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p**y pencils and pencil sharpeners

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johnelliott

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When I was young I'm sure I can remember being able to buy decent pencils and sharpeners that could produce decent points that could be renewed when necessary.
Now, as soon as the pencil is nearly sharp the lead breaks off and the process restarts.
This is with expensive pencils, too.
Anybody else get this problem?
John
 

Chris Knight

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Amen to that!

I have exactly this problem. I do however get better results with more expensive pencils but still not brilliant. As to sharpeners, I have an oldish office type sharpener clamped to my router table that does a more or less decent job but have not found a handheld that works at all. Of course one can use a knife and sandpaper etc but heck, when I were a lad, the kit in my pencil case did a lot better!
 

sawdustalley

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In the graphics room at my school they have an electric pencil sharpener, it works very well - but will eat your pencil quickly.

One of them would be good for the workshop.....However I might find myself sharpening dowel rods for obvious comical reasons :shock:

Axminster also sell a sharpener to fit in the chuck of your drill :?

Seriously....I never have or have had problems in the workshop with leads snapping, which is really surprising. Just finished a pack of cheap (the cheapest!) pencils from some office company, they actually are great. I also use some red ones made from foam cups... :idea:
 

Dewy

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When we were being taught woodworking at school one of the first things taught was how to sharpen a pencil with a chisel. It only needs sharpening on one side to produce a section that is perfect for marking joints etc.
 
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Anonymous

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Amen indeed - I know that when my daughter breaks one of her pencils, I'll then spend the next 30 minutes over the bin sharpening it, then throwing it away when there's nothing left!

For the shop though, a propelling pencil does the trick - Staedtler do 0.3 mm thickness lead models, which are more than ideal for marking out when not using a knife.
 

Dr. Thrax

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I agree with everything especially using a propelling pencil, much easier, just push the end if the lead snaps and saves all that time sharpening too :wink:
 

johnelliott

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Dewy":ecr7t22y said:
When we were being taught woodworking at school one of the first things taught was how to sharpen a pencil with a chisel. It only needs sharpening on one side to produce a section that is perfect for marking joints etc.
Could we have a picture? Or a more precise description? Sounds interesting but I'm just not seeing it

John
 

Aragorn

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I've used the same propelling pencil (i.e. the sort used in technical drawing) for about 10 years! 0.5mm leads, always a sharp point. Why bother with anything else??!
 
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Anonymous

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Saw David Free use one................never goin back
 

Bean

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I just use my marking knife and fill the cut with pencil lead, its easy :D The pencil lead does however come from a 0.5mm pencil, the only down side to this is that it does not fit behind the ear so well :wink:

Bean
 

Dewy

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johnelliott":2ri2pi6s said:
Dewy":2ri2pi6s said:
When we were being taught woodworking at school one of the first things taught was how to sharpen a pencil with a chisel. It only needs sharpening on one side to produce a section that is perfect for marking joints etc.
Could we have a picture? Or a more precise description? Sounds interesting but I'm just not seeing it

John
Sharpening one side with a chisel leaves that side flat. This is the side you use against a square when marking. It shapes a small pencil similar to a carpenters pencil.
 

johnelliott

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"Sharpening one side with a chisel leaves that side flat. This is the side you use against a square when marking. It shapes a small pencil similar to a carpenters pencil"

It's not how to use it that I don't get, it's how to sharpen it. What does sharpen on one side mean? Do you really mean that you start with a completely cylindrical pencil and take a plane section across it?
Perhaps someone else could explain it to me (or at least confess that they don't understand either)
John
 
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Anonymous

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Remembering back to my tech drawing days, I think the flat sided way of sharpening is called chisel point - think of a masonry/cold chisel or flat blade screwdriver tapering from both sides rather than the chisels woodworkers are used to...the idea being that you get a (relatively) long thin edge that will last longer than a point as it there is more in contact with the surface. Isn't that why proper carpenters pencils are a rectangular cross section?

sharpen on a bit of sandpaper on the flat - or the belt sander if you are lazy like me ;-)
 
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Anonymous

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When I was a trainee engineer (way back when :cry: ) I did a 6-month stint in the drawing office at Marconi radar. We used 0.5mm propelling pencils and sometimes 'normal' wooden ones. Everyone in the drawing office had a small spad of sandpapaper sheets about 1" by 3" to sharpen pencils on.

If it's good enough for military spec techincal drawings, it's good enough for my workshop
 

Aragorn

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When I did tech drawing, I used the propelling pencils, but for compass lead, we all had some sandpaper to effectively "sharpen from one side"...

So for pencils, imagine you've sharpened your pencil normally (with a sharpener or chisel or whatever). Now when it's blunt, you use the chisel to cut away the lead from one side to refresh the edge - instead of turning the pencil and re-shaping the lead to a point. You are effectively cutting a plane through the cylindrical section of the lead.

Does that help John?
Is this what you mean Dewy?
 

DaveL

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johnelliott":2pfp5fhu said:
sawdustalley":2pfp5fhu said:
Axminster also sell a sharpener to fit in the chuck of your drill
Yes, I've got one. The pencils that came with it are ok, but the sharpener is s**t.
Thanks John, I'll take it off the crimbo pressy list :wink:
 

Alf

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DaveL":rqc42twa said:
Thanks John, I'll take it off the crimbo pressy list :wink:
Dave, it's May.

Can't you come up with some sort of justification before Christmas...? :wink: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 
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