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Slimline Pencil Instructions
Slimline pencils use two barrels, each measuring 1.85" (47mm) long, containing 7mm diameter cylinders. WoodWrite, Ltd. pre-cut, pre-drilled wood blanks are 1.85" long and about 7/16" (11mm) square, and are pre-drilled with a letter "J" (7.03mm) drill bit (CN-31) to accommodate the 7mm cylinders.
Also available are WoodWrite, Ltd. Superslim wood blanks. These are the same length, with the same hole, as the above, but are 5/8" (16mm) square. Superslim blanks are appropriate for free-hand turning, contour turning, and wherever a little more bulk is required in an otherwise standard "7mm" pencil configuration.
Barrel Production1. Move the saddle to the left so that the cutting tool is aligned with the gage point of the mandrel. Turn the micrometer dial counter-clockwise until the tool just touches the gage point ("0") then back the tool away by turning the micrometer dial one complete turn clockwise ("0"). If the micrometer dial does not read "0" when the tool is just touching the mandrel, reset the zero point (covered under lathes). 2. Load two pencil blanks with lining cylinders, cured at least overnight, onto the 7mm mandrel, securing them with the knurled nut. Be sure the needle center of the tailstock is tightly engaged into the right end of the mandrel. 3. Make your first cut, moving the saddle from left to right (0.432"[11mm] diameter). 4. Turn the micrometer dial counter-clockwise to "25". Make your second cut, moving the saddle from right to left (0.382"[9.7mm] diameter). 5. Turn the micrometer dial counter-clockwise to "10". Make the third cut, from left to right (0.352" [8.9mm] diameter). 6. Turn the micrometer dial counter-clockwise to "0" and make your fourth and final cut, from right to left. The diameter of the wood barrels will now be the same as that of the gage point of the mandrel. Turn the micrometer dial clockwise, one full turn to "0" and move the saddle to the left of the lathe bed to be out of your way for smoothing and polishing, as described previously. Your finished barrels should be 0.330" to 0.333" (8.4 - 8.5mm) in diameter. 7. In summary, your tool settings are as follows, starting with the tool just touching the gage point of the mandrel:
CLK 0 - CCLK 25 - CCLK 10 - CCLK 0 - CLK 0
Note: occasionally, wood blanks may have an oversized lip on one edge. You may find it desirable to make additional cuts to remove this before doing the four cutting passes described above. In this case, start out (step 1) by turning the micrometer dial two full turns clockwise from the gage point. Make your first cut, left to right. Turn the dial counterclockwise to "25" and make your second cut, right to left. Turn the dial to "0" and proceed from step 3, above. If cutting Superslim blanks, you will definitely want to make a couple of extra cutting passes due to their greater cross-section.8. Smooth and polish the barrels.
The components of a Slimline pencil are shown below. You have already used two lining cylinders in the two wood blanks to make the barrels. To assemble the pencil you will need one each of the gold cap (hollow), clip, gold joiner, brass insert, mechanism and gold tip. The mechanism contains several 0.5mm leads and an eraser, accessible by removing the gold push button opposite the point.
1. Check the clip to be sure that the angle between the loop and stem is acute (slightly less than 90E) to ensure proper pressure on the barrel after assembly. 2. With slight finger pressure, align the gold cap, the clip, a finished barrel, the gold joiner, the second finished barrel and the brass insert (the tightly fitting side goes into the barrel.) Before press fitting, place a dot of white adhesive (CN-12) on each of the four points where the components will enter the barrels. Place this whole assembly onto the WoodWrite, Ltd. Assembly Press (KT-07) with the clip end closest to the stationary "foot" of the press, then, with two fingers holding the barrels steady in the groove of the assembly press, turn the crank to press fit all of the components together. As each component is secured, any other component not yet secured will begin to move until everything is secured. Squeeze firmly, to position the components together without any visible gaps between them. Be careful! Over tightening can cause the barrels to break. A little trial and error the first few times will enable you to seat the components properly without distortion. The clip should be secure; it should not rotate around the pencil barrel. With a damp cloth, remove any excess white adhesive that may have oozed out. Prompt removal of the adhesive will prevent any staining or marring of the work. The pencil housing is now complete. 3. Insert the mechanism through the gold cap, until it stops. The point will emerge through the brass insert, and the threaded portion of the mechanism should be visible. Holding the gold button top of the mechanism firmly in the housing with your thumb, thread the gold tip onto the threaded portion of the mechanism, until the tip is firmly positioned against the barrel. 4. Press the gold button two or three times to extend the lead. If lead only shows about 1/16" (2mm), remove it with your fingertips. You will typically see a piece of lead about 3/8" (10mm) long. Re-press the gold button several times to start a new lead. To replace leads, remove the gold button and eraser. Slide several leads into the chamber and replace the eraser and button.
The preceding instructions apply for any Slimline pencil and use 0.5mm leads, such as Pentel® and other similar brands, available at stationery stores everywhere.
Q & A
!When I make a Slimline pencil, no matter how many times I push the button, the lead doesnt seem to emerge.
This is typically a result of the fragile lead breaking somewhere along the line during shipping. To fix, remove the mechanism from the pencil and grasp it near the point with one hand and near the top with the other. Vigorously exercise the mechanism by pressing down with the upper hand. The broken piece of lead should emerge - remove it with your fingertips. A whole piece should quickly follow it into place. Replace the mechanism and tip and the problem is solved.
!Occasionally the gold button on top of a Slimline pencil seems to bind, preventing me from extending the lead. Ive tried replacing the mechanism and the problem persists.
The persistence of the problem even after substituting mechanisms indicates that something else is the cause. Typically, the problem is a small burr inside the clip. For a quick fix every time, pick up a 7/32" (5.5mm) diameter chain saw file at your local hardware store. (This is a standard size, readily available.) Remove the pencil mechanism and run the file in and out of the top of the pencil several times. Reinsert the mechanism and replace the tip. The problem should be solved.