Twig pencil maker

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Twig pencil maker

Postby gavin » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:30 pm

At shows, twig pencils sell easily at £1 and sometimes £2 - especially if you get the punter to make them under your guidance. Or even better under your apprentice's guidance - the apprentice make loads of money, and they look skilful too whilst you do other things. If you have not an apprentice, any friend with 30 minutes training will do. Failing that, a willing punter at the show will also do.

You buy one of these for about £5
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You remove the shoulder-cup from the drill then mount it in a frame like this
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By experiment, you work out what the drill size you need is for the leads you buy.

Drill a hole in the top:
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Pass a twig through the hole and turn the crank.
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Then remove the twig & insert a lead into the hole - you need no glue if the drill is slightly smaller diameter than the lead. I find leads work well no less than 1.8 mm and no more than 2.5 mm. You must be careful to align the hole and the lead, else the lead will snap.
Edit: I have done lots more experiment and have found 4 mm lead in HB is great. :D
I have a quantity for sale of leads 180 mm long. PM me for details if interested. This probably only makes sense if you want 100 leads i.e. 600 or 700 pencils' worth - each inserted lead being no longer than 30 mm.
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Re: Twig pencil maker

Postby Emyr Parry » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:40 am

The Urdd National Eisteddfod (Welsh Youth Festival) was held this week in the grounds of the college where I work, and staff were asked to arrange an activity suitable for children for one session.
I had just seen this thread by Gavin - and my idea for my activity was then ready made for me - thanks Gavin! Gavin also supplied me with the pencil leads.
I copied the jig above, mounted it horizontally, held in a work-mate, and in no time I had queues of children waiting to make their pencils. I probably made 40+ pencils during the 2 hour session that I had.
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The children found the activity very exciting, and I asked them with their new pencil to add a drawing of themselves to a poster we had - they really enjoyed that also and it gives us a memento to keep from the day.
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Re: Twig pencil maker

Postby gavin » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:48 pm

Emyr Parry wrote: Gavin also supplied me with the pencil leads.
I copied the jig above, mounted it horizontally, held in a work-mate, and in no time I had queues of children waiting to make their pencils. I probably made 40+ pencils during the 2 hour session that I had.

If you wish to buy leads from me, refer this post in Traders Corner.

This is a doddle - if you have to put on some have-a-go activity, then this one is a no-brainer. I like Emyr's horizontal mounting - I will use that idea! Thanks Emyr!
Gavin Phillips


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Re: Twig pencil maker

Postby gavin » Wed May 06, 2015 10:42 am

Well that was three years ago, and pencil technology has moved on: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... wxNKmuErdz
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

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http://www.shed-therapy.com
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