THE DETAIL OFFICE
be returned signed or stamped with the owner's approval, and the other
retained by the owner for his records. Great discretion is necessary to
know which plans it is important to have approved in the first place, as also
which parts of the material should be, and which parts can be, ordered first.
Orders for material of which only a long delivery can be given should be
pushed out immediately; also those portions which, from their position,
must be made and fitted first of all.
In the course of his work it is necessary for the draughtsman to make
himself thoroughly familiar with the ordinary shop practice, machines, and
facilities, such as maximum sizes the machines will take, facilities for handling,
crane-lifts and heights, jigs and gauges, patterns in store, dies, and all the
implements of manufacture generally.
There should be books in the office containing these items of information,
including a list of taps in stock, &c.
Catalogues of Special Parts.—As, in large-scale production, a con-
siderable amount of specialities are bought in finished from outside firms,
it is very desirable to have the figured catalogues easily available where such
specialities can be seen, and their duties and sizes found. This information
facilitates the ordering of the same, and makes for much greater accuracy in
the finished drawings. These catalogues should be kept in one place and
indexed, and a register of them kept by the office clerk or safe-man, or other
person deputed for the task.
In a well-organized office the boards and benches are cleared every
evening, loose drawings and tracings are put away in the fireproof safe, order-
books put in their correct place, as well as catalogues, &c. Not only are
these things saved if a fire does break out, but a great deal of trouble and
time is saved, should a particular item be required at an unusual time or
when someone may be off work.
Library.—Another very useful adjunct to the office is a library where
the larger works, other than handbooks, which deal with engineering matters
pertaining to the particular branch of industry in which the firm specializes,
are kept. The technical press should also be available in the library for
reference. In one or two cases, books are lent out from the library to juniors
who are keen to learn anything about the industry they are engaged in. In
such cases, the eldest apprentice may be responsible for their issue and safe
return. In one office in the writer's experience this plan worked very satis-
factorily. This same apprentice frequently has charge of pencils, rubbers,
inks, drawing-pins, &c., which are usually supplied to the draughtsmen by the
firm. These items constitute a fairly heavy expense in the office, and so far
as is commensurate with efficiency should be used as economically as possible.
Use of Tracing-paper.—It is becoming more and more common
practice in the larger offices to dispense as much as possible with drawing-
paper, using tracing-paper instead. There is much to be said for the prac-
tice both on the score of expense and convenience. The economic side of
the question need not be laboured, but a considerable amount of the work
in an office is of the nature of repetition work, with a few alterations to suit