Structural Drafting

Structural drafting can be defined as the discipline of making drawings of structural objects, then placing descriptive dimensions and other notes on that drawing that when placed together, will communicate the needed information for the creation, and in some cases the finishing of a structure.

In making of these drawings, super accuracy in drafting is not always required. The main things needed are that the lettering and dimensions should be clear enough that no misunderstanding is possible.

The different types of drawings made in a structural drafting room are:

  • Assembly Drawings
  • General Details
  • Stress Sheets
  • Shop Drawings

The assembly drawings usually give the views of a structure as it appears after it has been erected. On these views you’ll see the dimensions of the members as they appear in the finished structure, together with all the bolts that hold them together, their locations, and other details necessary for their completion.

The overall dimensions are always shown and also any other dimensions which are necessary for the drafter to complete the shop drawings. While the size of the members and their connections, as well as the number of bolts and nuts required are always shown.

A stress sheet is the drawing that is usually shown as a skeleton outline of the structure. On the lines you’ll find the stresses which are caused by the building movement in the wind and the loads of pressure such as furnishing and the movement of people in the structure.

The shop drawings contain the views of a certain member of the finished structure so dimensioned that it may be constructed by the people in the metal shop. It takes much greater skill and experience to make the assembly drawings than it does the detailed drawings.

My name is Tim Davis and I draw architectural plans for a living. I also teach others how to draw house plans and other types of drafting in a virtual classroom on the internet at

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I’m your host and webmaster. I’m someone who enjoys life to it’s fullest and love programming, drafting, farming, and an ordained Baptist pastor and sheriff’s department chaplain.

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