Plastic sheet used for drawing blueprints?

  1. cardiffrob Member

    I have been asked to try and salvage some data from original blueprints, well, actually whiteprints, as they are more correctly called.
    . jlh1.jpg

    My plan is to try and trace the detail and get that reprinted. I was thinking along the lines of using the sort of plastic/acetate sheet we used 30+ years ago which is glossy on one side and rough on the other. My father had some "Rotring" Draughtsman pens he used for this sheet material.

    Any suggestions for the name of this plastic and maybe a source? Any other suggestions for a way to draw it all up?

    Only just started on this idea so looking for suggestions. 30+ drawings, 1m sq. Mostly Morris and Mini factory drawings.

    • jlh7.jpg
  2. masleeve Member

    glasgow and angus
    That takes me back , havent seen similar for about 20 years.
    Tracing film is what you are after , it can be found in specialist art/drawing shops , it is matt on one side and thats the side you draw on.
    It may be worth looking to see if any of the print shops could scan them for you

    I see some double matt is available

    Rotring pens are the way to go if doing it manually

    good luck
  3. Matchless

    Matchless Member

    Essex UK
    I would be tempted to look at scanning and then some fancy software to enable them to be tidied up, must be something out there, maybe contact a museum or archive, who might have to do this sort of thing?

    WW2 aircraft restorers? Spitfire "restorers" ok I have a data plate, we can restore this!
  4. willie.macleod

    willie.macleod Member

    Western Isles, Scotland
    Digitise - shouldn't be a huge job to get them into CAD software for someone who knows their stuff and makes subsequent copies/sharing so much easier. Do you have a suitably sized drawing board/lightbox and implements to do it manually?

    I'd recommend spending a bit of time and getting high quality digital photos of the prints. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that - somewhere in the large mini/morris world there will be CAD folk who will be delighted to help you digitise these and should be able to work from decent photos of the prints.
    slim_boy_fat and zx9 like this.
  5. MBB Forum Supporter

  6. zx9

    zx9 Member

    South East London
    ^^^^^^^^^^ Drafting film is what I was thinking of ^^^^^^

    I don't know about current practices but that size of original would have needed a reprographics camera, basically a camera on a column a bit like an enlarger with the original illuminated by four tungsten lamps or for a transparency of that size a large light box would be used for back illumination. If a perspex diffuser can be rigged up with suitable back lights any modern digital camera could be used to copy the originals, the file would probably clean up and correct contrast etc. in software.
  7. AndersK Member

    There are companies offering this kind of service

    Google "large format scanning services"
    Quality can be really good and most raster editing software can be used to clean them up.
    zx9 and slim_boy_fat like this.
  8. Agroshield Member

    If you do go the drafting film route, check the size before buying. What you buy will almost certainly be made to suit standard 'A' paper sizes. The blueprints may not fit this scheme and may require a roll of film and lots of waste.
    Hopefuldave and slim_boy_fat like this.
  9. cardiffrob Member

    Off to see an Industrial Architect to see if he can scan them. No joy at the National Museum.

    Morris minor suspension leg drawing. Worth turning into a poster!

  10. Shox Dr

    Shox Dr Chief Engineer to Carlos Fandango

    East Yorkshire

    My local printer has a massive drum imager. They load all the pictures in one go, s/w then separates them.
    zx9 likes this.
  11. cardiffrob Member

    These are all glued to plywood curly sheets with Morris factory stamps all over them. Will be a bugger of a job to flatten them out.:)
  12. zx9

    zx9 Member

    South East London
    That was all very new in the 80's and not something I ever got my hands on.

    And as you say not of any use for archiving images on delicate or unusual substrates, sucking them flat on a vacuum copy frame and photographing then with a digital reprographic camera may be the only way.

    I was in the offices of a rail company, looking at a GA plan of the power cars from one of their trains, I said 'bet people would buy t shirts with that printed on' the reply was along the lines of 'not going to happen until well after it has been pensioned off' but I could see bits of Austin Morris components making good sales on one of those print on demand t shirt sites like 'Red Bubble'.
    slim_boy_fat likes this.
  13. willie.macleod

    willie.macleod Member

    Western Isles, Scotland
    What's the end goal, are you looking to get enough detail to be able to re-manufacture parts? Do you have all the drawings for the parts referenced or just some?

    You should be able to improve the quality by taking multiple images and stitching them together. Can you read the detail in your original picture straight off the camera?
  14. Revs1972

    Revs1972 Forum Supporter

    Torquay, UK
    Blimey that takes me back.
    We used to call it velograph paper.
    If ,for example you did a big General Arragement drawing of a floor (on translucent drafting paper), and there was another floor that was similar, then you would make a copy onto the velograph paper using the OCE' dyeline printer.
    You would use a razor blade to scratch out small areas you wanted to change, or use the big bottle of acetone to remove large areas. It would print as a sepia brown color.
    As an apprentice, it didnt take long to realise you could get a nice buzz when sniffing the acetone :laughing:
    Although i wouldnt condone that sort of behaviour now:thumbup:
    Shox Dr, zx9 and slim_boy_fat like this.
  15. cardiffrob Member

    2 plans at the moment. One is to make copies of the really good images to sell as posters in the hope of generating enough cash to pay for the other plan of getting the mouldy, torn or faded diagrams reprinted. Nearly had a heart attack at the cost of the PET film. Out of work so trying to be frugal where possible.

    I like the "T-Shirt" idea.:thumbup:
  16. bricol Member

    N.Yorks, UK
    Someone somewhere will own the copyright . . . and if its BMW . . . maybe don't advertise the tee-shirts too widely . . .
  17. cardiffrob Member

    No copyright markings on there. It does say "BMC Tractors and Transmissions Dept" but how would anyone prove the data belonged to BMC/BMW etc? Curious how that would work. How do the manufacturers of spares get on with producing Morris suspension leg copies?
  18. zx9

    zx9 Member

    South East London
    Because they are well out of copy right I suspect, just googled and they say
    just the first uk hit so looks good for a sixty plus year old set of drawings.
  19. cardiffrob Member

    Thanks! :)
  20. jimi_boom Member

    When I was at Uni this is how we were taught technical drawing, We actually used the purple pencil lead as this was better when scanning and copying the drawings and making the blue prints apparently
    I cant for the life of me think what the pencil lead was called but we didn't use drawing pens for our work.

    I also had a years work placement at an engineering firm called Econ engineering in Ripon north Yorkshire and they had drawings dating back 50 years we had to copy and modify.

    Nothing worse than scraping off and re drawing, But it might be worth ringing round some established manufacturing companies to see what they have and if they could help you out to make copies as I know we had it at Econ years ago