January 15, 2012

How to Sharpen a Pencil (Correctly)

Demonstration by Author.

Get a knife, and a pencil worth sharpening.
Jamie adds "featured here is the splendid Blackwing 602- cheap pencils, dull knives and inferior quality wood make for fewer fingers!"

You cut around this bit here.

Cut in firmly...

...and decisively.

Work around the barrel to narrow the tip.
Jamie adds: "The more even your starting cuts, the better. Also, your cut is not flat, but curves away from the central graphite shaft as you dig down."

Keep narrowing down to the lead.

Keep trimming.
Adds Jamie: "You are making an extension of pure graphite. A very sharp knife is essential to this. Caution!"

Wood should taper...

...exposing approx. 87 mm of lead.
Trim up the nib.
Jamie Adds: "You are making a small cone at the tip, like the Apollo capsule, by scraping carefully. You can do the same thing by rolling and shaping the tip on sandpaper. "
...to a sharp but solid, point.

The finished product! 
Jamie Adds: "Not only do you have the satisfaction of performing a manly and efficacious task which honors our ancient pencil heritage, but you will find a number of advantages: 1st, for artists, you now have a hyper sharp point, a small edge around the cone for precise shading, and a huge length for rapid shading. 2nd, you don't have to sharpen nearly as often, just trim up the point. And 3rd, you free yourself from the tyranny of the pencil sharpening machine."


Blogger Author said...

I am bubbling over with magnanimous public service.

January 15, 2012 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

Let's do without these damn gadgets!

January 15, 2012 at 6:12 PM  

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