Welcome To My Thoughts On Pens And Pencils

I will respect your right to disagree with what I have to say about Pens and Pencils as long as you respect the fact that I am an Old Geezer.

My Obsession

My Obsession
A Beauty Every One... And There's More At Home!

All Jammed Up?

If you need detailed instructions on how to clear a lead jam from a mechanical pencil then click this link, "All Jammed Up?" or the link in the pages header.


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. Also please notice that there are four reactions at the bottom of each article. If you find any article funny, interesting, cool or helpful please so indicate. Thank you for visiting my blog.

The Old Geezer
Please Excuse My Absence

I have not blogged since July of 2015 due to the fact that my Lovely Wife was diagnosed with 2 types of cancer. A new case of breast cancer which has metastasized and gone to her bones, mainly her back. She had a mastectomy of her left breast which showed the type of cancer that was in her bones. She has been taking an oral med. every day and she has a port under her skin to receive a liquid med. She has gone through one round of radiation treatments to stop some pain in her back. That gave her GERD and the med for that was nasty tasting. The bone cancer has caused the vertebra in her lower back to pinch her left sciatic nerve causing her pain, numbness and foot drag. She also has skin cancer that has only been partly addressed.

I have been busy taking care of her as the treatments have left her weak and sickly. She can not drive so I have to drive her to her appointments and treatments. I also have to do all the cooking and most of what cleaning we do. So I do not have a lot of time for blogging. However the installment of the review of the Schaeffer Ultrafine 0.3mm pencil marks what I hope will be a new review every month. However some of my future reviews may seem familiar as they may be a review of a pencil or pen that I have reviewed before just in another size du to my limited collection of writing instruments and the economic state of our nation.

I am grateful to George Fox for wanting me to do a review of another one of his pencils. I think that as a reader of my humble blog, may fine of interest as the Schaeffer Ultra Fine is a very unusual pencil.

So please excuse my absence and as a reader of my humble blog I hope that you enjoy the review of this unique pencil.

Thank you,

The Old Geezer.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Clean Out Rods

One major pencil maker has informed me that they will no longer be supplying clean out rods (CORs) with their new automatic pencils. The reason given was one of safety. I only have this person’s word for this but I have absolutely no reason to disbelieve them. Why would they lie? I have no practical way of discovering this out first hand so why not take their word for it? But this is a disheartening thing to hear for I believe that CORs are a necessary, yea, an important part of a modern automatic pencil, especially a drafting style automatic pencil. It is true that non-drafting style pencils have never to my knowledge, limited as it is, been supplied with CORs. The reasons for this I believe (just a couple of guesses mind you) are that the lead sleeves are considerably shorter, even nonexistent, on non-drafting style automatic pencils. Also they don’t come in 0.3mm or 04.mm sizes. The larger sizes, 0.5mm to 0.9mm, have COR’s of diameters ranging from 0.22” to 0.35” in diameter. Household items such as small paperclips and various sizes of straight pins fall within these diameters. So making a COR for one of these pencils is not much of a problem. I’ve done so in the past using these objects. But making a COR for a 0.3mm or 0.4mm pencil is very hard to do unless you can find and purchase piano wire rod from 0.012” to 0.016” in diameter. This is neither easily done nor inexpensively acquired.

Why make such a fuss over a tiny piece of wire? Because without it cleaning out broken and jammed up pieces of lead from a drafting automatic pencil, especially the smaller diameters, is hard to do or next to impossible. Why not use another piece of lead to clean out the lead sleeve? After all it’s the right diameter. There is a very good reason for not using another piece of lead as a COR. Pencil lead, that is graphite, is not very strong, even in the larger diameters. There is always the danger of breakage, complicating the problem. I’ve had lead jammed up in a 0.3mm pencil so badly that I would not have been able to un-jam the lead sleeve without the metal COR. This is a rare occurrence but it does happen. Even when the lead is not jammed up tightly inside the lead sleeve using apiece of lead to clean out the lead sleeve of a 0.3mm pencil is a delicate operation at best, I know because I’ve done it. More often than not the lead COR breaks and a second piece of lead is lost and the problem still exists.

If the lack of a COR with a new drafting automatic pencil was just one companies doing I would not be so upset. But I’ve noticed that with 2 other major brands of 0.3mm pencils that I purchased recently lacked a COR. So what do these automatic pencil makers expect us to do when there is a lead jam in one of these small diameter-drafting pencils? I don’t know what they would suggest we do but as for me I plan on finding some suitable piano wire rod and start making my own CORs.

10/17/2008 I stand corrected. Pilot makes a non-drafting automatic pencil in 0.3mm size. It's called the AirBlanc Mechanical Pencil and is available from JetPens. But the lead sleeve is shorter than a conventional drafting pencil. I seriously doubt that it comes with a COR.


IvaliceResident said...

When I first got into seriously collecting, I was pretty indifferent with and did not even know what COR's were. When my first clog arose, my frustration led to my finally figuring out what it was. Anyway, yeah it's MEGA useful. It's such a small, minute detail--I wonder why they would stop including them... cut costs? Dangerous? Are they going to end up selling them separately? Actually that would be cool... just one more thing to collect, LOL.

IvaliceResident said...

One more thing... I looked at that other site you gave me and I just realized that there is a whole underground pen-blogging culture. That's so awesome... It's kind of bad, too. First, it makes me waste my time at work reading up on dozens of articles (there are so many that I get overwhelmed even before I start). And second, it makes me have to buy more pens/pencils >_<. Are you linked with or part of a pen-blogging group? I saw a bunch of them from the link you gave me, but not yours.