Month: April 2010

Handicraft with Bleistift

Staetdler Mars Lumograph with a point protector

As a tribute to Lexikaliker’s fantastic “Basteln mit dem Lexikaliker” series I want to show you today how to make simple point protectors for your pencils. Lexikaliker had two different posts about point protectors (a simple version (Google translation) and an improved version (Google translation)). My version is not as good as Lexikaliker’s, but you will usually have all the material necessary at home. Actually… my point protector is so simple, you probably thought of it yourself somewhen in the past. If you have not looked a Lexikaliker’s handicraft articles yet, you should definitely have a look, especially at the one where he turns a pencil into an electric, musical instrument (Google translation).

For this simple point protector you need some old paper and sticky tape. I usually use the reverse side of calendar sheets to make notes, but the sheets of this Dutch calendar (see first picture) with Donald Duck comics are printed on on both sides. As I cannot use them for notes I will use them to make the point protectors. Maybe you also have some old calendar sheets somewhere. Just divide a calendar sheet into three equal strips. If you use other paper cut it into strips about as long as a pencil and a quarter of a pencil length wide. Roll the paper around the pencil and fix it with sticky tape. To increase stability you might want to close one end of the cylinder you just created. Either fold the end over and fix it with stick tape or just use sticky tape to close it without folding the end over.

Faber-Castell Bonanza 1320 with an unfinished point protector

Some pencils, like the Staedtler Wopex, have a rubber-like surface which is nice when as it gives you more grip but makes removing the point protector difficult. In this case just put some sticky tape on the inside of the protector to reduce friction.

The point protector protect the point of your pencil and will help to keep the inside of your pencil case graphite mark free.

Staedtler Noris with a finished point protector

Lego / Senator eraser

When I went to Germany over the Easter holidays I saw many pencils, erasers and sharpeners that are difficult to find in the UK. One of these difficult to get ones are the Lego erasers. I have actually seen them in the UK, at Selfridges, but they were very expensive. In Germany they were fairly cheap: usually a pack of two sells for € 1.49 (~£ 1.30, ~$ 2.00), but I bought mine in the first shop where I saw them ..for €1.99 (~£ 1.75, ~$ 2.68). There is also a version with three erasers available (red, blue and green).

The Lego erasers are manufactured under license by Senator, a company established 1920 and well known for their promotional ballpoint pens. They are one of the biggest manufacturers of ballpoint pens, producing about one million ballpoint pens each day, and their range includes unusual pens as well, e.g. biodegradable pens or the “only antibacterial pen approved to British standards”. Before I saw the Lego eraser I was not aware that Senator made erasers, except maybe the erasers used in their multifunctional pens.

The eraser is actually performing very well. I compared it to the Staedtler Mars plastic pen and the fantastic Faber Castell 18 71 20 on Bloc Rhodia No 13 paper, using a Faber-Castell 9008 Steno 2B pencil [1]which in my opinion is in some respects quite similar to the Tombow Mono 100 HB. The performance of the Lego / Senator is as good as the performance of the other two, maybe a tiny bit worse, but that might just be my subjective impression. Compared to the Staedtler eraser pen you need to apply fewer pressure when using the Lego / Senator eraser.

Conclusion:

A good looking novelty eraser that performs well.

Price and exchange rates: April 2010.

References

References
1 which in my opinion is in some respects quite similar to the Tombow Mono 100 HB