15 Oct 2012: One of the blog readers sent me an email, amused at the way I sometimes go against all my architectural training and just make something without fully drawing it out, because it comes out better than spending hours before hand drawing.
Stephen writes: "The comment you made about not drawing the ducting brought back memories of my days as a pattern maker at a famous water valve company called Guest & Chrimes (now the new home of Rotherham UTD football) where we would make all sorts of weird shaped castings that would be installed all over the world. This could have be from the revolutionary stopcock valve invented by mr Guest and mr Chrimes up to a 3 meter diameter triple door water valve for a hydro system in China amongst others. The draftsman would stroll into the shop from the drawing office and explain the shape could not be drawn clearly but could I make a "set out" and the have a chat on how to maintain the correct metal thickness."
Hi, one of of my principles is 'lean construction', one of whose ideas is having minimum waste. So far, I haven't wasted any plasterboard in my plastering efforts, and haven't had to throw away any unused glue either. In the case of aluminium, I check my metal offcuts box first to see if there are any clues in there, and I have so many that I can usually find a range of flats and brackets, of different millimetre gauges that help make up my mind on the detail. If you draw it out first, you then generate a long shopping list of things you haven't yet got, and tend to over-structure it. I have enough offcuts even to be able to make my own washers from aluminium, which can be better than commercial washers because they are of the same metal and can have a thickness that is determined by the gauge.