Do folks still layout the old school way?
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  1. #1
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    Do folks still layout the old school way?

    I work with a old man that is the best lay out guy I've ever seen. I haven't seen anything he can't layout yet. I've seen him lay out 48" OD, long radius 90's for dust collection ducts, square to round transitions, cones, any kind of off sets. He keeps a trig book in his locker in a wooden box that he pulls out when he needs it. It's all done by pencil and paper and very few times have I seen him use a calculator.

    He worked for years down in Orange TX at the ship yards then taught layout in a college down around the gulf coast.

    I guessing that now days folks are taught to layout using a CAD program? Does anyone still do the math to lay out?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    When I worked for a sheet metal company, we did mostly roofing stuff but we would also do custom copper work and curved bay roofs.

    My boss only ever used his pencil and things came out fantastic. He also had about 40 years experience.



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  3. #3
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    I don't know how to do CAD stuff, so anything I make gets laid out on paper with a pencil.

    I prefer a calculator instead of trig tables because it's faster for me. Basically calculators are just an electronic trig table.

    Scribe lines, with or without layout die, are my friend
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  4. #4
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Technology is great when it works. My employer had all that fancy programing setup into computer for plasma to cut out sheetmetal fittings. Well one day it died. The old guys were the only ones that knew how to layout by hand.

    The same with saddles , miters , and laterals on steel schedule 40 pipe. If there a lot we would usually have the sheetmetal shop make up templates . These young guys had no idea on how to lay it out. There are still books avaiable on layout and tricks to do it easier and faster. Only us oldtimers know those.

  5. #5
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Right now it's a tossup. Old guys can do it, young kids holding papers saying they're journeymen can't unless their device is functioning. Bean counters get to bellowing about how much an hour it costs to do with a ruler, pencil & paper.
    It's nice to poke a few numbers in and get a 1/1 back and it's probably faster to use the box.

    5 years from now, will they have a camera that tells the calculating box what to calculate?
    The "Journeymen" today have a lot of trouble figuring that out now.

    Will the guys who write the software ever learn the difference between a drill press and a brake?

  6. #6
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    There are still books avaiable on layout and tricks to do it easier and faster. Only us oldtimers know those.
    Perhaps we could change that, as a young’n to an oldtimer, would you share some of the titles you’re reffering to?
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  7. #7
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Tin knockers Union has a lot of layout 411 from the old days on line.
    Google books has more.
    Collect newspaper, it folds very much like tin.

  8. #8

    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    I use AutoCad for drawing
    But in shop it just old school

    DAVE


    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Leroy View Post
    I work with a old man that is the best lay out guy I've ever seen. I haven't seen anything he can't layout yet. I've seen him lay out 48" OD, long radius 90's for dust collection ducts, square to round transitions, cones, any kind of off sets. He keeps a trig book in his locker in a wooden box that he pulls out when he needs it. It's all done by pencil and paper and very few times have I seen him use a calculator.

    He worked for years down in Orange TX at the ship yards then taught layout in a college down around the gulf coast.

    I guessing that now days folks are taught to layout using a CAD program? Does anyone still do the math to lay out?
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  9. #9
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    I've never had any cad drawing or any formal training at all. I just grab what looks like a bench, square, ruler, and a few other things readily available to me at the time. Sorta like this:

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    I'm doing these on the fly as the plastic fenders I have for the motorcycle pull behind trailer are not very stout. These will shore them up being bolted through the fenders with stainless hardware. The aluminum is about 5/32" thick.

    With the grease pencil lines removed:

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    The center punching will be bored through and self tapping screws will attach the lower section to the trailer frame, with bolts, flat washers and nylock fasterners will go through the fenders to these braces which will be inside the fender. Here is the trailer with a deck but no fenders:

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    This "layout" is all by hand and done using the trailer deck as a workbench. I like to use a grease pencil as really easy with gasoline on a rag to remove error markings. Both panels are from a single piece of aluminum salvaged from a piece of an equipment cabinet door. The curvature was formed with a lid of a 5 gallon plastic bucket and cut out with a sabre saw clamped to the trailer deck.

    These are the fenders purchased which look pretty nice but a flimsy. Where in the hell they get a 300# rating, or what that even refers to is beyond me:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SET-OF-2-FU...53.m2749.l2649

    Not a bad product at all but no brackets or anything included and you sure wouldn't stand on that top step.
    Slob

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  10. #10
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    i worked with several old school layout men. they were worth every cent of the hundred or so extra the boss paid them every week. they used string,large home made bevel protractors, music wire, rulers and tapes plus pencil and paper. i now wish i had paid more attention in my youth.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
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  11. #11
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Slob, make extras cause as soon as you bolt aluminum to iron with ss bolts it becomes a self destroying battery.

    The amount of layout that can be done with a standard framing square is phenomenal, and the majority of the population doesn't know how to verify the square with a tape measure.
    A 13 foot string will deliver square corners every time and you only need to use 12 feet of it.
    Tape measure will confirm squareness of a frame.
    Newspaper will find the center of a round dam quick and easy.
    Ovals, 3 nails and a string.

    There have to be 100 books in print on how to lay out, and probably 90 of them are on googlebooks.

  12. #12
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil5 View Post
    Slob, make extras cause as soon as you bolt aluminum to iron with ss bolts it becomes a self destroying battery.

    The amount of layout that can be done with a standard framing square is phenomenal, and the majority of the population doesn't know how to verify the square with a tape measure.
    A 13 foot string will deliver square corners every time and you only need to use 12 feet of it.
    Tape measure will confirm squareness of a frame.
    Newspaper will find the center of a round dam quick and easy.
    Ovals, 3 nails and a string.

    There have to be 100 books in print on how to lay out, and probably 90 of them are on googlebooks.
    It will have a phenolic insulator strip between the aluminum and steel frame. I think it is about .065 thick and works well with very little compression.

    The little trailer will not see any road salt so should yield a decent service life. Knowing me, it'll probably be taken apart for modification after the first road trip out to incorporate some change I'd not thought of.
    Slob

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  13. #13
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slob View Post
    It will have a phenolic insulator strip between the aluminum and steel frame. I think it is about .065 thick and works well with very little compression.

    The little trailer will not see any road salt so should yield a decent service life. Knowing me, it'll probably be taken apart for modification after the first road trip out to incorporate some change I'd not thought of.
    Use the grease too.
    Remember, you also got ss bolts that will begin rusting from contact with the iron too.

    Trailers ain't built to remain unmodified. Mine rarely get beyond primer for a year.

  14. #14
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil5 View Post
    Use the grease too.
    Remember, you also got ss bolts that will begin rusting from contact with the iron too.

    Trailers ain't built to remain unmodified. Mine rarely get beyond primer for a year.
    What "grease" are you referring to? I always use a product marketed by Burdy called "Penetrox" for dissimilar metals and it works very well in electrical enclosures both indoors and out. I'd apply this product liberally to both power wire terminations, and earth ground terminations. Everything was bonded and grounded at work and this product performed very well. It doesn't allow dissimilar metal, or galvanic type corrosions to start. I used it on stainless to steel retaining fasteners which were weather exposed on airfields too. LocTite C5 does very well also but I feel the Burndy product is just a tad better.

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    Last edited by Slob; 10-05-2018 at 06:15 PM. Reason: Add Photo
    Slob

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  15. #15
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    There is a purpose specific grease made in Canada only that was formulated to keep aluminum truck doors from evaporating away from SS mirrors held on the door with steel nutserts. Sticks in place better than kidcrap on corduroy and eliminates the problem for at least 9 years.

    Probably not cost effective in your situation given you'll be reengineering it in 90 days anyhow. Just use nylon shoulder washers in the fender holes.

  16. #16
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Yes it still happens "old school ways" and rolling offsets using square root, you can have all the fancy adding machines if you don't know how to apply it to the situation your SOL

  17. #17
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    I've gone from pen and pencil mechanical drafting in high school to being an Certified AutoCad Operator. In that same period I have worked as a machinist, millwright, fabricator etc. I worked in the nuclear reactor and oil industry from Florida to Saudi Arabia to Alaska As I tell my technology loving son, technology is great...... when it works. But, there is a huge gap between a confuser and the end product. In a discussion earlier today, we were discussing trends in society today, we agreed as people get more and more specialized, the less common sense they seem to have. Case in point, I rented a house to two veterinarians that were incapable of changing a light bulb. How do these people function daily?
    Last edited by wasillashack; 10-05-2018 at 10:21 PM.

  18. #18
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil5 View Post
    Just use nylon shoulder washers in the fender holes.
    I assume these are what you mean by shoulder washers? I use them on most holes where stainless protrudes carbon steel as it was specified on prints when working:

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    Slob

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    Oh yeah, also an unabashed internet "Troll" too.....

  19. #19
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    That's the animal.
    Leave the shoulder about .025 above the aluminiummmm when you assemble, torque the bolt to squish the shoulder down and you got a good battery preventer.

  20. #20
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    All of the hardware I'm using in this trailer is 316 stainless. Shiny is not real important.
    Slob

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    Oh yeah, also an unabashed internet "Troll" too.....

  21. #21
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    I'm not THAT old (only 41, but sure do feel like 81, too many injuries in the last few years...)

    I learned on paper, in the classroom some 20 years ago. Paper still works. It's cheap. It's faster than the computer. It always works. Pencils don't require updating, just sharpening. You don't even need paper, dirt and a stick will work too!!!

    (I confess that the calculator is easier than a trig book to lookup things...and you don't suffer pages getting dirty/ripped/wet from grimy shop hands)

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  22. #22

    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    I used to layout in a sheet metal shop for years, one morning I walked in, and there were no dividers, no calculators, and no scribe blocks. I had a pair of Wiss cutters, a tape measure, a black marker, a hammer and I made an awl out of a ruined screw driver. By the end of the day, I made every type of fitting there is to make. I never did any complex math, because you do not even need Trig to layout complex parts. I took a piece of sheet metal and cut notches in it at different positions to mark quarter inch, half an inch and one inch, and depending on the size of the Pittsburgh I would make a notch that size as well.

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    Square to rounds you need Pi, or a wheel cut the diameter you want the round of your square to round to be. Then you mark a line splitting the wheel in half and again into fours. Then you start the wheel on any line on the wheel, at the center mark of your part. Rolling the wheel to the next mark on the wheel, and then again the other way starting at the center of the part, and roll away from the center mark on the part to get half of the round side of the square to round length.

    You have to know how you are putting them together. We usually overlap the center of two opposing sides if we are not welding, or overlap and Taloc, rivet or screw them together.

    I learned this from a fellow from Sansalvador an ex MS-13 gang member, brilliant guy. Using both old metal layout books and experiments we got them down to total simplicity, working with another fellow from Ecuador.

    It is all tricks of the trade, learned in two months. If you said "Trig" in a metal shop, everyone would get a laugh. Although we use it to calculate material use, in actual practice we never used it. Then the plasma tables took over, and when they broke down, then you got to see that the plasma tables were slowing down production. So much so that sometimes they did not even bother to get them back online.

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  23. #23

    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    If you have to do small parts like for copper conicals, and frustums, I find it is easier to layout on paper and spray the paper with repositionable glue. Then stick the paper on the copper blank or scrap and cut away.

    The trick with rounds is making that wheel to measure off the distance for a frustum after you draw your two parallel arcs of unknown length at the proper diameter. Then you just roll your different size wheels respectfully along the parallel arcs you drew. Starting at an arbitrary center mark and rolling half a turn one way, and then doing the same thing the opposite way, to get the length of the frustum before you roll it.
    But for small complex conicals and frustums, if you have a printer and cad, it is excellent. Or you can program it into a plasma cutter if it is very new. Otherwise, it will round your corners to much.
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

  24. #24
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick View Post
    If you have to do small parts like for copper conicals, and frustums, I find it is easier to layout on paper and spray the paper with repositionable glue. Then stick the paper on the copper blank or scrap and cut away.

    The trick with rounds is making that wheel to measure off the distance for a frustum after you draw your two parallel arcs of unknown length at the proper diameter. Then you just roll your different size wheels respectfully along the parallel arcs you drew. Starting at an arbitrary center mark and rolling half a turn one way, and then doing the same thing the opposite way, to get the length of the frustum before you roll it.
    But for small complex conicals and frustums, if you have a printer and cad, it is excellent. Or you can program it into a plasma cutter if it is very new. Otherwise, it will round your corners to much.
    That rolling disc method works real well.
    Although whenever possible, I prefer to use the central angle to scribe the two straight lines.
    Dave J.

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  25. #25
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    Re: Do folks still layout the old school way?

    If there was a like button here at WW I would like each and every post in this thread.
    I’m at the age where we learned everything the old way and now it’s so beyond that now.
    It’s great to hear that the old way is still going strong!
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