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I wanted to share an idea I've been using for several years. I enjoy the planning stage of a project and often spend hours making sketches, discarding them, improving, changing etc. I also feel that I prevent a lot of scrap iron from piling up in the shop. One of the tools I use is a small and infinitely useful computer program called graph paper printer. It is shareware and is definitely worth the $15 it costs. You can print endless varieties of graph paper, one of my favorites is the isometric paper. The one that is really useful for me is a page of concentric circles and divisions. At present I am using it with six divisions to lay out designs for a trivet. You can set up your own requirements and change line weight, one could even use it to find odd angles, for instance, and cut out and transfer paper patterns. When I settle on my trivet design, I'll post it on the gallery. We could even have a brainstorming on trivet design using a common (or uncommon) grid to work on. I've been wanting to make trivets for some time and haven't perfected one for production yet. To make one using an arc welder would be a snap, but I first want to use a simpler design using traditional techniques but I also want it to be a unique design of my own.

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having a place to sketch out ideas is a great thing. the forge i play in is owned by my father in law and on the door is a chalk board. a great tool! one of the more important learning tools for me in there. it is a lot easier for me to see it while he is explaining it. i know it has saved me from ruining a lot of material and time.

peyton

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Here is a link that should get you to a site if you wanted to download the graph paper program. When I first got mine I got it from ZDnet.com but they don't seem to have it now. I am assuming there is still a free trial version available. Try this: www.sharewarejunkies.com or just do a search for "graph paper printer"

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