Self repair on a drafting table?
June 24, 2008 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Can I salvage the parallel bar on my drafting table?

I'm starting my very first drafting class this fall and I just bought a used portable drafting table. The problem is that I moved right after purchasing it and somehow during the move, the tension cable that holds the parallel bar in place came unraveled. I can get it to wrap around the four pegs on each corner and make an X across the back of the board but there is still alot of slack and the bar just falls off whenever I move the table. I've never used a drafting table with a parallel bar and have no idea where to start. I feel lost since I'm usually pretty good at fixing things. Can I fix this myself? Where would I find someone else to fix this? Should I give up and use the board without the bar (I don't like this option at all)? Thanks in advance for the advice.
posted by jmchrist to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
 
Can you post a picture, or tell us the brand of parallel rule?

Does it seem like the cable has come undone inside the rule (this happens, and can usually be fixed)?
posted by vers at 10:08 AM on June 24, 2008


If your problem is tensioning, pick up one of these from your hardware store, but get one with eyebolts on both ends.

Then, get some cable crimps. I don't know the proper name for these, but they're small metal tubes that you slide the cable into, then create a little loop and place the end of the cable back through the crimp. Squeeze with a pair of pliers to permanently hold that loop in place. You'd do this through each eyebolt in the device above then rotate the center piece to tighten the assembly.
posted by odinsdream at 10:49 AM on June 24, 2008


You can get some parts here; more parts and links to instructions are here. Even if yours is a different brand, the diagrams should give you an idea of how everything fits together.
posted by TedW at 11:46 AM on June 24, 2008


The wire is still connected to both ends of the bar so, from what I can tell, I think that odinsdream has the right idea and its just a matter of tightening up the tension. I actually think I'm going to try one of the kits from the links that TedW suggested. My board (sorry, but I don't recall the brand) has a spring just like those kits and hopefully replacing that will solve the problem. Thanks so much for the info. and the links!
posted by jmchrist at 1:42 PM on June 24, 2008


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