View Full Version : help I have no idea what I'm doing!

Half Pint
16-11-2015, 05:28 PM
I'm in grade 12 at a school where there are no drafting or tech design courses, after four years of asking, my wood shop teacher allowed me to use past course material to teach myself auto cad for a construction credit.

But here is the thing, the material is only basic tutorials for auto cad 2000. I've done them all in the 2016 version and have tried various online help and exercises but I still don't feel like I'm learning what I would like to. All the teachers at my school have no idea of how to use it and and I don't know anyone who can help.

I am becoming a machinist, and would like to learn content along the lines of small mechanical pieces. I work in imperial measurements (thousands of an inch) and only need to learn 2D. I would also like to learn how to write tolerances and surface finish and other things like that in my drafts. I would also like to learn things like how to draft a thread and use hidden lines. And I am quite a fan of the keyboard shortcuts.

I get things a lot better when they are in video format (showing it being done instead of talking about it). I need lots of examples to do so I can hand them in to my teacher to be marked(he would really like them complete with dimension lines, but anything will do).

I've wasted so much time watching videos explaining things I don't understand or things I'm not interested in. I would just really like some suggestions, video links and general help of what to do and where to go with this.

Any help will be VERY appreciated!

Kyle Reese
16-11-2015, 09:21 PM
Forget videos and march right on down to your local library and get a book about technical drafting. I suggest "Mechanical Drawing" by Thomas E. French.

Kyle Reese
16-11-2015, 09:31 PM
Another good book is "Technical Drawing" by Henry Cecil Spencer.

As for learning the basics of AutoCAD itself I suggest a website called mycadsite.com where you'll find tutorials on several different releases of the program. There is a pretty big difference between AutoCAD 2000 and AutoCAD 2016 in terms of how they are set up and what commands and features are available.

If and when you get stuck find a forum and start asking questions. And finally, practice, practice and practice some more. That's how you get good at it.

By the way, where are you located?

Kyle Reese
17-11-2015, 09:51 AM
A third book I recommend and one which is a bit more recent is "Technical Graphics Communication" by Bertoline and Webe.

Spencer also wrote "Basic Technical Drawing" and French also wrote "Engineering Drawing".

Kyle Reese
17-11-2015, 11:30 AM
I've attached two PDF's with practice drawings you can do for your teacher. I've done most of the examples at one time or another. I assume you are doing the three standard views (top, front and right side). Have you tried doing an isometric?

When you do the drawings do you also include a title block and border?



Half Pint
18-11-2015, 07:27 PM
So I searched out all the local libraries and was able to find only one book that you recommended (basic technical drawing by Spencer) and was not even able to find other related books. I found technical drawing by Spencer at a garage sale a while back and have tried to work with it before, but these materials are so outdated (1974, 1933) I see there only value in providing exercises. I love drafting with pen and paper and I know how to do that I just need to learn computer commands and things like that.

I live in the Niagara-Hamilton area of Ontario, Canada.

I have not done isometric, and I have not done any with a title block and border.
I want to learn as much as I can but I am on a time constraint as far as my school course goes, I basically have the opportunity to take this in what ever direction I can, but without a basic "this is what you need to do" its becoming difficult finding out what I need to learn.

Kyle Reese
18-11-2015, 09:41 PM
I'm disappointed that you think the material in Spencer's book was outdated as it points to something that is lacking in many of the CAD techs I've encountered and that is a true understanding of how to set up a drawing and the ability to make it clear, concise and unambiguous. I guess what you are searching for is a hold-me-by-the-hand tutorial, video preferred I assume, that will slowly and methodically walk you through each phase of doing a drawing and how to use each command and feature of AutoCAD. That book does not exist and the only one that comes close, to my knowledge, is Donnie Gladfelter's "AutoCAD 20xx and AutoCAD LT 20xx - No Experience Required." The author takes the CAD user through a series of exercises that result in the completion of a 3D house.

Given that you are time constrained then my only suggestion would be to go through the tutorials at mycadsite.com although they are not geared toward any one specific discipline. The other option is to ask friends, relatives, teachers if they know of anyone working in the field that interests you as a CAD draftsman or designer. Maybe you can find someone willing to spend the time to one-on-one mentor you.

Until then if you have an AutoCAD related question I'll try to help as best I can. I've been using AutoCAD longer than you have been alive and have worked in a number of different disciplines.

Good luck in your endeavors. I wish you well.

Kyle Reese
18-11-2015, 09:48 PM
Ontario, Canada. That puts you northwest of me. I'm located in the state of Connecticut on the east coast of the U.S. in the New England region.

Kyle Reese
19-11-2015, 10:43 AM
Well I slept on your problem last night and came up with some possible resources.

1. A website called lynda.com that can be found here...http://www.lynda.com/in/general2?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=l1-US-SEM-Brand&cid=l1-us:en:ps:lp:prosc:s0:0:all:google:xct-lynda&utm_content=68805450906&utm_term=lynda&device=c&gclid=CN6p0pewnMkCFdgJgQodBY0FzA

You'll find experts in every topic, there is a free trial, and the monthly cost is low.

2. AutoDesk - Education Resources for Students where you'll find, for free, resources, projects and support (Learn & Teach). Start with this link...http://www.autodesk.com/education/learn-and-teach

3. "Technical Graphics Communication" by Bertoline, Wiebe, Hartman and Ross. Buy the book here...

Look at the chapter entitled "Standard Technical Graphics Practices" and you'll see that topics such as material symbols, drawing techniques, dimensioning and tolerancing practices (ex. - location and orientation of dimensions, holes and blind holes, grooves and countersinks, ASME standard rules, tolerance stack up, GDT symbols, etc.) fastening devices and methods, integrated production, automation and manufacturing processes are all discussed as well as how to create a working drawing are all discussed in detail. The section on working drawings includes such topics as creating details, parts numbering, assembly drawing and tolerance specifications. There's another whole section on gears, cams bearings and linkages too.

Finally, I think you should be using AutoDesk Inventor not AutoCAD if you want to become a machinist. Learn more about Inventor here...


Kyle Reese
19-11-2015, 10:52 AM
Re: The book at Amazon. I'd recommend buying a used copy of the book which you can get at one quarter of the price of a new one. I looked at some of the ones being offered and the one from PennText at $68 is a good buy. The book is listed as being in "like new" condition.

Kyle Reese
19-11-2015, 11:05 AM
Another resource I just remembered. It's a company called Ascent that publishes training material related to many AutoDesk programs such as Inventor and AutoCAD. Each book (spiral bound) is well organized and topics are covered step-by-step. Most, if not all, of the books also come with a CD keyed to the material covered in the book. I totally forgot about this one until I stumbled upon my training guide for AutoCAD Electrical 2012. The book is almost two inches thick! These are "Official Training Guides" fully sanctioned by AutoDesk for use by their resellers during training sessions. Here is a link to their website....


The even come as eBooks for downloading to various devices if that is more to your liking. Some even come with video. What more could you ask for? Most retail for around $80.00 U.S.

OK. How's that for information overload?

Kyle Reese
19-11-2015, 03:21 PM
A PDF I found on Machining Specifications and Drawing Notes. Find it here...http://www.g-w.com/pdf/sampchap/9781605253084_ch11.pdf

Kyle Reese
19-11-2015, 03:30 PM
I found you a great book.


Find it here in both physical and electronic form...


19-11-2015, 04:15 PM
A lot of good resources there Kyle.

In fact so many that I'm going to 'sticky' this thread and move it to tutorials sub-forum.

I'll leave a redirect so its still available from the 2016 forum.

Kyle Reese
19-11-2015, 05:15 PM
That's very nice of you. Thanks.

Half Pint
09-12-2015, 02:32 PM
So after reviewing all suggested resources, asking around and trial and error I highly suggest a switch to Autodesk inventor for people in my situation. Inventor has a learning path right in in the go through all the commands from drawing a line to assembly procedures to the all amazing multi-view final drawing made with ease. its not an external video that could be missing a step, it goes on a sidebar in drawing space where you can hover over the instructions and they provide an arrow showing where everything is! And if you miss a step it pieces out the tutorial so you wont mess up everything in the end by missing a tiny stupid step.

If you want to try this out then go back to autocad, (seeing that it is only a 30 day trial) its great. They are quite different programs but as far as 'hmm I wonder what I'll ever use this button for?' a trial of inventor can help a lot. I'm not talking about learning top view side view and front, I'm talking about complex bolt patterns and perfectly aligned gear teeth made in as few steps as possible, with no guess work of accuracy.

I get drafting on paper I get how to draft, I get all the math involved in getting there, I just needed to learn [/U]how to use autocad[/U] (use commands on a computer and things like that). You can give me instructions like open the dimension tab scroll down and select the angular dimension a thousand times and it still won't be as helpful as you pointing on a screen and saying 'its there'. I'm all about accuracy, perfectionism and doing it the best way possible so if I can learn commands that mirror an object instead of me drawing both sides that makes my life so much easier.

I don't know how good I would be at helping people but I love to try *I'm not an expert* (not even close) but I get how machinists think I need to be taught 'this is how you do this, this is guaranteed to work!' instead of 'this might work, here's a bunch of gibberish you don't understand'

Thanks Kyle Reese for your suggestion of inventor it made everything clear

Kyle Reese
09-12-2015, 03:54 PM
All's well that ends well. Thank you for the update.

26-01-2016, 06:38 AM
I'm not talking about learning top view side view and front and about complex bolt patterns

Kyle Reese
26-01-2016, 09:22 AM
I'm not talking about learning top view side view and front and about complex bolt patterns
What thread are you responding to?

26-01-2016, 02:35 PM
What thread are you responding to?
He isn't, he's an amateur spammer using cut-&-paste to SEO spam.

He hasn't worked out yet that to SEO spam in the way that he is, you don't need to actually make a post.

The webcrawlers and googlebots can see your spam link without any real person seeing it.

And this type of SEO spamming doesn't even work anymore, the bots are a lot more sophisticated than that.

He isn't bothered that it doesn't work, he is being paid about 1 Rupee (£GB 0.01, $US 0.015) for every ten he posts.

27-01-2016, 12:40 AM
Forget videos and march right on down to your local library and get a book about technical drafting. I suggest "Mechanical Drawing" by Thomas E. French.

I agree.....