Sunday, April 08, 2007

Mechanical Pencils Junkie

Pencils have always been a part of architecture. Apart from the Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rennie Mackintosh sketches and drawings I saw as a child, among the attractive perks of this design profession (and certainly one of my first memories) is the array of draughting pencils and tools available. Back in the Philippines, trips to Joli's (a small architecture supply store near University of Santo Tomas) were are always a treat. Whenever I go to National Bookstore (a bookstore chain in the Philippines), I somehow always end up in the pens section of the store. It is sad that with the advent of computer aided design, most architecture students do not have the appreciation for drawings draughted the old fashion way (most of them do not even know draughting pens and equipment anymore - other than being lumped as an older version of CADD 'software'/'hardware').

Some of my mechanical pencils (from bottom): 0,5mm PaperMate Dynagrip; 0,7mm Rotring 600 (matte black); 0,7mm Rotring 600 (satin silvertone finish); 0,7mm Caran d'Ache 844 Fixpencil; 1,1mm Wahl Eversharp (c 1923); 2,0mm Faber-Castell TK 9400; 2,0mm Rotring 300; 5,6mm Kooh-I-Noor Hardmuth automatic.

In most draughting work that I do, I use the 2,0mm clutch pencils. The two clutch pencils above (Faber-Castell and Rotring 300) were from my undegraduate years. For everyday writing, I prefer size 0,7mm (HB) leads. Unlike the 0,5mm, 0,7mm leads do not not break easily. I also prefer the Rotring 600 because of its much longer lead channel which makes it much more difficult to break the lead when writing - thus making it possible to apply more pressure.

For more photos on interesting mechanical pencils, see Flickr: The Mechanical Pencil Junkies Pool. Dave's Mechanical Pencils is also an interesting blog on mechanical pencils and leadholders.

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