The Little World – Being A Damn Fool At The Drawing Table

muzzbuzz002I use the term advisedly. I discover how appropriate it is in my own case at some point in every project. With this one it was when I sat down and started drafting the plans.

You might have thought it would have occurred to me earlier when I was making measurements and photographs of the prototype.

The pictures came first, to give me side, front, and back views of the structure. ( I got more than I bargained for as there was a lot of characteristic clutter around the back door – great for eventual detail. ) The shooting was done on my simple Fujifilm X-100 camera because it copes well with high and moderate light and has a lens that is very sharp out to the corners. The fixed lens has a little barrel distortion but the Lightroom computer program I use has a profile correction for it – I can shoot RAW files and have them pop out on the screen flattened and square. The Fujifilm is one of the best street cameras I know, and I prefer it as a walk-round note taker to any of the other Fujifilm cameras I use in the studio.

muzzbuzz003Well, armed with some A4 prints with blank spaces for the measurements, my friend and I fronted up to the coffee bar on a Saturday evening just as they were closing. Fortunately Warren has a long tape measure so we could get most of the vertical and front measurements. The side elevation had to be scaled by using the German Army Metric Method. I have measured my stride at a goose-step and found it to be exactly 1 metre. If I need to know how big a car park or building  or interior is I just march along the perimeter and note it in metric measurement. I mean, it’s how they mapped Belgium. Three times…

Back at home, armed with actual measurement of the details and the panels that make up the side, I set to work to draft out the plan. Great until I realised that looking at a curved surface was going to distort the image of the curved surface, and the careful measurements were going to be very dodgy. Fortunately Warren had measured those fibro panels and I could extrapolate from there. A mockup curve made with cardboard strip let the measurement translate out to an actual length, but I played it safe and left a couple of centimetres of extra length at both ends of the panels to allow for trimming.

All the same, deriving a working plan from photos is not as easy as you think it is going to be when you start. I would always be grateful for the simplest of builder’s plans or shire registration documents for anything I wanted to build. And I am seriously going to get a surveyor’s tape for the future for those long lines.

Also I am going to be wary of modernistic architecture that has decided to swoop and curve inordinately.


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