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0.5mm pencil leads.

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powertools

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Last Christmas instead of having the family look at me on Christmas day as has happened in the past saying we never know what to buy you so you have got more socks and a box of sweets I asked them all to club together and buy me a set of 3 Incra T rules and a couple of Incra pencils .
I have to say I could not be happier but I seem to break the 0.5mm leads at an alarming rate and now need some more, can anybody suggest what grade of leads are best for woodworking and is there a make that are less prone to breaking?
Thanks in advance.
 

fezman

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I have the same issue too. I use a Rotring mechanical pencil, and HB leads. Love the incra rules and how easy they are to mark up with, but going through lead quickly.

Best approach i've found is to have the lead protruding just enough to get through the rule.
 

--Tom--

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I’ve found Uni nano dia leads have been good in my pentel graphgear which is also the best mechanical pencil I’ve used
 

ED65

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powertools":13w1k2ca said:
...is there a make that are less prone to breaking?
I would say there likely is given the huge size of that particular market, but you might pay through the nose for them.

I was offered a large stock of 0.5mm mechanical pencils from my sister when her kids were old enough to not need them in school any longer. As I have a long-standing love affair with them from my technical drawing days I willingly accepted and I really really wanted to use them in woodworking but I found that HB leads broke too easily and the F or H leads left too faint a mark to be any use. So back to my ancient fat-lead mechanical pencils I went, until I ran out of leads; the price of the replacement leads for those is insane here (think cartridge-razor scam) so back to regular pencils I went.

Actually I'm currently using a pencil that isn't made from wood since I bought some flexible pencils on a mad whim to try out. I like their looks but won't be buying them again for a few reasons.

Long-winded way of saying I would keep the .5s for sketching, taking notes or drawing up plans and just use regular pencils for marking out. Or a ballpoint!
 

custard

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Incra rules with a 0.5mm mechanical pencil work beautifully on MDF, Birch Ply, or fine grained and pale timbers like Maple or Sycamore. On coarse grained timbers they're a waste of time, and switching to a B or 2B lead doesn't really improve matters.
 

Just4Fun

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The 0.5mm leads always seem to break far too easily to be practical for me. I have never found a brand that does not have this problem.

For the Incra rules do you absolutely have to use 0.5 mm leads or could you use a larger size? For another (ie non-woodworking) use I have recently switched to 0.9mm and that has been really successful. I have not yet tried that for woodwork.
 

Cheshirechappie

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Just4Fun":2xy1hbll said:
The 0.5mm leads always seem to break far too easily to be practical for me. I have never found a brand that does not have this problem.

For the Incra rules do you absolutely have to use 0.5 mm leads or could you use a larger size? For another (ie non-woodworking) use I have recently switched to 0.9mm and that has been really successful. I have not yet tried that for woodwork.
That's my experience, too. Back in my drawing office days, I preferred 0.7mm for drawing board use and 0.9mm for general use. If I had to resort to 0.5mm or smaller (0.3mm are a real pain!) they were best used bolt upright with absolutely minimal lead exposed, and as lightly as you could get away with. I found Pentel leads to be about the best of the bunch, but there wasn't much in it.

For woodworking, I find that an old-fashioned wooden pencil with a chisel edge (rather like a cutting gauge knife) gives the finest lines, but to keep them fine, you have to keep well on top of pencil sharpening. Light rub on a bit of fine sandpaper, frequently. If you need lines that fine, it's sometimes a toss-up between pencil and fine knife line. That, however, isn't much help to an Incra user.
 

MikeG.

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I use a wooden pencil in the workshop. How else are you going to know if your chisels are sharp? For general architectural work I have a scattering of 0.7mm pencils, and even those break the leads more often than I'd like. 0.5 is overly optimistic, in my view.
 

Nico Adie

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--Tom--":1y5qwblq said:
I’ve found Uni nano dia leads have been good in my pentel graphgear which is also the best mechanical pencil I’ve used
This has been my experience too, I've used a pencil (the same Ohto Super Promecha) at work for the last 10 years and those Uni Nano leads are by far the best I've used. Doubt I'd use a mechanical pencil on any sort of rough wood though, not when I've got handfuls of Screwfix and Ikea freebies!
 

powertools

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Many thanks for the replies,
As an update to my situation I went into Tesco today to buy the wife a bunch of flowers for tomorrow and while I was there I looked at their pencils. They had a pack of 10 mechanical pencils with 0.7 mm leads for £1.50 I thought they were worth a go and they are amazing and also work with the Incra rules.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Cheshirechappie":acdfz9b8 said:
That's my experience, too. Back in my drawing office days ...
For woodworking, I find that an old-fashioned wooden pencil with a chisel edge (rather like a cutting gauge knife) gives the finest lines ...
We used to get sent in to technical drawing exams with newly honed inch chisels for pencil sharpening. :D
 

SBJ

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You can buy better quality leads for .5mm pencils which are much tougher than your normal ones. As long as you drag them rather than push them, they're fine

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
 
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