perfect for large poster storage. Because they are transparent, they are very popular with businesses attending trade shows to display various company products. With a diameter of 2.75 inches, they are able to accommodate most large posters or other documents. Waterproof as well, they come in lengths of 25, 37 and 43 inches, with customers being able to choose from a variety of colors including blue, orange, green, purple and clear. Also coming with an adjustable shoulder strap, they are a smart choice for those who regularly need to carry large posters.

Metro Poster Carrying Case
Unlike the Alvin tubes, the Metro carrying case is a 4-inch square diameter tube that has the additional benefit of having two pockets that can be used for carrying art or drafting supplies. Available in lengths of 26 and 37 inches, these carrying cases have proven to be popular with architects and engineers who frequently travel  and need a case that is stylish and practical. Perfect for taking to a meeting or carrying on an airplane, the soft leather material, and zippered top can hold a variety of posters or other artwork.

Telescoping Tubes
A more affordable option, these telescoping tubes can be expanded up to 54 inches long and can be used for both small and large poster storage. Used to carry posters as well as maps, blueprints, and artwork, they offer affordability and functionality while still being a solid option whether going to an important meeting or catching a flight back to the office.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Different Types Of Rolled Paper Storage

Storing rolled papers like blueprints, drawings, or illustrations can be difficult. The rolls need to have the shape preserved without being crushed. Fortunately, there are now a number of solutions for holding rolled papers. It will help to know a few of the rolled paper storage options available today.


The simplest and most familiar way to store rolled papers is with a tube. These are cylinders made from cardboard, plastic or even metal in some cases. There is a tight cap on one end. Some come with shoulder straps. Tubes are a good option for keeping rolled papers mobile. They are also an excellent choice for transporting or mailing rolled papers. Unfortunately, they are not terribly convenient for storing a large selection of rolled blueprints or drawings.

Standing Racks

Standing racks contain a number of holders running from top to bottom. Each of the holders can accept a large roll of paper or even a storage tube. The holders vary so that differently sized paper rolls can be accepted. Standing racks have a few benefits. They have a small footprint since the storage takes advantage of vertical space. Each of the rolls on the rack can be easily accessed without disturbing anything else. The racks are also very easy and fast to use.

Upright Bins

Upright bins look like simple boxes. The top part of the unit is open and contains dividers that create a grid-like series of openings. The rolled papers go into these openings. Upright bins are very durable and can hold even the largest rolls of paper. They make the paper rolls accessible to anyone of any height. The bins do have a bulky footprint although this is made up for with the capacity of the unit. Upright bins are a good choice for busy locations with a moderate number of rolled papers to store.

Roll Files

A final type of rolled paper storage is a roll file. This is similar to a standard flat file or filing cabinet. Roll files have a grid to store rolled paper in the front so that the rolls lay horizontally inside of the unit. Many of the roll files have doors on the front to create a cleaner appearance and protect the papers inside. Roll files are very strong. They are also modular and can be stacked. Roll files are a good choice for any type of office or studio.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tips for Using an Architects Scale Ruler

Architects need all kinds of instruments and tools to do their jobs correctly and efficiently. One of the main instruments that they use on a regular basis is the architects scale ruler. These can be purchase online or at any drafting store, and they come in a variety of sizes, styles and designs. This implement is vital to the success of an architect, and every professional must have one in their toolbox.

What Is an Architects Scale Ruler?

When an architect draws out the plans for a house or building, they need to represent large areas and objects on a small drawing field. For example, they must show the entire area of a house and perhaps even the furniture inside on a piece of paper that will fit on the top of a kitchen table.

They do this by creating blueprints, but to create blueprints, they need to scale things down with a ruler. This is what the scale ruler is. It helps architects to figure out the dimensions that they should use to represent a large building or house on a much smaller scale. These rulers come in either a flat form or a triangular form.

Tips for Using Scale Rulers

The following is a list of vital tips that you should use if you want to know how to better use a scale ruler as an architect.

1. There are often different types of scales on each ruler, so you’ll need to make sure that you are consistently working with the scale that you need for your project.

2. Remember that the zero number of whatever scale you are working with on the ruler is not going to be at the very end of the ruler, but it will be slightly inward.

3. Make sure that you have a pencil to make your hash markings with on your plans. Always use a pencil that is especially made for architecture or drafting plans so that it is fine and erases easily.

4. You may need to use and own several different rulers like this, so purchase them in bulk online.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Advice for Using Your Alvin Parallel Straightedge

Parallel rules provide precision and convenience no matter what board or drafting table is being used. The Alvin brand of these straightedges has become the standard in most offices and studios. A few pieces of advice will help anyone to use and maintain an Alvin parallel straightedge.

Check the Alignment Periodically

The wires and knobs on a parallel rule do a very good job of holding the straightedge in place. The knobs and wires can still become loose over time with repeated use. This can cause very minor misalignments with the straightedge. These can become problematic when using the entire length of the parallel rule since the differences between the ends of a line will be noticeable. The solution is to check the alignment periodically with a second ruler to ensure the straightedge is still parallel to the board edges.

Keep a Gap under the Straightedge

Something to keep in mind is that the height of the parallel straightedge can be adjusted. Small differences in the weight of the paper being used can make a real difference. If the parallel rule is touching or rubbing against the paper even a little, then the chance of ink bleeding underneath becomes much greater. Take the time to check that there is a gap between the parallel rule and the paper every time a new sheet with a different weight is used. This will prevent bleeding.

Always Move From Top to Bottom of the Paper

Another issue to consider is that undried ink or grains from pencils are going to be resting on the surface of the paper after using the parallel rule. If the straightedge is dragged up over the freshly drawn lines, then the ink or pencil will be smeared across the paper in an undesirable way. The solution here is simple. Always work from the top to the bottom of the paper so that the Alvin parallel straightedge never crosses back over a newly drawn line.

Replace Damaged or Worn Parts

A final piece of advice is to pay attention to the individual parts that make up the parallel straightedge. Watch for parts that are coming loose, breaking or wearing down noticeably. Parts kits are available. Replace any worn or damaged parts right way to get the best performance from the parallel rule.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Purchasing Drafting Grid Paper

There are many different types of drafting grid paper on the market, but Keuffel & Esser makes the best graph paper. Keuffel & Esser is a quality company that has been producing and selling this type of paper and other drafting utensils for several decades. Drafters, artists, engineers and architects can purchase this kind of paper and others on our website. 

Special Drafting Paper from Keuffel & Esser

The drafting grid paper from Keuffel & Esser comes printed in orange, blue and green inks. Those who are interested in the paper can find it printed on tracing vellum paper or thick quality bond paper. There are two different sizes of the paper as well. Every sheet of this paper is three-hole punched.

Size of Paper Grids

Artists can also find different sizes of grids. For example, there are semi-logarithmic grids, half inch grids, and inch grids. Metric and polar grids are also available. The best way to purchase this type of paper is in bulk.

Purchase High-Quality Graph Paper

Having quality drafting paper is of the utmost importance when it comes to working as an architect, artist or engineer. Of course, there is inexpensive graph paper available in reams or binders, but, generally speaking, this paper is not usable for professionals or those who are currently learning their trade in school.

Working as a Draftsman Requires Special Tools and Accessories

For those who are working as draftsmen, there are special tools and accessories that are required for the job aside from drafting paper. First, a quality drafting table is of the utmost importance. Rulers, paper, and compasses are also important for drafters. All of these items and many more can be purchased on the internet at draftingsteals.com. This site offers the best prices.