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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 due 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.

Coming Soon...

Thank you,

The Old Geezer.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pentel Graphgear 500 PG523 Drafting Pencil: A Review

What follows is my review of the Pentel GraphGear PG523 0.3mm drafting pencil.  This review was original published at Assocciated Content.

Review: Pentel GraphGear 500 PG523 0.3mm Automatic Pencil
Style: Drafting
Technical Data
Length: 141mm
Diameter (Body): 8.3mm across points of hex
Diameter (Grip): 9.2mm
Balance Point (From Push Button): 82.5mm
Weight: 14.2grams
Lead Sleeve: 4mm, fixed
Lead Size: 0.3mm

Major Components: Integral end cap/lead sleeve/grip, push button, pocket clip, eraser, integral body/lead reservoir/clutch assembly.

Construction Type: Integral body/lead reservoir/clutch assembly.

Construction Materials: Plastic body. Metal end cap/lead sleeve/grip, push button, pocket clip, lead reservoir and clutch assembly.

Colors: Brown body, bright chrome end cap/lead sleeve/grip, pocket clip, push button and lead reservoir.

Mode Of Operation: Ratcheting push button lead advance, 3-jawed brass clutch with brass over-sleeve.

Appearance: The PG-523 appears odd to me in that the grip is much larger than the body and takes up almost 1/3rd of the pencils length. The grip is finely knurled in a diamond pattern with 4 evenly spaced parallel rings on the lower part of the grip. There is a deep grove, then a short, tapered un-knurled portion before a long tapering section that steps down in a short taper to the lead sleeve. The body is hexagonal with white lettering along one side. The pocket clip is removable and has the Company name and country of origin stamped on to the rim of the clip. It rests at the top of the pencil. The push button is the full over-sleeve type completely covering the lead reservoir. It is odd in appearance it that it is flared out at the top as if it has been pounded upon.

Disassembly: To take down the PG523 first unscrew the grip and remove it. Next remove the push button by sliding it off the lead reservoir. Pull the eraser free from inside the mouth of the lead reservoir (note that there is no clean out rod). The pocket clip is removed by pushing up on it until it is free of the body. This is as far as the user can disassemble the pencil. Reassembly is the opposite of disassembly.

Clearing A Lead Jam: Refer to this article, Clearing A Lead Jam, should clearing a lead jam be necessary.

My Opinion: Despite its ungainly appearance the PG-523 is an excellent writing instrument. Its large and heavy grip sleeve makes the pencil bottom heavy. This along with the pencils weigh makes it a pleasure to write with. It seems to glide across the paper effortlessly, almost doing the writing for me. The finely knurled grip offers a good surface on which to hold the pencil while writing being neither too sharp nor too dull. Four clicks of the push button will produce 1mm of lead, enough to write with comfortably. The mechanism is on the quiet side and requires only a short stroke to produce lead. The lead reservoir is cavernous enough to hold several tubes of lead and still have room for more, a feature that I like. While functional I have never been fond of the integral lead sleeve/end cap/grip as it is too much to have to remove in order to clear a lead jam.

Last Words: The PG-523 was designed as a fine drafting tool and serves this purpose well. But it also makes a fine writing instrument as well. It's a rugged pencil that will probably outlast newer models. If you are in need of a quality drafting pencil or just want a good all around writing pencil then consider buying a Pentel GraphfGear 500 PG-523. You won't be sorry.

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