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Make a pantograph to draw

A pantograph is a device that can be used to reproduce an original pattern on a different scale. Let us mention for the record the pantograph of the sculptors, who works on all levels, and who can thus reproduce, by reducing or enlarging, the architecture of a statue. You will most certainly surprise your friends with faithful reproductions of the most complex motifs.
The system is based on the articulation of a parallelogram, the length of the sides of which can be varied according to the desired magnification ratio.
The device is matted at the table at a fixed point (A) located at the end of one of its longest arms, while the reproduction accessory moves (here a pencil) according to the movement of the pencil guide (hand held) that follows the contours of the drawing to reproduce. The guide pen is called "touch" or "feeler".

Necessary material

  • Drill
  • Handsaw
  • bracket
  • Folding Meter
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • Neoprene Coil
  • Hammer
  • Abracier
  • Flat key
  • Varnish

Locating holes to drill

Locating holes to drill

1. Most of the pantograph is based on the plywood slats of 10x4 mm section, cut to the lengths indicated on the diagram of assembly.
Mounting diagram

Drilling slats

Drilling slats

2. The holes are always drilled according to the assembly diagram. Holes B and C receive the pencils. The hole A corresponds to the fixed point and the D is the articulated top of the parallelogram.

Introduction of tube sections

Introduction of tube sections

3. Also drill the holes into which sections of brass tubes are inserted.

Sanding the elements

Sanding the elements

4. When all holes are complete, sand all the arms.

Cap drilling

Cap drilling

5. The holes B and C receive the pencils. However, it would not be enough to simply pass them through the holes, they must be held firmly and vertically to follow and reproduce the drawing with a clean line. That's why we keep them with a pierced stopper.

Cup cap in two

Cup cap in two

6. When the cap is bored, you must cut it in half.

Gluing (Neoprene glue)

Gluing (Neoprene glue)

7. Glue the plugs and the plywood arm. Use neoprene glue for this purpose. Work carefully to avoid overflowing.

Collage of corks

Collage of corks

8. Each of the two pieces is glued on both sides of the batten and placed in alignment with the hole made in the wood.

Setting up pencils

Setting up pencils

9. Once the glue dries, position the pencils and check that they are well maintained.

Putting the bolt in the hold

Putting the bolt in the hold

10. The fixed wedge is intended to hold the end of the arm. It is a piece of batten pierced through to be able to pass a bolt.

Rounded arm in contact with the hold

Rounded arm in contact with the hold

11. The end of the arm in contact with the hold may be rounded, if only for aesthetic reasons.

 Arm-hold assembly

Arm-hold assembly

12. The bolt shank must be long enough to protrude beyond the thickness of the arm in contact with the shim at point A.
Do not over tighten the nut that holds this assembly as only the shim must remain fixed.

Assembly of the longest arms

Assembly of the longest arms

13. The two longer arms fit at point D. Use a domed bolt. The head is on the underside, it will slide better on the work surface and follow the movements of the pantograph. The two nuts holding the arms against each other are locked with tolerance so as not to disturb the articulation.

Functional test

Functional test

14. Finish mounting the pantograph with two nuts in the matching holes. Secure the wedge at the end of the table using a clamp or a small press.
For the device to work properly, it must be located on a perfectly horizontal plane. You will need to adjust the height of the rods and that of the pan bolt.

Expansion reports

Expansion reports

15. It is essential to be able to modify the length of the sides without altering the basic structure of the parallelogram (the sides parallel and equal in pairs).
That's why the distances between holes with brass tube sections are equal from one arm to the other.
For the success of your work, it is essential to respect the dimensions indicated on the diagram.
Holes labeled 2 - 2.5 - 3 - 4 indicate magnification ratios.
For example, the assembly in the holes 2 means that it will be possible to double the dimensions of the original.

End varnish

End varnish

16. When you have finished making this pantograph, we recommend you to varnish it, so the wood will be better protected.

(photos / visuals: © Diy-prod, except special mention)

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Video Instruction: How to Make a Pantograph. Great project for kids and adults alike!