Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lead Pencils

I have a friend who makes and sells lead pencils... made from real lead!  I know that a lot of people these days are all taboo about anything containing lead.  I have no such fears.  I did a little digging and came across these extant pencils.


Unique ID: IOW-946291


Unique ID: IOW-ED968C


Unique ID: IOW-6FEA87

I decided to make my own version.  I started by slicing a couple pieces of green soap stone.  I drilled and set register pins.  I then clamped the two halves together and used a drill to rough out the shape of the pencil.

I used some small carving tools to clean up the mold but not much work was needed other than to shape the point.

I then took a collection of old fishing weights and melted them down.  Note that I DID do this outside.  I put a wind sheild up and simply heated the lead with a propane torch.


 This ladle was enough to make 3.5 pencils.  I spilled a bit on my first pour but that was probably only about 1/3 a pencil or so.

I didn't do any filing on these.  I took a small hammer and cleaned up the tip and the cast lines by tapping the pencil with a hammer.  Sharpening with a knife removes material.  These pencils can be "sharpened" with a small hammer instead.  The finished pencils are about 3 inches in length.