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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I have recently been getting back into working towards my engineering degree. I am still finishing up general education, however, I took many drafting and engineering classes back in grade school. I really want to get back into it, and have decided to look for my own drafting table, with quality and durability in mind.

I am not extremely knowledgeable on what is the "Snap On" of drafting equipment, and what is the "Allen wrenches that come with your chinese ping pong table" of drafting equipment. So I am hoping to get some basic buying tips. I do have a table I found on craigslist in mind. It is a Alexander professional drafting table 60 x 40 with Vemco Mk 12 drafting machine and light. This equipment looks very solid, but I can not find much info on the Mk 12, I am assuming it may be a little old. The guy wants 700 dollars.

Can someone help me on the basics of buying a good drafting set up??

Thank you very much in advance!

Oh, and if you feel like adding any information about what I may do if I am left handed, feel free. Yeah, I know, I'm going to die before everyone else. :clap:
 

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Too bad you weren't around here a year or two ago. I had a Vemco setup on a huge table and cabinet, about 8 feet long with drawers for supplies, plans, etc.

I couldn't give it away and hauled it in for scrap metal. Had not used it for years and it was stored in my Dads barn which was converted to a shop. Just took up to much space and decided to get rid of it.

But my question is why do you want a drafting table instead of using a computer and plotter. I don't know of anyone that uses a drafting table anymore.
 

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If you're a student you can get full license AutoCad for under $800 w/ a student ID. That software costs $5K retail. Seems to me that would be a better investment.
 

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I really love the feel of sitting at a nice drafting table with a finely tuned Vemco zipping along and stopping just where I want it to, and a nice array of mech. pencils and inks next to me.

That said, unless this is just going to be a hobby $700.00 would buy a decent computer with a 21" screen and download a free cad program like ProgeCAD. Come into the 21st century man.

Andy.
 

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I really love the feel of sitting at a nice drafting table with a finely tuned Vemco zipping along and stopping just where I want it to, and a nice array of mech. pencils and inks next to me.
That is true, there are some things I do miss about it. And I couldn't get rid of my pencils and inks and a few other things. Who knows one of these days they may be priceless antiques.

But I don't miss having to make corrections or fix mistakes. And it is nice to have all those layers with a CAD program.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I do not know how to use CAD, but do plan on learning; I have to for my degree obviously. This is kind of just going to be a bridge from not doing any drafting work for 5 years to transitioning into that frame of mind again, and eventually using CAD. However, I do really enjoy drawing blue prints, so I could see it being a hobby.

With that in mind, does anyone have any opinion on the quality of that drafting equipment? Thanks for the insight on how to get CAD!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do appreciate all the info, and have even looked into getting CAD along with my table. BUT my question still remains: is the vemco mk 12 a good machine? And how does it compare to the current models on the vemco site. Will I be able to re,rig a right handed one to be left handed? Thanks!
 

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If you're a student you can get full license AutoCad for under $800 w/ a student ID. That software costs $5K retail. Seems to me that would be a better investment.

Or for free with a valid educational email address :thumbup:!!!! You can get almost all of their software with a one year license that way...only draw back is when printing, it says educational version somewhere on the page...
 

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$700 is way too much, I saw the ad on craigslist. And remember I couldn't give mine away and had to scrap it, and it was a much nicer setup.

Look on Ebay they are trying to sell Vemco's and tables for $30 to $50.
 

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Seems like a but much money. I used a Vemco detailer for years (about $350.00 new) but work almost exclusively with cad now. It's always nice to sketch though.
 

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I think it is expensive

I think you can find a better deal.
VEMCO is the better brand.
I used a v10 machine for a number of years.
Make sure you get a v track not a elbow type.
Also get good bars w/ aluminum in them.
good luck
 

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I didnt know people legitimately drafted on a table still....
residential more than you'd think. commercial, not a chance.

I don't want to come here and go off topic because you can do whatever you want. I would recommend that you think about the direction of your goals, especially when looking at an engineering degree. I do not know any engineers who do not use CAD of some type.

There are tons of night classes, tons of youtube training videos, tons of online forum support from autocad, revit, rhino, archicad, ca, sketchup, etc. It would be like me not using a nail gun to build a home. It's not obsolete, but damn close to it.
 

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Drafting with pencil and paper may not be obsolete, but it's way ahead of whatever is in second place for that title.

I still have a tiny string slider board that I keep in the truck... but mostly I use it for eating lunch on.
 

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I don't understand why your school doesn't have a lab all set up for you to use.

Don't waste money buying things you think you might need/use. Wait and only buy what the instructor says you need for the class you are taking. You're going to spend plenty on tuition, books and required things so don't waste money guessing ahead.

And I would never recommend doing general ed classes first and then core classes. The core classes are brutal and need to be taken in certain order so the sooner you start them the quicker you'll finish. And you don't want to end up having to take too many brutal clases at the same time. Fill in the general ed classes as you go to provide some "easy" classes for relief. So if you're going part time while working full time take one core and one general ed per semester. If you're going full time you only want 2 to 3 core classes per semester and fill in the rest of the semester with general ed.
 
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