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A not so humble pencil and sharpener

I wonder who here appreciates a good pencil?

Wood pencils have now been banished from my shop. In the beginning I used to sharpen them with a chisel. The chisel was replaced with an old school grinder sharpener. And then I replaced the wooden pencils.

These days I use 2mm clutch pencils. The ones I prefer are the metal-bodied Caran d'Ache Fixpencil 22. These have become something of a cult as it was the daddy of clutch pencils.

I keep both dark- and white-leaded clutch pencils at the ready. White is especially useful for marking dark woods.

The lead is sharpened with a Gedess Lead Pointer, which I believe once won an award for design in the 1930s. The one I have dates to the 1950s. Insert the pencil and swivel it around the abrasive stone inside.

This combination creates a fine point, one that is easy to maintain.

Recently I managed to repair my father’s electric sharpener. Well electricity is OK here because it is vintage (I’m guessing about 50 years old) and it brings back memories of visiting my dad in his architectural practice when I was a youngster. He used Faber Castell clutch pencils, and the sharpener is made by Faber Castell and constructed of Bakelite … insert the pencil and a pressure point starts the motor, which proceeds to sharpen the pencil.

Well they are handtools!

Regards from Perth


June 2010