The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Carpenter's pencil

I do a lot of remodeling and woodworking.  I am always having to find my pencil from the last job, and keep it sharpened.  I decided to make one of Penn Industries woodworker's pencils....

Here is the model info......

PKSPCLBU       Workshop/Sketch Pencil Bushing Set             1         $5.95       
PKSPCL         Workshop/Sketch Pencil Kit Chrome              1         $7.95        
PKSPCL1        3 pack of 5.6mm sketch pencil lead             1         $1.95        
PKPARK-11M     11mm HSS Drill Bit                             1         $7.95    


I chose yellow heartwood to make my pencil. I made my own blanks from wood I keep in stock.

One of the brass tubes is threaded on the ID. The instructions say to use a potato slice to keep the super-glue off when gluing up the blank. I used a piece of 3/8" dowel to protect my threads.

You also have to turn an 1/8" wide tenon on 1 end of the blank.  I have a very small lathe tool set, so I used one of these tools.  I had to file off the remaining wood/glue using a hand-file.  I had to super-blue the 5-sided 1/8" wide collar piece on, because it did not have enough material to press.

The pencil turned out very weekend I will try it out on my latest remodeling project.

July 30, 2014 Update:

I tried this on Stacy's basement finishing project.  The pen really worked nice, especially for marking the concrete floor.

My only complaint is that it is too short. It falls sideways in my shirt pocket, and is difficult to retrieve from my pocket.

I checked and Penn Industries offers a deluxe model, that uses a long brass sleeve. I ordered some spare sleeves for the deluxe pen, and will use them to make a long version of the standard design model.  They do not sell really long 11 mm spare tubes, which I could cut down to the length I want.


August 4, 2014 Update:

Penn Industries sells a longer deluxe model pencil, and they sell spare brass tubes for this deluxe version.  I thought I could buy some spare brass tubes from the deluxe model, then made the standard model longer.  But, after I received the pen kit and studied it some more, I goofed because the pen length must match the original for the end to be able to depress and loosen the lead.

I decided to go ahead and make another standard pencil out of yellow plastic wood.  I bought this model of yellow blank:

 WXSAC01        Solid Color Yellow 3/4 in. x 3/4 in. x 5 in.   Acrylic Pen Blanks: 4 pack       1         $7.95 

These yellow blanks felt more fragile than the normal acrylic blanks I use.  The Penn Industries web site does not give the material type.  I ended up breaking 3 blanks trying to drill them with the 11 mm drill.  They shattered at the point the drill hit the end of the hole

It took 5 blanks to net 2 good ones.  I went ahead and glued them up...........but I am not predicting good results on the lathe!

Stay tuned to see what happens..............

August 5, 2014 Update:

Surprisingly, the blanks did not explode on the drill press when using the barrel trimmer, and they survived the lathe fine!

The finished yellow color is very nice............

I guess the trick with this yellow is in the drilling operation, not in the barrel cutter or lathe operations.



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