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.


Please enjoy your stay at my humble blog. Please feel free to leave a comment about any article that you read
. 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 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.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Kuru Toga Roulette

 I now own 3 Kuru Toga pencils. The only one I don't have is the High Grade, yet.  The Roulette is to me by and large the best Kuru Toga available to date.  It has the overall shape of the High Grade with the advantage of being almost all metal.  The only external plastic piece (save for the black tip) is the push button topper.  This is on the silver model a translucent light gray plastic.  The rest of the Roulette is a two-tone silver-gray metal.  The upper body is a bright silver with the name in a dark gray color.  The neck of the push button, pocket clip, coupling and and end cap are all chrome.  The lower half of the body, which is 1-1/2 times the upper body diameter is beautiful satin gray with 4 groves designating the finely knurled grip.

The diameter of the Roulette's grip is nearly perfect for this blogger.  I really like the feel of the fine knurls of the grip.  It is easy to grip and slip resistant.  Writing with the Roulette is a pleasure from beginning to end.  The auto rotating mechanism provides a built in cushion making the writing experience quite smooth.  There is a slight learning curve with any Kuru Toga, or in my case an unlearning curve.  As I write with a standard drafting pencil I have trained myself to rotate the pencil automatically as I write.  This helps keep the lead from ovaling out.  With the Kuru Toga rotating the pencil defeats the principle of the auto rotating mechanism.  So I'm having to learn to hold the pencil without letting it rotate in my hand.

I've come to like using the Kuru Toga Roulette over all my other Mechanical/Drafting pencils.  I've always like the auto rotating mechanism but not the thickness of the original Kuru Toga or the grip of the High Grade.  The Roulette is the culmination of all the best features of the Kura Toga Series.

The Roulette as well as the full line of Kuru Toga's are available from our friends at JetPens.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Case For The 0.4mm Pencil

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a die hard 0.3mm drafting pencil fan, evident by my sizable collection of modern 0.3mm drafting pencils.  But for some time I have been wondering about the newest lead size in the drafting pencil line-up, the 0.4mm.  One can wonder if a single millimeter could make a difference.  Well, it can.  The chart below shows the line width of a 0.3mm, o.4mm and a 0.5mm pencil lead, all HB grade.  Each line was drawn with a squared off lead at 90%.  Each line measures 0.3mm, 0.4mm and 0.5mm from top to bottom (PEAK Scale Lupe, 10X power, metric scale was used to measure line width). 

As one can see, there is clearly a difference in the size of the lines.  While the top line, the 0.3mm is by far the thinnest of the three and the bottom, the 0.5mm it the thickest, the middle, the 0.4mm is exactly in between the other two.  It's thin enough to be considered an extra fine line, unlike the 0.5mm line which, when ovaled out can become quite wide.  The 0.4mm lead has the advantage of being a fine lead without being quite as fragile as the 0.3mm for the same lead grade.  Of course the 0.5mm lead is, of the 3, the strongest.

I have been using the 0.4mm pencil for some months and have rarely found the need to use the 0.3mm pencil!  Egad!  Does this mean that I've fallen out of lust for the 0.3mm pencil!?  Has the 0.4mm pencil take it's place in my heart!?  Not quite!  I'll always collect 0.3mm drafting pencils, for after all, they do produce the thinnest of lines (save for the 0.2mm pencil).  But for practical everyday use, the 0.4mm has probably replaced the 0.3mm pencil in my book.  If produces a suitable fine line while maintaining a modicum of strength.

A number of 0.4mm drafting pencils can be bought at our friends at Jetpens.com.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rhodia dotPad

Some time ago I received a small pad and 2 wooden pencils in the mail.  This was not unexpected as I had been approached and ask if I would review what is called a dotPad by Rhodia as well as a Rhodia wooden pencil.  I agreed.  Once the package arrived I examined the contents and fully attended to do a review quickly.  Well, I got sick just about that time and failed to do a quick review as promised.  Time passed and my illness came and went and the review was not forgotten, just put aside.  Recently the sender contacted me again about the review, I explained my situation and promised a timely review.  Once again my illness befell me and the review was again put off until now.  It is my hope that the sender will forgive me and accept this honest opinion of the items sent.

The dotPad I received was a 5.8" x 8.3" pad with a heavy backing.  80 sheets per pad of 21.3lb high grade vellum paper.  The pad is microperforated at the top so the sheets are easily removable.  The grid is composed of light lilac dots spaced 5mm apart.  The 2 pencils are of Linden wood painted orange and black, the Rhodia colors, with black erasers.  Surprisingly the black of the wood goes all the way through.  The lead grade is HB, comparable to a #2 pencil.  All in all the black covered dotPad and the orange and black pencils look striking nice!  Oh, yeah, the pencils are triangular in cross section!

I do not use wooden pencils at all, having gone completely over to drafting pencils years ago.  But I did find the triangular shape of the pencils afforded a comfortable grip.  Like any grade HB lead, it's soft.  Being soft it lays down a dark line that widens as the point dulls.  No surprises here.  The black erasers perform as one would expect erasing clean as long as the user isn't heavy handed.  The pencils sharpened cleanly when I used a Steadtler open type metal sharpener, the kind that I use on my colored pencils (oops!  I guess that I do use wooden pencils after all!  Just not to write with!).  All in all the Rhodia black and orange pencils are only exceptionable in their color, shape and solid construction.

The dotPad I found to be exceptional!  The heavy weight vellum paper is very forgiving when erasing heavy lines.  While it will smudge, it does not easily tear as lesser quality paper.  It's sizing accommodates a wide variety of writing instruments from fountain pens to rollerballs to gel pens to pencils, even a 0000 rapidiograph pen!  All seemed very smooth despite the fact all were fine to extra fine points.  My test pencil was a 0.3mm with HB lead and it felt exceptional smooth!  I really like the writing surface, especially when using a pencil.

I had a small project going when I took these pics so I used the dotPan and Rhodia pencils to do my calculations.  The smoothness of the writing surface proved to be a blessing as I did all the lines freehand.  I especially like that fact that unlike a standard quad pad the dots almost disappear  beneath the dark lines of the pencil.  With ordinary quad pads, even with the ones with light lines, the graph line often get in the way, especially when freehanding a "straight" line.

All in all I think that The uniqueness of the Rhodia triangular black and orange pencils will win over a lot of wooden pencil fans while the dotPad has already won me over!  I wish all "graph" paper were like the Rhodia dotPad!

To find out how and where to purchase the entire Rhodia line of products click this link.