Talk:Pencil

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How sharp should a pencil be?[edit]

I noticed that Americans tend to sharpen pencils a lot sharper than Europeans. Looking into this I found typical sharpeners here in Europe with an 23° point, or even 30° in case of softer color pencils, see http://www.staedtler.com/tub_sharpeners_gb.Staedtler. "Americas are sharper", typically 16°, see for example http://www.americanpoems.com/B00006IEIE/Panasonic_KP380-BK_Classic_Electric_Pencil_Sharpener_Black_One_Unit.php. I made a comparative picture (and had the usual hassle uploading it): http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Penciltips.jpg. You might like to consider the subject either here or along with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pencil_sharpener. Have fun! --Fritz Jörn (talk) 11:57, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

It makes little difference here in the US since it seems all pencil sharpeners are now made the wrong size, (in China?). Typically a small manual Chinese sharpener has two sizes: "pencil," (too small) and "over-sized," too big. The former does not reach the lead, and the latter breaks it off. I search high and low, (and can never be certain since they are all plastic-wrapped) and can not find a usable, much less a good sharpener. (I LOVE GOOD sharpeners!) I've been known to start with a new pencil and end with a stub, with never a point to be found. So I've stopped buying pencils about 5 years ago. (Same-same, → one can not find the most popular #2 Phillips screwdriver, the cheap fakes ruin screw-heads.)
...And WHY is this article locked!?
--68.127.80.58 (talk) 15:28, 2 September 2013 (UTC)Doug Bashford
How sharp do it has to be depends on what you're doing with it. When I first joined the Army, we used 8H pencils (extremely hard), sharpened to a wedge with sandpaper for a very precise writing edge, since we used them on charts and we need them to be as accurate as possible. If you're writing a shopping list, whatever makes your comfortable -- and why is this article still locked? 155.213.224.59 (talk) 19:20, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Suggested Drafting Usage[edit]

Darrylh08 (talk) 22:57, 8 February 2011 (UTC) I found the following supplementals to the current table in an annotated "engineering design graphics", james h. earle, addison wesley Second printing, June 1970, Page 106:

Tone U.S. World Weight Drafting Use
#1 B Soft/Med Dark Sketch/as Charcoal
#2 HB Medium Light Sketch/Bold Text
#2½ * F Medium Object/Hidden lines/Text
#3 H Medium Dimension lines/Text
#4 2H Med/Hard Center/Phantom lines

I suspect this is for legibility and reproduction, without excessive smudging, and as he says "...will vary with the surface of the drawing material used...". Is this information valid and useful here, or in the Engineering Drawings article?Darrylh08 (talk) 22:57, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Liquid Pencil[edit]

Recently Sharpie had created my favorite writing utensil ever, the liquid pencil! I'm not entirely sure how it works, but it's certainly something i believe should be in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TyJGarett (talkcontribs) 22:01, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Dubious historical claims.[edit]

Currently reads (uncited):

The archetypal pencil may have been the stylus, which was a thin metal stick, often made from lead and used for scratching in papyrus, a form of early paper. They were used by the ancient Egyptians and Romans.

This has a few problems, mostly on conflating Egyptian & Roman practice. The Roman stylus was a purely mechanical point used on wax. Although some were undoubtedly of lead, most were bronze or iron (there are records of them being used as weapons) and the marking ability of lead wasn't needed for this wax tablet use.

Egyptians used papyrus, but wrote upon it with ink from a reed pen or with paint and brush. Papyrus shouldn't be scratched at either, or it falls apart.

The use of metallic lead for writing is mostly as an early permanent marker, for use on iron, stone or pottery.

Anyone have time for a cited re-write? Andy Dingley (talk) 09:49, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

I was going to have a go at this, but Andy seems much better informed: he has neatly identified the existing problems. I did find a couple of references for using lead as a marking material on papyrus, but I wouldn't describe either as authoritative, and neither supports "extensively". These could probably be ignored. --Old Moonraker (talk) 10:43, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Not sure about the Bernacotti reference[edit]

I've fact-checked several sources, and I cannot find a single reference to the Bernacottis. In fact, the only references I can find are in two books published in 2008 and 2009, and they don't list their source, so I think they got the Bernacotti information from Wikipedia. Every internet site listing them in both Italian and English seems to take the word from the Italian. Google books is not helpful at all, nor is jstor, academic one file, and the like. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TotalFailure (talkcontribs) 06:48, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

I have also tried to verify this information and found it impossible. The first of the sources listed in the article is now a dead link; the second is hardly authoritative. In his exhaustive study of the pencil[1] Henry Petroski does not mention the Bernacottis, and says that the Borrowdale wadd producers began encasing strips of graphite in wood. I suggest that this section is removed or rewritten to bring it in line with Petroski's history. RicardoJuanCarlos 17:05, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Edit request on 15 March 2012[edit]

The current "Manufacture" section is unreferenced and not entirely thorough. I propose the following changes to address these two issues:

==Manufacturing Process==

Modern pencils usually do not contain lead as the "lead" of the pencil is actually a mix of finely ground graphite and clay powders. Before the two substances are mixed, they are separately cleaned of any foreign matter and dried in a manner that creates large square cakes. Once the cakes have fully dried, the graphite and the clay squares and are mixed together using water. The amount of clay content added to the graphite depends on the intended pencil hardness (lower proportions of clay makes the core softer[2]), and the amount of time spent on grinding the mixture determines the quality of the lead. The mixture is then shaped into long spaghetti-like strings, straightened, dried, cut, and then tempered in a kiln. The resulting strings are dipped in oil or molten wax, which seeps into the tiny holes of the material and allows for the smooth writing ability of the pencil. A juniper or incense-cedar plank with several long parallel grooves is cut to fashion a "slat," and the graphite/clay strings are inserted into the grooves. Another grooved plank is glued on top, and the whole assembly is then cut into individual pencils, which are then varnished or painted. Many pencils feature an eraser on the top and so the process is usually still considered incomplete at this point. Each pencil has a shoulder cut on one end of the pencil to allow for a metal ferrule to be secured onto the wood. A rubber plug is then inserted into the ferrule for a functioning eraser on the end of the pencil.[3]

Unforgivingminute (talk) 18:01, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

 Done Thanks for improving Wikipedia. mabdul 11:50, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 24 March 2012 (Adding Reference necessary tag)[edit]

Please edit the Pencil#Grading and classification section, to replace The standard writing pencil is graded '''HB'''. with {{Reference necessary|The standard writing pencil is graded '''HB'''.}}. (Taht is: adding {{Reference necessary}} to it.). Thank you. --79.25.128.128 (talk) 14:35, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

79.25.128.128 (talk) 14:35, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Done Thanks, Celestra (talk) 16:15, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Really! This is self evident. HB pencils are standard everywhere that i've ever been. Is a reference necessary really? I suggest NOT. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chrismartinbrisbane (talkcontribs) 12:57, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

I guess "everywhere" you've been doesn't include any part of the United States. The standard I see everywhere in the US is the "No.2" (see below). I see "HB"'s as well -- about one for every 20 "No. 2"'s that I encounter.

No Mention of the "No. 2 Pencil"?[edit]

Over the past 30 years the use of "No. 2" pencils to fill out computer-processed surveys and other forms became so ubiquitous that the phrase "number 2 pencil" is a cliche, at least in America. Yet I see no clear mention of the venerable No. 2, just a sort of vague reference to an "other numbering system" in the section on pencil grading. The "No. 2" deserves a sentence or two of its own.

Also, there is no real description of the "indelible pencil" -- why it was developed, how it was made, who made/used it, etc. -- just a frightening discussion of it's alleged health risks. It's like suddenly going off in an article on 'tobacco' about the dangers of smoking cloves -- without ever bothering to mention the fact that cloves are sometimes used in cigarettes, or why. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.92.174.105 (talk) 01:03, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Reference to elemental lead (Pb) may be incorrect or incomplete[edit]

In the discussion of the materials used in the creation of "pencils", no reference is made to the previous art; metalpoint, used extensively by scribes on animal skins, did, in fact, use lead as the point in their stylii, as well as other metals, notably silver. This was well before the discovery of the "lead-like ore" graphite. In classical times, builders and masons would use lead to mark stone. The term "lead" in a pencil may harken back to the metalpoint period. Can't provide much in the way of citations, however - read about this stuff a long time ago. Sorry. 75.109.143.20 (talk) 17:09, 24 April 2013 (UTC)James

When I was in grade school, I was taught that the name lead for pencil graphite derived from the earlier use of lead as a marking material. On reading this article, I was surprised that this was not mentioned in the section where lead is first mentioned. It would be interesting to see a reliable etymology for the term. 99.245.248.91 (talk) 23:16, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

"F"[edit]

I'm an artist and industrial designer and, like Darrylh08, used pencil hardness for various line types in drafting. It was my understanding that "F" stood for "Firm". Unfortunately, I have no reference for that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dan Bollinger (talkcontribs) 12:08, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 June 2013[edit]

Please change: Carpenter's pencils

   These are pencils that have two main properties: their shape prevents them from rolling, and their graphite is strong.[54] The oldest surviving pencil is a German carpenter's pencil dating from the 17th Century and now in the Faber-Castell collection.[55][56] 

To:

Carpenter's pencils

   These are pencils that have two main properties: their shape prevents them from rolling, and their graphite is strong.[54] The large flat side also allows easy scribing of lines of a specific width when matching woodwork to existing surfaces.  The oldest surviving pencil is a German carpenter's pencil dating from the 17th Century and now in the Faber-Castell collection.[55][56] 

References: http://www.oldtownhome.com/2012/5/1/Toolbox-Tuesday-Get-Write-to-the-Point-with-a-Carpenters-Pencil/ http://www.familyhandyman.com/tools/how-to-scribe-for-a-perfect-fit/view-all

Mitheral (talk) 16:22, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Not done: Neither of those sources say that. The first talks about the standard size of the pencil itself but says nothing about the width of a line, and the second merely has a diagram of someone drawing a line on a cabinet but doesn't really discuss the usage of a carpenter's pencil at all. --ElHef (Meep?) 17:18, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Indelible pencils & cancer[edit]

The article suggests that indelible pencils may cause carcinoma (Pencil#Health_risks) due to aniline dyes. There is no quote provided for this but the only health-related reference I can find on this page (Pencil#cite_ref-69) is very old.

On the other hand Aniline Wiki page states (Aniline#Toxicology_and_testing) that many old aniline-related cancers were actually caused by naphthylamines. Furthermore, "The IARC lists [aniline] in Group 3 (not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans) due to the limited and contradictory data available".

So, of course it's toxic, but does it really cause carcinoma (as the article claims)? In my opinion this should be reviewed and corrected.

--Igor.gorjanc (talk) 21:28, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Pop a Point Pencils[edit]

Pencils similar to this were popular in my school days back in the '60s, predating the 1970 time frame in the article. I don't know that the ones I used were Pop a Point brand, but they match the description - many plastic, interlocking tubes, each containing a sharpened bit of graphite, stacked into a pencil. Can anyone confirm the date of these things? 99.245.248.91 (talk) 23:22, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Grammar Correction: affect vs. effect[edit]

Grammar correction: please change the word "affect" to the word "effect" in the following line:

(In section 1.2, "Wood Holders Added")

One affect of this was that "during World War II rotary pencil sharpeners were outlawed in Britain because they wasted so much scarce lead and wood, and pencils had to be sharpened in the more conservative manner – with knives."[20]

74.93.180.243 (talk) 02:51, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Done by Andy Dingley. Jackmcbarn (talk) 03:31, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

How long?[edit]

Is this page going to be locked? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 182.250.240.67 (talk) 08:12, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

According to the protection template, until May 18, 2015, assuming it's not renewed. - Bardbom (talk) 07:33, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

Silver point[edit]

it seems to me that some reference should be made on the 'pencil' page regarding silver point, since this was the forerunner to the pencil. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.147.27.155 (talk) 20:00, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Clarifying the history of the development of pencils[edit]

Under "wood holders added" it currently reads

"English and German pencils were not available to the French during the Napoleonic Wars; France, under naval blockade imposed by Great Britain, was unable to import the pure graphite sticks from the British Grey Knotts mines – the only known source in the world. France was also unable to import the inferior German graphite pencil substitute. It took the efforts of an officer in Napoleon's army to change this. In 1795, Nicholas Jacques Conté discovered a method of mixing powdered graphite with clay and forming the mixture into rods that were then fired in a kiln. "

Proposed changes

"English and German pencils were not available to the French during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars; France, under naval blockade imposed by Great Britain from 1793-1814, was unable to import the pure graphite sticks from the British Grey Knotts mines – the only known source in the world. France was also unable to import the inferior German graphite pencil substitute. It took the efforts of an officer in Napoleon's army to change this. In 1795, Nicholas Jacques Conté discovered a method of mixing powdered graphite with clay and forming the mixture into rods that were then fired in a kiln. "

Why? The Napoleonic Wars didn't officially start until 1803, which makes it looks like the 1795 date is incorrect. The British naval blockade started mid French revolution, so the 1795 date is not incorrect. [4]

24.14.154.116 (talk) 15:05, 25 October 2014 (UTC)Jennifer

some pencils don't break but some pencils do.so if you need a pencil don't ask your teacher for one bring your own pencil — Preceding unsigned comment added by 167.21.142.12 (talk) 14:15, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ The Pencil, a History of Design and Circumstance (Faber & Faber, 1990)
  2. ^ Pencils.com. "The HB Graphite Grading Scale." Pencils.com. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://www.pencils.com/hb-graphite-grading-scale>.
  3. ^ Petroski, Henry. "Appendix A from "How the Pencil Is Made," by the Koh-I-Noor Pencil Company." The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance. New York: Knopf, 1990. Print.
  4. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_historical_blockades

Semi-protected edit request on 25 February 2015[edit]

It's 'Nicolas' Jacques Conté, not "Nicholas" thanks :) 85.68.255.23 (talk) 01:52, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks. Materialscientist (talk) 02:18, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 February 2015[edit]

Please add after:

Pencils graded using this system are used to measure the hardness and resistance of varnishes and paints. The resistance of a coating (also known as its pencil hardness) is determined as the grade of the hardest pencil that does not permanently mark the coating when pressed firmly against it at a 45 degree angle.[37][38]

However the pencil hardness test is now regarded as a poor measure of coating hardness, being dependent on substrate and other effects.

Reference: "Nanocoatings: Principles & Practice": S.J. Abbott & N.H.Holmes :DEStech 2013. 81.105.172.241 (talk) 14:53, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 00:41, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 01 March 2015[edit]

Occurences of Nicolas Jacques Conté (as in the section "Wood holders added" for example) should link to the page Nicolas-Jacques Conté (with hyphen). Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ffarel (talkcontribs) 07:49, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Capitalization in Gaelic[edit]

Why is the Gaelic (Peann Luaidhe) capitalized? I understand German nouns (Bleistift) are capitalized but there is no reason for Gaelic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.101.235.207 (talk) 23:02, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

greek link[edit]

change ((Greek)) to ((Greek language|Greek))

X mark.svg Not done Please clarify where the link you changed is. Datbubblegumdoe (talk) 02:06, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 4 July 2015[edit]

112.198.103.126 (talk) 09:55, 4 July 2015 (UTC) Pencil is a writing implement for writing, drawing and sketching.

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Cannolis (talk) 11:45, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 July 2015[edit]

Change occurences of "Nicolas Jacques Conté" to "Nicolas-Jacques Conté" so that it links to the wikipedia page on him. Ffarel (talk) 14:41, 27 July 2015 (UTC) Yes check.svg Done - but we only link the first occurrence - Arjayay (talk) 15:03, 27 July 2015 (UTC)