This one has been on the list for a long time, so it was nice to finally build this ancient, archaic and obscure ‘Drawing Machine’ as Leonardo named his drawing. There are several woodcuts by Durer showing a similar device and this particular design comes from a British movie ‘The Draughtman’s Contract’, which I saw years ago and inspired me to build this one. I can’t remember much of the movie but I do remember the instrument.
It is constructed of pine with waxed linen cordage, it is portable and comes apart for transportation. It also has a threaded insert for attaching to a tripod. I appologize for the modern tripod, a wooden one is also on my list, which doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter.
The framework is joined with open mortice and tenons at the corners, glued together with Fish Glue. I carefully laid out where the cords whould be in 1″ grid based on an 8 1/2″ by 11″ piece of paper. I drilled the holes from both sides to insure proper placement and knowing the small drill bit may wander.
The base holds the large frame and a holder for the small cross hair frame aperature, which is adjustable up and down depending on whether the large frame is ‘portrait’ or ‘landscape’.
I also made a stencil using a ponce wheel, that matches the grid on the large frame. A linen bag with some powdered charcoal leaves a grid on the paper when the bag is rubbed over the stencil, which can be used again and again.
My first attempt at using the drawing machine, it takes a little getting use to, but it gets easier.
Fun project, I still have a bit more refining to do and a bit of embellishment, not sure when I will make the tripod.