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.

All Jammed Up

A lead jam is just that, lead jammed in the lead sleeve of a mechanical, or automatic, pencil, usually a drafting style automatic pencil as they have longer lead sleeves, generally 4mm's long. This longer lead sleeve can get jammed up, especially in the 0.3mm pencils, when the lead breaks inside the end cap, where the clutch is. Unknowingly the user keeps pressing the push button trying to advance more lead, which sometimes breaks and jams up the mouth of the lead sleeve. This jam can only be cleared with out damage to the pencil by using the clean out rod supplied with the pencil. The clean out rod resides under the eraser under the push button. It's a thin metal rod, about 3/4" to 7/8" long with a diameter the same, or smaller, as the lead in the pencil. The clean out rod for a 0.3mm pencil is 0.0145" in diameter and is often the size supplied with the larger diameter pencils as well and works just fine for all 4 lead sizes.

Some manufacturers have begun to omit the clean out rod from their pencils regardless of lead diameter so your pencil just may not have a clean out rod. If you want to make your own clean out rod you can obtain a 5-foot length of 0.0145" diameter stainless steel from either a local hardware store or on-line and cut them to about 7/8" long. Use a grinding stone or whetstone to de-burr and round off the cut end of the rod.  This is most easily done by chucking the cut length in a pin vice. Leave just enough length exposed to work with so the rod will not bend under the pressure of being worked.  Lightly drag the exposed end across the stone, twisting the pin vice as you do. 

However the quickest and easiest way to obtain a pair of all-purpose clean out rods is to buy one of the following Pilot erasers sets: HERFS-10; HERF-10; or MS-10 from jetpens.com.  These sets contain 5 erasers and 2 each clean-out-rods!  They are about an inch long and terminate in a small loop at one end.  Between the 2 sizes they will accommodate all 5 current thin-lead size pencils; 0.3-0.35 mm, 0.4 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm and 0.9 mm.  Each set sells for under $2.00 and the erasers will fit a variety of different pencils.  An eraser size chart is displayed when you bring up each of the 3 sets.

To clear a lead jam ready the clean out rod and then remove the pencil's end cap. Either place the base of the end cap on the desktop, or hold it between thumb and forefinger of your free hand with the base resting on the middle finger. Guide the clean out rod to the mouth of the lead sleeve then press it into the sleeve until the eraser contacts the lead sleeve to ensure that the jam is completely cleared. Remove the clean out rod and replace the end cap to resume the normal operation of the pencil.

Lead jams are infrequent, thankfully, so you may go a long time without ever needing to use a clean out rod, if ever. If your pencil has one then you can rest easy. However if it doesn't then the time to think about getting one is now, not when the need unexpectedly arises.