Scale drawings

Scaling is a drawing method used to enlarge or reduce a drawing in size while keeping the proportions of the drawing the same. Scales are generally expressed as ratios and the most common scales used in furniture drawing are 1:1, 1:2, 1:5, and 1:10 for reducing and possibly 2:1 for enlarging.

Scaling is used to either:

Drawings can be scaled up or down using either a calculator or a scale rule.

To scale a drawing using a calculator:

Example 1: Scaling down

Example 2: Scaling up


To scale a drawing using a scale rule:

Scale rules allow us to directly set out measurements onto a drawing without having to convert them to their scaled sizes by using a calculator first.

The whole process is made easier because these conversions are already made for us. On a scale rule which has divisions of 1:5, each division represents 5mm and the measurements on the rule indicate this.

Scale rulers.

On a scale rule which has divisions of 1:10 each division represents 10mm and the measurements on the rule indicate this.


Remember icon

Even though the drawing itself may be reduced in size or drawn at an enlarged size on the page, all dimensioning on the drawing should reflect the correct sizes of the item being drawn.

This is an example of a scaled drawing. Notice that the elevation is drawn at a scale of 1:10.

Included in the drawing is detail A, and this is drawn additionally at a scale of 1:1, or full size.


A scaled drawing.