> I seem to be the least experienced of the others who have thrown their name into the FeF, especially at CAD
Then why not download FreeCAD and give it a try? It's free and not that hard to use. There is some information at http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/FreeCAD
including a little tutorial that I wrote and posted as a PDF. I learned how to use FreeCAD in a matter of days and did ALL of the Steam Engine CAD word in it. Granted, it's not the best CAD application in the world, but it is free.