Why Architectural Graphics Standards Should Be On Your Bookshelf

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Let’s say you have an uncomfortable breakfast nook and need to make some adjustments to the seat depth and height. Or you’re really ambitious and want to make a couch out of pallets. How do you figure out the right dimensions? This is why a long tome called Architectural Graphics Standards should be on every DIYer’s bookshelf.

It’s remarkable how much just a half inch can make a seat or table uncomfortable. That we’re a freakishly tall household contributes to the problem. Thumbing through Architectural Graphics Standards, I was able to diagnose the issues in our breakfast nook. The bench is too narrow and the cushions too high. I’m going to spend today correcting those problems.

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There’s a lot more data in Architectural Graphics Standards, of course. Should you want to build split ring wooden trusses, a greenhouse, or spend an evening pondering the arcana of wood joist connections, it’s got you covered.

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And, naturally, I want my own fencing piste.

A new copy of Architectural Graphics Standards is available but a bit pricey on Amazon. There’s also an abridged and less expensive student edition. If you fish around the nether regions of the interwebs you can find free pdf versions of dubious ethical origin.

Thanks to John Zapf of Zapf Architectural Renderings for tipping me off to this book, lifting my mood and, in the same visit, setting us up with a new turlet and plumber.

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  1. The price is yet another reason higher education is becoming a financial disaster for many people. I also find it disturbing that there is little to no price difference between the new and used copies of the same edition of this textbook, at least on Amazon. I’ll keep an eye out for an older edition or a cheaper used one.

  2. For used books, always check half.com. As college semester wind down, more used books may become available.

  3. I just found a great looking uniform pattern for Kelly!

    Long time fan and reader. First time commenter. I’m teaching myself to sew too and I share your frustration with fashion. Found the pattern through a blog I frequent called “did you make that”. Anyway it screamed out to me of the uniform you’d mentioned on the blog & the podcast.

    Thanks for all you do. I have both of your books and I look forward to your future publications (including Eric’s ebook on bread!)…


  4. For benches, remember to make the seat extend out further than the base, so your heels can rest slightly back from the 90-degree vertical drop. Very important feature to make or break breakfast nooks and bench/booth seating in general. That tip from Sarah Susanka. All her “not so big house” books have great advice on proportion and comfort.

  5. Might I also suggest some other helpful books : “Design Drawing” by Francis Ching and “The Architect’s Studio Companion” by Allen and Iano.

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