Parallel Rule

Using a Parallel Ruler for scoring
Using a Parallel Ruler for scoring

A parallel rule is a thing, not an edict.

I like tools, always have. One of the great satisfactions of bookmaking are the tools I get to use. As I was making yet another Chinese Thread Book I realized that some of the fold lines I need to score could be done more easily with my parallel rule. I’ve wondered if people know about this tool.


Parallel Rule
Parallel Rule

I think my dad gave me my first parallel rule. If not, well, it’s the sort of thing he would have given me, so he gets the credit no matter what.  I didn’t know this right away, but this tool is used both in navigation and in drafting.

I’ve discovered that’s it’s a really handy thing to have around when sketching interiors.

Franks's apartment
Franks’s apartment

Here’s a cool thing to know about drawing things in the world: the horizontal lines for the world slope every which way, but the vertical lines remain strictly vertical. I’ve enjoyed starting some my drawings by using my parallel rule to make a vertical line in the middle of the page, then drawing parallel verticals to help define the rest of the space.

It’s just recently that I thought about using it to score parallel lines for the twist box layer of my most recent Zhen Xian Bao …

Chinese Thread Book, Zhen Xian Bao
Chinese Thread Book, Zhen Xian Bao

…which turned out like this.


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