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  1. #11
    Join Date
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    Steve, tricks like this are used all the time in lots of industries. Years ago I was an advertising design and layout artist. Here's a simple example of one such trick I would use.

    Your task - divide an 8-inch wide area into 9 equal columns. You can sit there and do the math to determine how many fractions of an inch each column needs to be... or you can lay your ruler across the 8-inch area, at an angle! Position the ruler such that the "0" (zero) mark on the ruler falls along the left edge of the area you are dividing, and change the angle of the ruler until the mark for 9 inches falls on the right-side boundary of the area you are dividing. Place a tick mark at each inch mark along the angled ruler. Then, using your t-square and triangle, draw a vertical line up through each tick mark. Viola! 9 equal columns without doing any math.
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

  2. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to unixken For This Useful Post:


  3. #12
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by unixken View Post
    Steve, tricks like this are used all the time in lots of industries. Years ago I was an advertising design and layout artist. Here's a simple example of one such trick I would use.

    Your task - divide an 8-inch wide area into 9 equal columns. You can sit there and do the math to determine how many fractions of an inch each column needs to be... or you can lay your ruler across the 8-inch area, at an angle! Position the ruler such that the "0" (zero) mark on the ruler falls along the left edge of the area you are dividing, and change the angle of the ruler until the mark for 9 inches falls on the right-side boundary of the area you are dividing. Place a tick mark at each inch mark along the angled ruler. Then, using your t-square and triangle, draw a vertical line up through each tick mark. Viola! 9 equal columns without doing any math.
    Brilliant Ken, i would never of thought of doing that. So much easier to do.
    DIdnt think ill be learning tricks like that when i woke up today.
    Thank you
    Most powerful is he who has himself under control

    Your soul is coloured by your thoughts
    ​Marcus Aurelius

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrews Son View Post
    Brilliant Ken, i would never of thought of doing that. So much easier to do.
    DIdnt think ill be learning tricks like that when i woke up today.
    Thank you
    The particular trick I described was common knowledge among layout artists back when dirt was still new, when the tools included only a drafting board, t-square, triangle, a sheet of vellum, and a pencil. Today's computers and Desktop Publishing software have replaced the brilliance and ingenuity of such simple solutions to a given task.

    Steve's technique of using an ever expanding relative scale, rather than a system of absolute measurements, is definitely reminiscent of such old school ingenuity.
    Last edited by unixken; 2nd February 14 at 08:24 AM.
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

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  7. #14
    kiltedwolfman
    I have made well over 100 kilts since becoming a kiltmaker and I can easily say that I have yet to find a tartan that this method doesn't work for. Now some tartans are royal pain in the but after some cursing and coffee a pleating solution is always found.

  8. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiltedwolfman View Post
    ...after some cursing and coffee a pleating solution is always found.
    The force is strong with this one.
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

  9. #16
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiltedwolfman View Post
    Now some tartans are royal pain in the but after some cursing and coffee a pleating solution is always found.
    I'm not a kilt maker - but I can understand the difficulty is that some sett's don't quite work easily with such a regular approach and that a fudge is needed by making one pleat slightly wider or narrower to accommodate a particular stripe. I am amazed by the skill that makers use to do this, having an eye for the pattern and what the result will look like - so that viewing the kilt one can't even see the very slight shifts in pleat size that makers use to make the pleats work.
    Best wishes - Harvey.

  10. #17
    Join Date
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    Steve, many thanks for this post. One of the (many) things which have kept me from attempting a kilt is the pleating.
    As a working technician in the arts, my solutions were described as mystifying, as an engineering solution in artist's
    clothing, and as whole-brained. All agreed they worked well, but often didn't make sense to anyone else. I couldn't explain, as I typically had done all the math in my head, so I'd just tell the engineers I wasn't stopping my crew, as I
    knew it would work, to please run the numbers when they got back to their shop, or, later, computer. They never made me change it, and often even came back to apologize for challenging or not understanding.

    All that to say: I love it. I admire it. Simple, practical, efficient, and effective. I could have made a hundred attempts at a kilt and not come up with anything this workable. All told, elegant in its (deceptive) simplicity.

  11. #18
    Join Date
    7th January 10
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    Presq'ile, ON
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    Thanks for the post and I await your followup missives.
    Gu d¨bhlanach
    Coinneach Mac Dh˛mhnaill

  12. #19
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ashton View Post
    Using this long strip will tell you how many pleats there will be in the kilt and give you the pleat layout for the entire length of fabric. Apron to apron, you now know the layout for every pleat.
    That alone, is GOLD, Steve.
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

  13. #20
    Join Date
    15th February 12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ashton View Post
    And to answer the question about the Roman Numerals --- I think they look cool.
    They are easier to make when marking your fabric with chalk.

    And they make a cool conversation piece with your customers. "That's how we did it way back then."
    Rome wasn't built in a day , but that's only because you weren't the foreman back then .
    Mike Montgomery
    Clan Montgomery Society , International

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