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.

3 comments:

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.
Regards,
George Clements,
Northumberland,
U.K.

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?