Task: Size up, draft and finalise drawing

Step 1: Types of drawings

Types of drawings

Drawing is a second language here at Modern Edge!! If you've got an idea – sketch it! Put it on paper! Put it on cardboard!

Manual drawing is grouped into four main types: sketches, pictorial, orthographic and full-size set out. We need to be able to recognise all of these and learn how to produce them.

In the table below there are brief explanations of the four types of manual drawings. I have also collected some examples of each type for you to check out. You’ll find them in the Demo in the resources section.

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Manual drawing

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Freehand sketches

These are usually the first drawings to be done.


These can be used to show how an object should appear after manufacture.


These are usually the last drawings before manufacture and so must be clearly presented and understood.

Full size set-out

There are two types of full sized set outs:

  • On a large piece of paper or a sheet of board.
  • On a strip of plywood or timber, known as a set-out rod.


In the full size set-out a sectional drawing is often drawn instead of the elevation. For example, a sectional view might be drawn of the side of an object instead of a side elevation. It is drawn in the same scale as the main drawing and in the same position of the elevation which it has replaced. However, rather than just showing the object from the outside it shows the inside or workings of the object. There is more information on sectional drawings in the Techniques section.

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Sectional drawings

When drawings have been requested for a project there will be a set of project specifications to work from. Specifications that need to be assessed include how large and how detailed the object to be drawn is and what the requirements and constraints are. It is vital that you read and understand these specifications before you start drawing. This will prevent any problems later in the production process. In the Example you will find some specifications which would need to be taken into consideration when producing drawings for a kitchen.

From the initial rough sketch we usually develop a working sketch. This is a freehand drawing made in correct projection, but not to scale. Working sketches must include all the main dimensions and explanatory notes necessary for someone to make the working drawing. We will look at scaling and dimensions more in Step 2.

From the working sketch we produce a working drawing, also called a production drawing. Working drawings can be either scaled or full size. They show proportions, technical detail and the method of construction and are usually either orthographic or full size set-out drawings. Both working sketches and working drawings should show all the information needed to make the product

In scaled drawings the general form and essential requirements are worked out. In the full size set-out constructional details and proportions are shown.

Chair perspective drawing

Whether a drawing is scaled or full size, there are a number of essential details to include. Essential requirements in working drawings include:

  • Dimensions - height, width, depth.
  • Angles - an angle is a space usually measured in degrees between two intersecting lines or surfaces or close to the point where they meet.
  • Shapes - shapes are the external form or appearance of something.

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Job specifications

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Shapes are the outline or area of several figures or objects. Angles, lines and arcs can be combined to construct shapes.

You can find more information about full size set-outs in the Techniques section of the resources.

Exploded view of chairBecause there a lot of extra details on the working drawing, we can work out a cutting list for production and also CNC programs.


In manuals and parts catalogues you will often find exploded view drawings. These show the components of an object slightly separated, as if there had been a neat explosion in the middle of the object. It shows, in isometric projection, sections of the object in three different directions: height, width and depth.

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Fullsize set-out

One other important type of drawing you will come across is the general assembly which shows the sequence of assembly of the object. It shows the project to be constructed, the sub assemblies and the individual components that make up the sub assemblies. Dimensions, if present, are minimal.

When all the individual components of a piece of furniture have been manufactured, they need to be assembled in a specific way. Have a go at assembling a bedside cabinet using the general assembly production method. You will need to print out the Example in the resources section before you start.

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General assembly

Now go to Step 2.