|Computer Layout and Pattern
I prefer to do more complex part layout tasks on my computer, rather than
on wood or metal. There are many options for graphics packages, including
CAD, "vector graphics" programs, and "paint" programs. I use a program called
Micrografx Designer, which is no longer sold new. It is essentially a Corel
Draw clone, and there is a variety of similar programs available as "Draw"
packages. Designer is a "vector" graphics package with some mechanical drawing
features, and allows me to manipulate dimensions as well as shapes and colours.
A particular example of where such technology is very useful is in the layout
of the tracker bar for my John Smith organ.
For my tracker bar pattern, I used my computer graphic's "move-duplicate"
feature to create a set of hole centre lines and outlines. When I printed
the result, I found that, as close as I could measure, the span between the
end holes was exactly the 130 mm called for on the plans. Having produced
a suitable layout, you then face the task of transferring it to the material
to be processed. I have found a simple solution in the form of "full sheet"
labels, run through my computer's printer. These labels are sold in stationer's
shops. As an American, I buy a box of 100 8.5 by 11 inch sheets, and I assume
similar sheets in A4 size are sold elsewhere. Pattern transfer is a simple
matter of trim-peel-stick. I have found that the labels will stick to most
metals and many wood surfaces.
While you are preparing the pattern, you can add rough-out dimensions, drill
sizes, and other notes. I also use the copy-and-paste feature to arrange
several patterns on a sheet, and usually create two copies of each on the
page "just in case." The photo below shows the pattern for the top
of the tracker bar stuck in place. I have used the label-transfer process
for a number of things over the years. It is particularly useful on small
sheet metal parts, as well as wood.
The three photos below show the process in use for laying out the body block,
arms, and feet for my conductor, along with the bandsawn parts ready for
the knife. I am using a "mature figured" male clown, rather than John's
full-figured female. Hey, I'm building MY organ, not his!