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Over the last few months I have been constructing many things, one tool I find incredibly useful is a home made pantograph. This tool has fallen out of fashion with the advent of computers but essentially it allows you to scale up drawing and plans according to how you cut or adjust the construction. Today I’ll show you how to make a simple cardboard one to try out.

You will need four strips of stiff cardboard, two twelve inch and two four inch, four split pins, one drawing pin, a pencil, cocktail stick and finally a board to pin it to.

Join the two large strips together as shown and fix with a split pin.

From the join measure the four inches down, the same as the small pieces and make a hole.

Secure both pieces using split pins then join them in the middle to create a square that should be equal on all sides. If it’s slightly out any sizing you do will either be fatter or taller depending on which bit is incorrect.

With both these pieces joined pus through a pencil so just the tip is showing, secure the remaining length shown top left with a drawing pin so that it still moves freely.

Like this. There should be no resistance to the movement.

Use a cocktail stick as a pointer and place your image that needs up scaling underneath. Use the pencil to guide the pointer over your image and voila, a larger version appears underneath. Unite simple I know but I use it to get accurate upscaled measurements.

This picture was so tiny but I needed window dimensions and a couple of other measurements, so for a bit of fun I placed the iPad with this image underneath and traced away. Eventually I ended up with a rough larger scale version that I could build over the top of.

So that in turn gave me the start of the shop window front, additional measurements were taken from different Victorian plans and applied to the model to eventually give me this.

A full sweet shop, part of a six foot street I constructed over the last three days for the final piece of Bloodline.

Try making a pantograph, it’s not nearly as useful as they used to be but it passes five minutes and you learn that if you modify one of the parts it can be turned into a Fatbooth, allowing you to trace photographs and enlarge features on the way giving you a chance to become your very own caricature studio.


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