Friday, June 09, 2006

Guestbook 6

See the sidebar link Guestbook for the current Guestbook.
At over 150 comments, the previous guestbook (page 5) was getting rather long so it's time to start a new page. You can find the old one directly below this new one via the "older posts" link at the bottom of the page. So, here’s the place to leave any general comments, brickbats and bouquets. I won’t promise to answer questions like “What’s the best pencil in the world?”, "Whats the best pencil with features X, Y and Z", but you might get lucky. I don’t generally say much about retailers except as per my posting on the subject – use the sidebar link. I don't repair or sell mechanical pencils, and I don't give valuations. Please use the sidebar links and search box for things like how to refill your pencils, etc. Other than that though, I do like to hear from you, please leave a comment, and I will try to answer or help, or even better some other reader will toss in their 10 cents worth too.


George Clements said...

I am a long time collector and user of mechanical pencils, with a particular affinity for Yard O Led models, though my collection does include other makers' products, including: Sampson Mordan, William Manton, Sucklings, Edward Baker, Johnson Matthey etc.
As I have aged, I find that the sharper contrast of a soft lead makes reading easier, especially when writing on newsprint (for crosswords) or other soft paper that seems to be prevalent these days. I'm sure that the question must have been asked before, but does anyone know of a source of supply for 1.18mm leads in 2B grade? Preferably about 3" length, but beggars can't be chosers.
It is still possible to buy Yard O Led leads in B grade, but I do not find them very soft, even compared with older HB leads.
George Clements,

Kiwi-d said...

Hi George. Unfortunately I don't know of any modern source. My only thought is eBay where I have bought a fair bit of vintage lead. Several of my "long thin lead" (1.18mm) containers mention they are made with a grade range including 2B so you might get lucky. I agree the modern leads seem harder than expectation.

Kiwi-d said...

George, your comment has got me thinking. I have always thought that my modern YOL HB lead was very light, so I dug out my vintage YOL's and their stablemates and tested their leads. The vintage pencil leads all write significantly darker than my modern HB. I not sure if I would say softer, but definitely darker. Of course there's no way of knowing what lead grade is in my vintage pencils but it seems safe to assume that they would, on average, be HB. I suppose in the old days there were many manufacturers of 1.18mm lead whereas now they are a specialty and YOL probably has to take what it can get, rather than get what it demands.

I understand you have more than a few vintage YOL, care to comment on old v new lead?

Larsthegreat said...

Hi, my name is Lars, and I'm addicted to mechanical pencils. There, I said it, the healing can begin. It's comforting to be in the company of so many others with the same affliction. Thanks Dave, for all of this.

And, to be clear, "the great" part of my name just means "the opposite of small."

Kiwi-d said...

Twelve Steps, Lars :)
Only eleven to go.

Unknown said...

Hi I'm new to collecting mechanical pencils but I am a long time collector of fountain pens. Well I acquired an old Eagle 20 by the England Pencil Company. After getting it I put a post on the subreddit for mechanical pencils and someone commented that mine is different because theirs has different caps that are plastic and different colors but mine is stainless steel and silver. I've been doing research as to why mine is different but i haven't found anything if you can help please.

Kiwi-d said...

Hello Unknown. Personally I cannot help, but perhaps you may find some information or assistance over at Leadheads Blog.

Unknown said...

Thanks for letting me know I went and checked the blog and he didn't have anything on it either.

FlareHeart said...

Hey there, I have found myself in possession of a rather unique (all metal) pencil made by Parker in what appears to be the 1920's. It looks like a Lucky Lock, or maybe an all metal Duofold, but has the ball clip and the cap over the eraser pulls off (there's no locking mechanism on it). So it seems to be maybe a later run pencil but I am having trouble finding information on this specific model. Everything I can find seems to point to the Lucky Locks with the spoon clips.

I was hoping you might be able to help me pinpoint a year of manufacture. It still works and takes 1.18 mm leads. It is stamped with "Triple Plate," "Parker" on the ball clip, "Pat Sep 5 16," and "Made in the USA." I can send follow up pictures if you are interested in seeing it.

Thanks for reading!