How to enlarge plans

rocking horse pattern
A reader wants to know how to enlarge patterns from a gridded drawing. It's easier than you think, and requires very little artistic talent.

QUESTION:
The Rocking Horse plans from WOOD® magazine issue 193 (October 2009) say to enlarge the patterns by 200 percent or download and print the full-size patterns. I don't have access to a printer. How do I enlarge the plans?
— David Elzey, Convoy, Ohio

ANSWER:
David, if you're near a copy shop that can print on poster-size paper, refer them to the link below— and ask them to download and print a copy of the 2x3', full-size plans.

Or, enlarge the plans by hand. Use a straightedge to create a 20x30" grid of 1" squares— a 200 percent enlargement of the 1/2"-gridded plans in the issue.

Start with the easy stuff. Counting boxes to determine their locations, draw in any straight lines and large curves, as shown in the top photo.

Where the pattern contains small details or compound curves that change direction mid-grid-box, use a straightedge to subdivide both the miniaturized plan and the enlargement grid, as shown in the bottom photo. This will make the details easier to fill in.

rocking horse pattern
Use these techniques to quickly and accurately enlarge or reduce patterns.

rocking horse pattern

Tip of the Day

Rabbet on tablesaw fence helps you trim panels flush

shop tip

You've glued some solid-wood edging on a set of plywood panels and now it's time to trim the edging... read more

Talk in Tools and Tool Buying