Different Methods for Using Pencils All the Way to the Freaking End

I am in complete awe of this:

Props to Elizabeth Ingram, the 4th-grade teacher in Texas who posted it. Extra props to her or whatever student whittled that thing down. If all of us used every consumable on Earth that thoroughly, the environment would be in better shape. (Not because we saved millions of pencils, but because of the minimal-waste mindset.)

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

And that was achieved with just a cheapie No. 2 pencil. As designers we’re more likely to have pricey Prismacolors on our desks, and in my shop I go through a fair amount of General’s Charcoal White pencils (for marking on darker wood species) that I don’t like paying $1.20 for. What’s the best way to use them all the way until the end?

For pencils with attached erasers, your only option is to whittle, like in Ingram’s Instagram post above. For eraser-less models, you’ve got more options.

Pencil Extenders

These will help get you closer to the end of a pencil’s useful life by providing grip, but there’s three caveats:

1) The collar limits how far you can insert it into a pencil sharpener, meaning you’ll still eventually have to whittle, file or sand to get a point.

2) You can’t go all the way to the end.

3) If you’ve got a lot of pencils nearing the ends of their lives, do you really want to have to buy a set of pencil extenders?

Glue

I figured there’s no way this would work, but Carrie Lewis, feature writer for Empty Easel, writes that glue is her preferred method. Her clamp? An old clothespin.

Image credit: Carrie Lewis / Empty Easel’s How to Get the Most Possible Use Out of Every Colored Pencil

Image credit: Carrie Lewis / Empty Easel’s How to Get the Most Possible Use Out of Every Colored Pencil

Image credit: Carrie Lewis / Empty Easel’s How to Get the Most Possible Use Out of Every Colored Pencil

And as Lewis points out, “Glued pencils can still be sharpened with any standard sharpener.” Note that there are some tips you’ll need to follow to get the glue-up right; we recommend you read them in Lewis’ article, “How to Get the Most Possible Use Out of Every Colored Pencil.”

A Japanese Pencil-Joining Tool

We’ve already written about this object here, but it’s worth re-hashing. The Tsunago is an invention from Japan that resembles a pencil sharpener:

However, what it really does is prepare two pencils for joinery. You stick the butt end of a new pencil into hole #1, which bores a conical mortise into it:

Then you stick the pointy end of a shorty pencil into hole #2, which cuts a “shoulder” around the point:

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

You then further refine this shouldered point in hole #3, which removes the shavings and leaves a clean surface.

Finally, you apply some glue and stick them together.

Voila, you’re now practicing zero-waste pencilmanship! Or pencilpersonship. Or ecopencilpersonshiphood. Whatever. I bet there’s a word for it in Japanese.


Source: core77

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