When we use “scale” we are enabling us to use a small drawing to diagram a larger project. If we wanted an extremely accurate drawing of an object, we would draw a picture of it at Full Scale. That is, draw it full size. For every foot of object you would have a foot of drawing. You could trace an object and that would be “life Size,” or “full.
When you draw a ground plan of the stage on a piece of plain paper, you are showing a representation of the stage. In most of our ground plans, we use 1/2″ scale. That is, each half inch of a line on our drawing equals a one foot line on the floor. For one of our 4’x8′ platforms, we would draw a rectangle at 2 inches by 4 inches. (2″x4″). A 2 inch line contains four 1/2″ parts. hence, in 1/2″ scale, 2 inches equal 4 feet.
The same goes for any scale that we choose. 1/4″ scale means that our 4’x8′ platform would be 1 inch by 2 inches on our paper. 1″ scale, which is 1″ = 1’0″ (1″ on paper = 1’0″ on the stage floor) would give us a 4″x8″ rectangle on our paper. This sounds like it would be the easiest scale to use, next to full scale. Well, it is! Until you get to drawings that won’t fit on your paper.
My drafting table in the shop is 3’x5′. That would be the largest piece of paper that could fit. Now, we must take into account that the drafting arm doesn’t travel to the very edges and our drawing starts to get smaller. The usable space is approx. 2’6″x 4’0″. When was the last time you tried to get a piece of paper this size Xeroxed?
The standard scale that we use is 1/2″=1’0″. You may find yourself needing to use 1/4″ scale when you have a lot of info to give and very limited paper size. Keep in mind that for details, you need to go bigger in your drawings. We tend to use 3″=1’0″ scale for some details and when exact detail is required, such as moldings, we will do a separate drawing in full, 1’0″=1’0″ scale.
Board notes about scale drawing.