Mechanical drafting for dummies?

This post, I hope, is on-topic; the FAQ web page for this group seems to be non-traditional, but the topic does seem to qualify as "Applying technology toward human needs" (from the FAQ). Please forgive me if this post is off-topic.

I've been retasked from tech writing for a special project, creating dimensional drawings for a metal fab shop. I have Corel Draw X3 and Corel Draw 9 available to me, but have done no drafting since pencil/ compass/rule in junior high school shop class.

Not that I mind; I find the idea fascinating. However, I need a good primer on the subject.

May I ask the assembled brain trust to advise on good books which might fulfill this need, something like MECHANICAL DRAFTING FOR DUMMIES or DIMENSIONAL TECHNICAL DRAWING FOR DUMMIES?

Many thanks.

John Bartley, author Text Messaging (SMS) emergency FAQ

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Sorry, I don't have any book suggestions, but Corel Draw is a very poor choice of CAD software. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars for AutoCAD or even one thousand on AutoCAD LT. There are several very good CAD programs for fifty bucks or less; some even free for the download.

You can spend a hundred bucks (or less) to get a good CAD program that reads and writes AutoCAD compatible files if you need them. Sometimes this is handy depending on your requirements for communicating your work with others.

Corel Draw is missing many vital drafting tools. I am an engineer not a drafter but do some drafting occasionally and I have Corel Draw and AutoCAD and have used a few cheap and free CAD programs.


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Mitch Scherer

The best book I've seen on the subject is: Technical Drawing (12th Edition) by Frederick E. Giesecke, Alva Mitchell, Henry C. Spencer, and Ivan Leroy Hill

A little pricey on Amazon for $132, but you can probably pick up a used copy or check out your local public or college library.

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