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RE: Drafting quality

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Well said.  I have to try and inspect off some of those drawings.
-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Lowen [mailto:jatech(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 11:17 AM
To: 'Seaint'
Subject: Drafting quality



I have not been a member of this list for the past 2 years but after receiving a digest of recent posts regarding drafter qualification, I just had to rejoin and give you some thoughts.


I studied drafting in school for 6 years, scored 99% in my final year, served a 5 year drafting apprenticeship in structural drafting and have 43 years of drafting experience.


My experiences come mainly from eastern Canada and the north eastern US but I understand the situation you describe is not limited to this area. In my business, I get to see and work from drawings from many different engineering firms and I can attest that the quality of product put out these days is not as good as it was years ago, in some cases, it is abysmal.


The competition in securing engineering projects is fierce and has driven many firms to continually undercut each other to the point that engineers are not paid good wages and the firm has to implement cost cutting measures, like issuing drawings with no dimensions on them, and hiring the cheapest drafters they can find.


In talking with engineers and drafters alike, I am of the opinion that the gene pool is in great danger. Many drafters should be flipping burgers at McDonalds. Some tell me they do not know what the engineer wants and the engineer can’t convey the information properly. Many engineers cannot read drawing and have no way of ‘reviewing’ them. Many drafters come directly to the firm from Cad school. Cad schools do not teach drafting, they teach Cad. Until the education system starts putting out fully trained people, firms will have to train people themselves, pay top dollar for experienced people, or do nothing and suffer.


Some years ago, I approached numerous firms with a proposal to upgrade their drafting staff. All responses were defensive, a couple were hostile and offensive. I stopped calling.


I belong to a forum of about 1200 structural draftsmen and they echo my sentiments that the majority of engineering firms they deal with put out an inferior product. We are at the bottom of the chain. We have to make sense of your drawings and detail your steel for fabrication. You have made this an extremely perilous task.


This post is not aimed at all firms, only the ones who don’t CHECK their work, and I don’t mean ‘review’.




Dave Lowen
V 519 587 5797
F 519 587 5138
E jatech(--nospam--at)