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Author Topic: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"  (Read 329 times))

Offline Wepster

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old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« on: November 24, 2021, 05:06:42 PM »
I love old mechanical pencils, the twist type (though I have an old click release the lead type), bakelite, hard rubber etc. I have a few, many were my Dad's, he was an accountant. I have one with his name and address, an advertising pencil he had made ( thinking 1950 ish).
Anyway, I had gotten leads from a stationary store, in the 80s the last of the ones they had (.9 mm, which was "thin" and standard, 1.1mm). Now thanks to Ebay and the internet in general, you can find all the odd size leads.
I just found this website, sells old size (and some OEM) leads, the occasional vintage pencil and quite a blog about pencils.
https://www.legendaryleadcompany.com/store/c18/Vintage_leads.html
Jet pens has quite a selection of leads also     https://www.jetpens.com/Lead-Size/ct/2478
And autopoint still makes twist pencils. I prefer twist pencils, I have plenty of click, but my preferred is twist.
  • Syracuse, NY, USA
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” Robert Heinlein
“Some people are like Slinkies. They aren't really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.”  Patricia Briggs

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Offline wolverine

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 11:53:24 PM »
i was a pattern/model maker for 20 years.  i made classified military items, parts for NASA,  toys, and everything in between.  i used 3 different drafting pencils.  a .9mm for lettering and dimensions, a .5mm for general lines, and a .3mm for dotted lines indicating hidden lines.  i also used different hardnesses of lead depending on what type of medium i was drawing on.  i still have a large collection of the leads in my walnut Gerstner tool chest.
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Offline Wepster

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2021, 02:47:03 AM »
i was a pattern/model maker for 20 years.  i made classified military items, parts for NASA,  toys, and everything in between.  i used 3 different drafting pencils.  a .9mm for lettering and dimensions, a .5mm for general lines, and a .3mm for dotted lines indicating hidden lines.  i also used different hardnesses of lead depending on what type of medium i was drawing on.  i still have a large collection of the leads in my walnut Gerstner tool chest.

My Dad had a customer who was a pattern maker, the gentleman had a shop at the back of his property right in the city of Syracuse (try that now!). What I recall is he did a lot of parts like transmisson cases for trucks (do not know, I was 6 or 7) anyway the seemed to be parts that were a foot or two x a foot or two, with curves. We got bags of his off cuts, they were my toy blocks, lots of curves, perfect roads and bridges for my matchbox cars! As I got older they became camp fire fodder.
  • Syracuse, NY, USA
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” Robert Heinlein
“Some people are like Slinkies. They aren't really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.”  Patricia Briggs

1377-brown and black, 2300T, Marksman 2070, Beeman P17(2), Industry Brand B3-2, Diana Chaser kit .177, Crosman PSM45, Daisy 35 pink camo, Daisy 880(2), CMP 853 (straight and monte carlo), Winchester 1100ss, Browning buck mark .177, Daisy 74, Crosman cr357

Offline Hoosier Daddy

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2021, 08:45:48 AM »
Don't know if it's considered vintage yet, but back in the '80s I was a Crew Chief
LOVE my U.S. Government red & black Skilcraft "Double Ender".
Still have a few in my tool box and on my workbench.

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Offline chico

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Offline anti-squirrel

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2021, 03:42:12 PM »
You mean sizes like this?



https://smile.amazon.com/Mr-Mechanical-Supplies-Graphite-Drafting/dp/B07Q75QQQ4/ref=sr_1_14?keywords=mechanical+pencil+lead&qid=1637861228&qsid=139-4565358-6773303&sr=8-14&sres=B0016P2A5G%2CB082QN198T%2CB018A3C41G%2CB08S99BKD1%2CB00006IEGJ%2CB0042ET0D8%2CB01JHMVG5O%2CB0007L1VLO%2CB003VNSNO8%2CB08DLBNDH8%2CB000R32P9O%2CB001CDEUBO%2CB07Q75QQQ4%2CB01DMDI5XU%2CB08JJ7LR6G%2CB00260X7F2%2CB00OQQ05JA%2CB01N5H8TD5%2CB01AIXZS7S%2CB01MF5BELS&srpt=WRITING_INSTRUMENT

way back in the days B.C. (before computers) the .9mm was for lettering and section cutting planes, the .7mm used for object lines, the .5mm for hidden and dimension lines and the 3mm was used with hard lead for creating very light construction lines that could easily be erased.
Plus the various hardnesses...  from HB to 6H were my common ones.  I had to do a lot of QA package work, often including mechanical drawings for reference sheets, during my Navy days.  I'm sure all you other mechanical pencil fans recall using kneadable erasers, templates for both curves and erasing only tiny sections of a drawing, and using a sandpaper sharpener.
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Offline Duckster

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2021, 04:57:29 PM »
I'm sure all you other mechanical pencil fans recall using kneadable erasers, templates for both curves and erasing only tiny sections of a drawing, and using a sandpaper sharpener.

AAAHHHHHH, yes. The French Curves, hole and screw templates, sandpaper to sharpen compass lead (including the beam compass), the lettering guide, T-Squares, protractor and adjustable triangles.

Back when you trig'd everything on the scientific calculator 'cause CAD had not arrived yet . . . Nor had the computer

Talk about the old mechanical pencils - I still have the ink pen set I used when I first started . . .
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Offline Wayne52

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2021, 05:18:39 PM »
I've got a few vintage ones I found metal detecting, I'm sure they will work because I cleaned them up with ultrasound and replaced the springs.  I'm going to have to start digging through my stuff because I think I have one that might be gold filled.  I know that one of them is silver plated.  I use to find all kinds of them but never bothered much with the inexpensive ones.
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Offline manualf150

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2021, 09:03:15 PM »
I'm a mechanical pencil and fountain pen addict.

Got a satisfyingly huge collection...

I've spent lots of time on https://www.reddit.com/r/mechanicalpencils/
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Offline Wepster

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2021, 10:26:37 PM »
A lot of my older pencils, general use, not drafting, take a "standard" lead, which is a 1.1 mm. My reference point is 1950s thru 1970s.
.9 mm was considered "thin".
I have some vintage fountain pens also. Nothing special, my dad liked Parkers.
  • Syracuse, NY, USA
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” Robert Heinlein
“Some people are like Slinkies. They aren't really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.”  Patricia Briggs

1377-brown and black, 2300T, Marksman 2070, Beeman P17(2), Industry Brand B3-2, Diana Chaser kit .177, Crosman PSM45, Daisy 35 pink camo, Daisy 880(2), CMP 853 (straight and monte carlo), Winchester 1100ss, Browning buck mark .177, Daisy 74, Crosman cr357

Offline Pellet Fun

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2021, 10:14:26 AM »
I saved all my old mechanical pencils and once in a while I use them for wood projects. I really enjoyed design work a long time ago and especially liked ink on Mylar.

I bet there are a bunch of folks in the GTA that have backgrounds using these tools of the trade.
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Offline d27447

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2021, 03:46:12 PM »
Wow!! Fantastic  air gun related info.....
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Offline Hoosier Daddy

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2021, 04:11:10 PM »
Huh?
This is the "Back Room" after all.  ;)
In your life, expect some trouble.
But when you worry, you make it double.
Don't worry, be happy!


JimQwerty123 always said ...
"Shoot safe and have fun,"

Offline Wepster

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2021, 07:06:30 PM »
Wow!! Fantastic  air gun related info.....

Yup. Use them to write down fps, pellet type and weight, date, wind speed and direction. Christmas wish lists, lists compareing this airgun to that airgun when deciding on next purchase.
A good thought is worthing writing with a good instrument.
  • Syracuse, NY, USA
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” Robert Heinlein
“Some people are like Slinkies. They aren't really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.”  Patricia Briggs

1377-brown and black, 2300T, Marksman 2070, Beeman P17(2), Industry Brand B3-2, Diana Chaser kit .177, Crosman PSM45, Daisy 35 pink camo, Daisy 880(2), CMP 853 (straight and monte carlo), Winchester 1100ss, Browning buck mark .177, Daisy 74, Crosman cr357

Online avator

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2021, 12:40:23 PM »
I took 2 years of architectural/mechanical drafting in trade school back in the very early '70s.
We had some awesome mechanical pencils back then. Most didn't survive the modding to make them into #6 shot launchers. If you were at the front of the class you could stick a lead bb in the bulletin board but you also had a better chance of getting caught.
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Offline Wepster

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2021, 04:43:21 PM »
I took 2 years of architectural/mechanical drafting in trade school back in the very early '70s.
We had some awesome mechanical pencils back then. Most didn't survive the modding to make them into #6 shot launchers. If you were at the front of the class you could stick a lead bb in the bulletin board but you also had a better chance of getting caught.

Hmm, think a tutorial is in order.....
  • Syracuse, NY, USA
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” Robert Heinlein
“Some people are like Slinkies. They aren't really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.”  Patricia Briggs

1377-brown and black, 2300T, Marksman 2070, Beeman P17(2), Industry Brand B3-2, Diana Chaser kit .177, Crosman PSM45, Daisy 35 pink camo, Daisy 880(2), CMP 853 (straight and monte carlo), Winchester 1100ss, Browning buck mark .177, Daisy 74, Crosman cr357

Online avator

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Re: old mechanical pencils and old size "leads"
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2021, 05:03:24 PM »
Pretty simple design actually...
Snap the pocket clip off. Pull the guts out of the pencil. Cut a groove in the body like the bolt slot in a receiver. Use the clip as a crossbar bolt. Pull back against the spring to cock it. Muzzle load a shot from a shotgun shell and..
let er rip tater chip. Don't put ur eye out kid.

Of course, as time went by, the design got modified more and more until they were veritable zip guns.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 05:06:02 PM by avator »
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