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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.

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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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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.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Review: Alvin Draft/Matic DM03 0.3mm Automatic Pencil

What follows is my review of the Alvin Draft/Matic 0.3mm Drafting Pencil.  It was originally published at Associated Content.  I have edited the content for this posting.  I hope that it's not to dry for anyone!

Technical Data
Length: 142.4mm
Diameter (Body): 8. mm
Diameter (Grip): 8.5mm
Balance Point (From Push Button): 82.5mm
Weight: 17 grams
Lead Sleeve: 4mm, fixed
Lead Size: 0.3mm

Major Components: End cap/lead sleeve/grip, body with lead grade indicator, pocket clip, push button, eraser and the clutch assembly/lead reservoir sub-assembly.
Clutch assembly/lead reservoir sub assembly: Clutch assembly, lead reservoir, eraser holder/reservoir plug, end cap/body coupler and clutch-retaining spring.

Construction Type: Independent clutch assembly/lead reservoir and body.

Construction Materials: Plastic body, clear plastic lead reservoir. Metal clutch assembly, push button, pocket clip, lead grade indicator, end cap/lead sleeve/grip, eraser holder/reservoir plug, end cap/body coupler and the clutch retaining spring.

Colors: Yellow body, bright chrome lead grade indicator, pocket clip, push button, eraser holder/reservoir plug, end cap/body coupler, clutch-retaining spring.

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

Appearance: The DM03 is an attractive pencil with very clean lines. The bright yellow body has black imprinting which is very legible. The lead grade indicator is knurled and at the top of the body. The lead grade indicator window is rectangular showing the silver over gloss black lead grades which are H, 2H, 4H, 2B, B, HB and F. The bright chrome push button is the full over-sleeve type, which fully hides the chrome eraser holder. The bright chrome pocket clip rests below the lead grade indicator and is stamped with the country of origin, Japan. The chrome grip is nicely knurled in a diamond pattern and steps down twice to form the integral end cap/lead sleeve, squaring off before becoming the lead sleeve. The end cap/body coupler is seen only as a ring between the grip and the body.

Disassembly: Complete take down of the DM03 is not quite as simple as with other pencils and is NOT recommended.  To fill the lead reservoir first remove the chrome push button, then the eraser from the reservoir tube.  Drop in a few pieces of lead the put the eraser... Awe, come on!  You know the rest!  If you have to clear a lead jam you will have to remove the grip.  Simply unscrew the grip and slide it off the end of the pencil.

Clearing A Lead Jam: Refer to this article, Clearing A Lead Jam, should clearing a lead jam be necessary.  The link is on the front page of this blog.

My Opinion (for what it's worth): The Alvin is a heavyweight of a pencil with its balancing point being 82.5mm from the top of the pencil. This makes the Alvin bottom heavy, which helps it rest comfortably in my hand. The finely knurled diamond pattern on the chromed grip affords my fingers a good hold. Both features help make writing with the Alvin a delight to write with, it almost writes for me. Three clicks of the push button produces enough lead to write or draw with, a comfortable 1 mm. The lead reservoir is not cavernous, being small in diameter, but it will hold a couple of dozen leads. The lead grade indicator at the top of the body spins to freely and can move during normal handling. The bright silver characters of the lead grades are set against a gloss black background making them hard to read due to glare. However the push button can be replaced and the eraser used without causing lead projection.

Last Words: The Alvin Draft/Matic DM03 was designed as a drafting tool but serves well as a freehand drawing tool or as a fine writing instrument. Its balance and feel make it suitable for anyone who wishes to use it in either respect. So if you are in the market for a high quality writing or drawing tool keep the Alvin DM03 in mind as you shop.

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