Technical Drawing Standards

CAD Standards can be a thorny subject in many drawing offices, so I’m going to side step that by ignoring CAD for the time being. I won’t be writing about the CAD software you use for creating drawings, I will be concentrating on the the final paper output.

The National standards for Technical drawings in the UK are set by the British Standards Institute (BSI). In my experience the national standards for Technical Drawing have not been adopted as widely in the joinery industry as they could be. I would suggest that this is for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the end user for shop drawings is the guy on the bench. He won’t care if the drawings are BS Compliant, as long as they are correct!

Secondly, Joinery shops tend to be small businesses with typically less than half a dozen draughtsmen. Small businesses may not be able to afford to keep up with BS Standards (they are not cheap!) and they may not be able to afford a Drawing Office/CAD Manager who has a responsibility for maintaining standards.

Finally, the training for many new draughtsmen is focused on learning CAD software – they are not learning how to Draw. There is no requirement to learn about Technical Drawing standards.

Technical drawing standards

Image: Idea go /

This is a shame because modern CAD software makes using the standards pretty easy to do. My intention is to use the next series of posts to highlight the British standards that are applicable to Joinery shop drawings and Building Construction in general.

If you want to find out more about the British standards The BSI publish a book called ‘The Essential Guide to Technical Product Specification: Engineering Drawing’ By Colin Simmons and Neil Phelps. I also recommend ‘Engineering Drawing For Manufacture’ by Brian Griffiths.

If your company does not have an account with BSI, or you want to do some personal research, you may be able to access the British standards ‘On line’ service (BSOL) through your local library:

NB: The CAD Setter Out is an Affiliate of the British standards Institute. This means, that if you click on a link to the BSI shop, and subsequently decide to buy something, I will get a small commission. However it won’t cost you any extra.

You can browse the BSI Website via a non Affiliate link below:

Read more about Technical drawing Standards.


6 Responses to “Technical Drawing Standards

  • Paul,

    Posted on Dec2009, but i’ve only just seen it in April 2018.

    This is exactly what I have been complaining about for the last few years and its escalating to such a problem that somethings is go to have to give. However I dont think its just about buying the relevant standards, you have to kno how to apply them.

    I spent 2 years at school, then six years day release/apprenticeship learning precisely this. Unfortunately people think they can turn up for a CAD course and then know an entire profession.

    However, your comment “Firstly, the end user for shop drawings is the guy on the bench. He won’t care if the drawings are BS Compliant, as long as they are correct!” is something I have had to compromise on for 30+ years!

    • Hi Steven,

      It’s a sad loss that many companies aren’t willing to promote and train staff members internally. It seems like companies want to hire the finished article. If everyone thinks like that, there will be no well trained workers!

      I’m not sure what the answer is, but i’m more than happy to help and encourage any company who is willing to apprentice, train and prompt staff members with a long term view on the productivity of the company.

      My rant ;)


  • Great post that shows some real insight!