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Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
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I have a couple of Rotrings in .5 & .7mm but can only use the .5 in any of my incra rules
 

rafezetter

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I got a new pencil with my track saw :D

I didnt automatically work out it was a pencil and a holder and spent a few minutes clicking it and turning it, wondering how the lead came out. I thought it was faulty til i pulled on the end and revelation :LOL:
Seems an ideal bit of kit, built in sharpener, and you clip the holder onto something so its always there when you need it.

A bit pricey as pencils go, but it was free so no complaints..View attachment 140844
These pencils have a more wallet friendly version as well with all the same features, and also can be bought with coloured wax leads for dark timbers.
 

Cooper

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This thread reminds me of when I was a woodwork teacher in Brixton in the 70s and 80s, when lots of the children had big Afro's. I remember one lad used to push the pencil he was using into his hair. We always knew if we couldn't find a pencil that Norman would have pushed it too far into his hair. (We always counted all the tools and equipment at the end of lessons)
Happy days
Martin
 

cmoops2

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Don't want to be a party pooper but if he's the sort of guy losing his pencils will he ever put them back in the draw? I must admit I do think the idea of using that otherwise wasted space is great and very ingenious. I'll have to investigate my machine tools.
Definitely off topic but I must ask what a 'DRAW' is ? If you mean one of those slidy in & out wooden things with a knob handle etc, I've always known them as DRAWERS (a descriptor that apppears in furniture books that go back hundreds of years) ...
 

MorrisWoodman12

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Definitely off topic but I must ask what a 'DRAW' is ? If you mean one of those slidy in & out wooden things with a knob handle etc, I've always known them as DRAWERS (a descriptor that apppears in furniture books that go back hundreds of years) ...
I stand corrected. A brain f&%/ on my part. 😂😂
 

Richard_C

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If you are interested in pencils and are passing nearby, there is the Derwent pencil museum in Keswick.

Until I went there and found out lots of stuff about how and where they are made, I had thought they all came from Pennsylvania USA where locals spent hours drilling small holes down dowel rods. But no.
 

Ttrees

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If you are interested in pencils and are passing nearby, there is the Derwent pencil museum in Keswick.

Until I went there and found out lots of stuff about how and where they are made, I had thought they all came from Pennsylvania USA where locals spent hours drilling small holes down dowel rods. But no.
Not sure how much interest most folks might have about pencil making,
I know @D_W has made his own, so might as well post a recent highland woodworker episode.


Still curious to see if anyone will try sharpening some cheapie pencils
aiming them towards the sky rather than holding the pencil horizontally.

Works for me so far, should it be the same for others, might save one a few bob.
 

D_W

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Not sure how much interest most folks might have about pencil making,
I know @D_W has made his own, so might as well post a recent highland woodworker episode.


I haven't tried the vertical sharpening, but got drawn into pencil making by noticing how nice blackwing pencils are.

Someone pointed me to a pencil book not much later and I read about half of it, but have shelved things for now until I get something that can fire pencil leads. I was also making them one at a time out of cedar, and I think even in the earliest days, thoreau and others realized that they could make some small machines and make them in batches and saw them apart rather than making one at a time.

making a pencil in half an hour sounds really stupid until someone who makes pens tells you how dumb it is.



Ignore funny looking pawns. i was trying to see if I could turn pawn shaped pieces quickly only using a skew.
 

baldkev

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These pencils have a more wallet friendly version as well with all the same features, and also can be bought with coloured wax leads for dark timbers.
Ive got the tracer version, takes 3mm leads / wax, pencil sharpener built in to holder. Its reasonably good, works well.... and durable
About 8 quid on ebay
 

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D_W

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As in make your own leads? I guess if you are making a pencil, you might as well go the whole hog! 😎

That's right. The history was interesting - from wonderful pure mined lead to that becoming shorter in supply and two individuals at the same time realizing they could add clay to the lead, fire it and then I don't know if they did or someone else did later, soak the fired leads in wax to achieve smoothness while writing.

the blackwing pencils are enormously expensive, but there is a feel to them that no drafting lead has. If you're making the pencil, some part of the lead channel is glue, so the leads don't have to be perfect - and they weren't in original pencils.

I did find out why pencils aren't octagonal when I started making them - the way we grip them, if they are hexagonal, the flats end up on fingertips. If they are octagonal, our fingers end up sort of on flats but also on ridges. The draw to making them by hand octagonally is that it's easy - flatness of stock matches the pencil thickess, saw and then plane to a square and then remove top corners of the square until there are 8 visually equal sides.

but the pencils feel terrible.

I read later (always like to experiement first and then read - you get much more out of the reading if you'd stupid like I am, when you are preloaded with a little bit of experience and see something that would either be helpful or confirming. At any rate, I read later that pencils work octagonal at first. and before that, instead of being halves, they were more like a long box with a cap.

there are other things to overcome warping that I later solved by stabilizing wood after the fact with paraffin in mineral spirits - *after* the halves are glued.

paraffin dissolves in the mineral spirits (not sure what you guys call that - just petroleum distillates a little heavier than white spirit) and then can be soaked in the wood, and then as the mineral spirits dry, the wax is left, impeding moisture movement in the wood.

the amount that incense cedar warps even when it's sawn straight is pretty spectacular!

But short story long, I would like to make the leads to make a writing feel that is hard to match in smoothness and ease -drafting leads don't do it. They're a little dry and hard, probably for a functional reason.

micronized graphite is very easy to find, so the need in the old days to tumble it for a long period of time into a fine powder is no longer there. four or five dollars of micronized graphite will probably make 50 or 100 leads that are then basically fired like a ceramic pot.
 

Jacob

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Yes I find mechanical pencils to be the most useful, a lot people appear to overlook them for some reason.
I tried to use them until I discovered that ordinary pencils are much more convenient, much cheaper and more practical in a workshop environment.
One exception is when it's handy to have a mechanical pencil through a hole in a lath, e.g. for the purpose of drawing a circle.
Buy different brands for different grades - then they are conveniently colour coded.
Have them all over the place as "The Workshop Hack" suggests.
Are we going to have a pencil sharpening thread? o_O
 
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thetyreman

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I put all my pencils in a sliding lid box so they're all in one place, they're always in the same drawer so I know where to find them.
 

Ttrees

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I used them a lot until I discovered that ordinary pencils are much more convenient, much cheaper and more practical in a workshop environment.
One exception is when it's handy to have a mechanical pencil through a hole in a lath, e.g. for the purpose of drawing a circle.
Buy different brands for different grades - then they are conveniently colour coded.
Have them all over the place as "The Workshop Hack" suggests.
Are we going to have a pencil sharpening thread? o_O
I've become warmer to those retractable pencils now I've figured out I like to keep my lines on the work rather than removing the pencil/knife mark.
Certainly a personal thing.
The price is pretty much the same if you can find'em in the pound shop.
may even be cheaper!

Jack Forsberg has a very interesting video regarding the use of normal pencils
for that job, but I cannot find it on that toxic to learning, non referable instagram site.
Simple idea of having a single bevel instead of a coned end,
so the outside of the line always remains the same, regardless of wear.
Surprised that this isn't more prolific, as it makes sense.

Found it, hopefully it'll work
 

Jacob

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Simple idea of having a single bevel instead of a coned end,
so the outside of the line always remains the same, regardless of wear.
Surprised that this isn't more prolific, as it makes sense.
Because the usual way of achieving the same end is to turn/twist a pencil as you draw straight lines against an edge, to equalise wear and keep the cone centralised. It's standard practice and one of the first things you'd learn as an architectural student, after pencil sharpening!
Architectural drawing implements, including mechanical pencils, just not sturdy enough for the work bench but "the importance of proper layout with geometry" is something which all woodworkers would learn in the old days: basically the layout of "the rod" for starters, but a lot of more complicated stuff, as can be seen in all the old text books on joinery and building.
 
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Ttrees

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Because the usual way of achieving the same end is to turn/twist a pencil as you draw straight lines against an edge, to equalise wear and keep the cone centralised. It's standard practice and one of the first things you'd learn as an architectural student, after pencil sharpening!
Architectural drawing implements, including mechanical pencils, just not sturdy enough for the work bench but "the importance of proper layout with geometry" is something which all woodworkers would learn in the old days: basically the layout of "the rod" for starters, but a lot of more complicated stuff, as can be seen in all the old text books on joinery and building.
Clearly you didn't watch Jack's video Jacob.🙄
 

Stevekane

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We have a big desk type pencil sharpener which is a pleasure to use, gives a wickedly sharp point if you let it and gets used by us frequently,,my trouble is losing my glasses!
Steve.
 
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