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5 Mistakes You Must Never Do When Drafting a Plate

Updated on August 30, 2015


Let's face it:

Not all of us have drafting tables at home. You may use the regular study table for drafting, too. HOWEVER, keep in mind to check the edges if they are even and straight first before you start, or else you just end up realizing the mistake too late and crying over your wasted efforts later.

Why is this wrong?

The uneven edge of the table messes up your t-square's parallel lines. This is a recipe for disaster especially if you are doing the borders or the lettering guidelines. You wouldn't want your lettering to gradually get bigger as you work from right to left now, would you?

What can I do?

If you deem it necessary, you may buy a drafting board. Compared to drafting tables, they are much less expensive, and you can carry it anywhere you go. Size A1 is good; it's small enough to be portable, but large enough to handle bigger plates.

How to check if a table edge is even:

Here's how I do it:

1. Position t-square and paper on the table. Align the paper with the t-square and tape the edges to the surface as usual.

2. Create two parallel lines with the t-square.

3. Measure the distance between the lines at two points. If the table edge is even, it should be equal.


Let's face it:

In drafting, we occasionally make mistakes, and that's where our good old friend eraser comes in. But it turns out that some can even make your plate worse.

Why is this wrong?

I tell you: the regular pencil eraser is a TRAITOR. When you use it, it creates "dust" particles, that you can usually just brush away with your hand. However, the inclined plane of the drafting table make the particles get trapped between the table surface and the paper, creating an imprint on the backside of the paper that looks like a graphite smudge in front that YOU CAN NEVER ERASE!

What can I do?

I suggest you use a kneadable or dust free eraser instead. It will surely save the cleanliness of your plate.


When using a graphite pencil for lines, lettering etc., rotate it halfway through so that the sharp end is being used all the time.


Let's face it:

This is architecture 101: Keep your pencils sharp! If you are a mechanical pencil, that's fine. But if you are a regular graphite pencil user like me, you need to remember to sharpen it regularly.

Why is this wrong?

When you use a dull pencil, you tend to apply more pressure to it so that you can draw clear, concise lines. Over time, this pressure puts strain in your muscles, making you feel tired. Furthermore, dull pencils make the lines look messy and smudgy as well.

What can I do?

Purchase a good sharpener. A good sharpener sharpens your pencils so that the exposed graphite tip is longer, so that it remains sharp for a long while. It prevents your pencils from being small as in a month, too!


Let's face it:

So okay! We see the drafting table, we get our tools. Now, who isn't excited to draft? Hold back for a minute though, and clean those equipment first.

Why is this wrong?

Dirty materials equals dirty plate. Period.

What can I do?

Use a tissue with alcohol or baby wipes to clean the surface of the drafting table and your tools first before you start. You'll be surprised just how much dirt you'll get 6th remove, even though it looks clean to the naked eye.


Let's face it:

Drafting plates are time consuming. It may be tempting to procrastinate and just watch your favorite movie instead. However, while cramming may work on studies, it's not applicable to plates.

Why is this wrong?

Plates (the major ones, at least) don't get done overnight. If you try to push it, you'll make inaccurate plates. Trust me.

What can I do?

Work a few days before the deadline and relax. Don't rush it.

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    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      this is helpful article for those college users

    • marw profile image


      5 years ago from Finland

      Nice article! pretty common things but they are easily forgotten :D


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