Pantograph for drawing (with drawings and manual).

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by mafe posted 10-18-2013 10:46 PM 30413 reads 8 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Pantograph for drawing
with drawings and manual.

It has been a while since my last confession.
My name is MaFe and I am a woodoholic.
(This is one of the projects from that was made along ago, but never posted).

Project drawings here:

Ever since child (son of a architect) I have been fascinated by drawing gear, and remember having seen one of these in a magazine as a boy.
So when I a couple of years back ran into this magazine, I had to buy it.
Then I checked on E-bay and found a old Pantograph in France.

My father passed one day and was fascinated by this old drawing tool, so I decided to make him one.

Here you see the pantograph on the table and my Fibonacci gauge on top.
The Fibonacci gauge can be found here:
Yes and the old box it came in.

So first step is to cut up some strips of wood.

Shorten to length.

Some planning to make then flat.

Scraping for surface.
That’s the wood parts.

Study time.
Here is the old pantograph.

Fixed point is a large pin.

Joints and adjustment two part screws, that can be taken apart.

Tracer have a round point and distance to surface..


Pen is just a pencil put in a hole.
Sorry for the lack of sharpness.

You will need to follow the drawings to measure up and make marks.
I was able to just use the old as template.


In my box of odd things, I found these.
Finally they can do a good job.

Not the same, but elegant I think.
This can be replaced with a bolt and a wing nut.

So now all the pieces are there.
Time for tobacco.

Then drilling.

Make sense?

For the pin I put one of the bolts in the drill press and made it spin.
With a file I then made it pointed.

Like this.

Put I thought it was too short, so I found a longer bolt.
Did the same.

Then sanding.

This is better.

Next step was the tracer.
Again a bolt.
I drill a hole deep into it.
Almost through.

Then thread it.

Put one of my finger bolts into the thread.

Rounding the other end.

Screw a nylon screw into it.

Cut the head of and then round this also.
This gives a nice point for the tracer.

Original and mine.

Now it was just to put a ring in the hole for the pencil.

Spin a old pencil and size it with a file, until it fit the hole.

Transfer the ratios.

My logo burned in and a hello for my father.

This is my go on the pantograph.
Here on top of the old box.

I even made him a box, but forgot to take a photo after.

Thank you for watching my go on a pantograph, it was great fun and I think my father was happy.

Perhaps others will have the courage now to go for it.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

18 comments so far

View balidoug's profile


514 posts in 3395 days

#1 posted 10-18-2013 10:56 PM

Thanks, as usual! :)

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Schwieb's profile


1914 posts in 4378 days

#2 posted 10-19-2013 12:11 AM


This is pretty neat that you made one of these things. I remember the pantograph so well from when I was a little boy and use just such a device to make things with. I remember my Dad teaching me how it worked, at least as well as I could understand it when I was 9 or so years old. It seemed like magic at the time. I would love to see some of the things I made then but they have disappeared over time. I did not realize until now that the progression of the enlargement or reduction had a Fibonacci principle basis. I still have one of these devices that was at home and I probably used back then.

Good work my friend, this was a real blast from the past. In our ever increasingly electronic world this is a treasure. Much like the slide rule which I learned to use to a very high level in my early training as an engineer. I show this to my grandchildren today and they have no idea that one could do very complicated calculations with such a device. CAD is all they know today.

Thanks for the post Mads. I really enjoyed it and admire the detail to which you make your posts.

ps. In my youth, I thought I would like to become an architect but feared that I just couldn’t draw well enough and gave up on the idea.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4208 days

#3 posted 10-19-2013 12:31 AM

Nice. Even your “odd things” are elegant.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View lew's profile


13218 posts in 4672 days

#4 posted 10-19-2013 12:39 AM

I, too, remember these from my childhood.

Thanks for the post and the memories, Mads.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25485 posts in 4022 days

#5 posted 10-19-2013 02:39 AM

Nice job on that pantograph, Mads. You do real good without a metal lathe….........just think what you would make if you had one!!

Nice detailed pictures!!.....................Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5014 days

#6 posted 10-19-2013 03:01 AM

Great project Mads. Thanks for blessing us with it. :)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4251 days

#7 posted 10-19-2013 07:54 AM

Outstanding work on this Mads. As usual, you have made it much more elegant than the original. A great gift for your architect father. Like Ken, I can remember very well when this was the technology of the day, although I’ve never used one myself. When I get the time I would like to make one of these for my grandkids to try out. I also like the Fibonacci gauge and I really should make one of these too for myself, using the info you provided as my guide for both. Thanks for sharing with us.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Brit's profile


8204 posts in 3759 days

#8 posted 10-19-2013 10:03 AM

Nice work Mads. I had a plastic pantograph when I was a kid. It frustrated the hell out of me because it didn’t have a very fluid motion and would suddenly jump. I bet your doesn’t do that.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Bricofleur's profile


1480 posts in 4110 days

#9 posted 10-19-2013 03:34 PM

A very applealing project, Mads. You still have the hand to make and the will to share! Two great blesses.

Best wishes my friend,


-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19833 posts in 4592 days

#10 posted 10-20-2013 06:03 AM

Awesome work and blog.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Roger's profile


21031 posts in 3721 days

#11 posted 10-20-2013 05:39 PM

Brilliant, Mafe. Lotsa gr8, detailed pics along with it.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View mafe's profile


12674 posts in 4006 days

#12 posted 10-20-2013 08:11 PM

Hi there,
balidoug, smiles here.
Ken, So wonderful I could bring you down the road of memories. Yes in this modern data world, things like this is like touch from a distant time. Perhaps only the watch, the compass and the ruler is what the young will know about. Smiles. Before the Xerox machine and the PC this was a natural way to resize. Actually I never learned the slide rule only seen some of my old teachers show of with them. If you had become an architect you would never had had that beautiful shop, since you would have earned to little and worked too much to have the time, lol.
JJohnston, that is truly a compliment, thank you. ;-)
Lew, at some point we become happy that we even can remember. Smiles.
Jim, I actually have a small metal lathe Emco unimat and a ton of tools for it… But I never had the time to get really into the game and know no one that can help me get started. Last time I used it I burned the one motor, since I did not know you could not just keep running… I will try and save money for a electronic controlled motor that can run non stop.

Wayne, bless you.
Mike, I can imagine this one will actually be fun for kids, that they will be fascinated to see their drawings grow like this. Like a time capsule. It is both small projects that can be made quite easy. Metal parts can also be replaced with wood.
Andy, it is running quite smooth I put washers in between to make that happen. But the wood strips made of metal and ball bearings would make it even better, but then no fun for a wood junkie.
Serge, yes I still keep going as a old steam engine. Even I do not have as much time as I would love to.
Topa, thank you. ;-)
Roger, Big warm smile here.
Best thoughts to you all,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3455 days

#13 posted 10-21-2013 04:19 PM

Mads, this is an amazing project. You never cease to amaze! Now that I have almost completed my drafting table I will have to make one…

-- I never finish anyth

View mafe's profile


12674 posts in 4006 days

#14 posted 10-22-2013 05:34 PM

Philip, sounds like a good plan.
You will have hours of fun after and before.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Abejr's profile


2 posts in 34 days

#15 posted 10-26-2020 02:43 AM

Hi Sir! I can’t access the plan photo in my android device. Wasn’t sure if the site had moved or not working anymore. Can you help me please. I was a newbie here.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics