Drivel Starved Nation!
Today I received the very first production model of the Pencil Precision, which is again, since it has been so damn long, a pencil making factory in a box.
In this post I will present my unboxing cell phone pics (I save my other camera for birds!) and show you my first pencil. But before I begin, I have a couple of comments.
First, as mentioned in my last post, Consuelo will be contacting everybody who has been patiently waiting for this crazy invention of mine. She will need updated payment info for the second payment (if required) and a correct shipping address.
The production units will ship shortly after the end of Chinese New Year which is the 18th of Feb I believe. I do not know how long it will take for them to arrive in the United States and clear customs, but I am guessing about 3-4 weeks. If this changes, I will post the change in this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog.
So, here we go!
Starting in the upper left corner and moving clockwise you will find the plastic case containing the extrusion dies. A case containing the wood blanks, and three smaller cases which house the orange ferrules, the erasers, and the pencil leads. Next are the hex wrenches required and the German made solid brass pencil sharpener.
Moving down a row, and from left to right, you will see the extrusion unit and the purple ferrule cutting and assembly unit.
The third row, from left to right, contains the planing jig, the custom plane and the nifty little clamps which clamp the ends of the pencils tight until the glue sets.
The included plane can only be used for making pencils, so that fact is now out of the way. At the heart of the plane is the bevel UP iron. This iron rocks because to sharpen it, you only need to hone the bevel…
For those of you who have been following my tool design career, you know I am a huge fan of depth skids on just about every plane we make. Depth skids made the Chopstick Master possible, my Fog of War sculpture possible, and now, the Pencil Precision.
The first thing you must do (and I am going to ask if this can be done at the factory because it is a bit difficult) is set the depth skids to the correct depth. There are milled slots on the bottom of the ferrule unit to do this…
I am going to go into much more detail AFTER I see the video tutorials that are being produced in Nanjing. But in the interim I want to share that in all my years of making things, this ranks right up there in the work/reward department. Not counting glue set time, nor touch up sanding, or painting if desired, it took me less than 5 minutes to make a hexagonal pencil, which is the default profile when you make pencils. Round, beaded, and Releaux profiles are made by feeding the hex pencil through the extrusion unit with the correct dies inserted. The main reason I redesigned the unit after we put it on sale was my fear that the original design was not as kid-friendly as I wanted. It is now, and I don’t see any obstacles that would prevent an 8-year old from making professional pencils after making the first couple of pencils with adult supervision.
In closing, THANK YOU for your patience while we managed production of this unit while the company was being sold, a complete re-design after we announced the unit for sale, and the mess we call 2020. Your wait is almost over, and I assure you, you will not remember how long you waited after you start cranking out pencils. Literally.
PS: Here are a couple more birdy pics from my recent trip to see my son in Texas…