Monthly Archives: November 2012


A trip to the museum …and a new sharpener 16

Thank you for the anniversary comments. I was hoping to get this blog post out by 21 November, the third birthday of this blog, but unfortunately I didn’t find the time. Anyway here’s the first blog post in the fourth year of Bleistift.

The Cumberland Pencil Museum

 

The museum

Considering that I don’t live too far away from the Cumberland Pencil Museum, both the Museum and I are in North West England, it took me quite a while to get there – but this May my wife and I finally made the trip. The weather was fantastic and the Museum managed to convey a lot of information despite being rather small. Admission is £4 (~$6.40; €4.95), but comes with a ‘free’ souvenir pencil.

How pencils are made – temporary(?) mural outside the museum. Notice the “i” in weird.

There were explanations how pencils are made and you could admire historic pens and pencil and machines. I will only show one photo from inside the museum as I haven’t asked whether they permit the posting of photos taken in the museum on the web.

On exhibition: Cumberland pencils from the 1920s

There was a pencil labelling machine, too, but unfortunately it was broken at the time …I would have really liked to get some personalised pencils.  A subsequent enquiry regarding the pencil labelling machine was not as helpful as it could have been, so I decided not to chase this up further. Maybe the machine will work again if I go there again in the future.

The Pencil Museum Shop

Obviously I couldn’t resist stocking up on pencils in the museum shop. The shop’s selection is aimed at artists, but if you use pencils for office purposes you’ll also find nice products. Pencils are from Derwent, who are running the museum, but you can find pencil related items from other brands.

The Eisen 060 sharpener, top

 

The sharpener

One of the products I picked up in the museum is the Eisen 0601. I like this sharpener because the rounded corners make it “different” while still maintaining the classic wedge shape look2. I paid £1 (~$1.60; €1.25). This sharpener’s body and blade were both made in Baiersdorf near Nuremberg. The 060’s produced in the last three years still feature the blade made in Baiersdorf, like all Eisen sharpeners, but the body is now made in Taicang near Shanghai. Performance of this little sharpener is very good, too.

The Eisen 060 sharpener, bottom

Technical Information (adapted from Pencil Revolution)
Typewedge / blade
MaterialMagnesium-alloy
Shavings ReceptacleNone
Angle24° – 25°3
Markings“MADE IN GERMANY” (blade); Eisen logo plus “Made in Germany” (body)
Place of ManufactureBaiersdorf (Germany) and Taicang (China)

The Eisen 060, a Wopex and the Museum pencil

 

Giveaway

As this is a (belated) birthday blog post I am giving away an Eisen 060, some British-made Staedtler pencils and possible a few other small items I can find. I am happy to send the prizes to any country as long as Royal Mail doesn’t refuse to send them there. I will use random.org to get a random number and the author of the corresponding comment will get the price (unless I am the author or the comment is definitely spam). To take part please leave a comment for this blog post before Friday, 30th September 2011, 23:59 UTC.

 


Prices: May 2012

Exchange rates: November 2012

I would like to thank Stephan Eisen for providing additional information regarding the Eisen 060.

  1. Eisen changed their web site. The pages are only available in German at the moment, so unfortunately all links to Eisen are to their German product page. []
  2. Eisen’s classic wedge sharpener is the 040. []
  3. I measured 25°, the official figure is 24° which is also the one I used for in the list of sharpeners []

Sharpening a Wopex …again 10

My previous experience with KUM sharpeners wasn’t very good. Some of the models I have are good, some are not so good and overall I usually prefer sharpeners from other brands.

You might remember that the Staedtler Wopex is a difficult pencil to sharpen. Nevertheless, I like it so much that on an average day it is my most used pencil. Even though sharpening it with a knife yields good results I thought I should try sharpening the Wopex in KUM’s Automatic Long Point 2M, a sharpener I haven’t used in a while because of the unsightly marks it leaves at the base of the exposed graphite1. To my surprise I got fantastic results when I used it to sharpen a Wopex.

KUM’s Automatic Long Point 2M and Staedtler's Wopex

I get best results if I align the Wopex with the top of the sharpener during the second step. If you have a Wopex and the Automatic Long Point 2M try them out. My Long Point sharpener performs much better than the dedicated Wopex sharpeners I have.


Pencil talk has a review of KUM’s Automatic Long Point 2M.

  1. These marks are one of the reason why I prefer the Deli 0635 or the Eisen 402. []

La Matita 5

Episode: Le Ali della Sfinge / The Wings of the Sphinx (Image © RAI)

Commissario Montalbano, the famous detective from Sicily, is a keen user of the Staedtler Noris1. Even though he’s driving around in an old Fiat Tipo his home is fantastic and is furnished and and decorated with classic and vintage bits and bobs, just like the grand homes of the criminals he is visiting. The Noris is a suitable pencil for him to use as it is the archetypal European pencil – even though it is a surprising choice as it is clearly a branded item.

Episode: La Pista di Sabbia / The Track of Sand (Image © RAI)

PS: Does anyone know what those cards / brochures / journals are that most civil servants in this TV series seem to have pinned to their walls.


The images in this blog post have been taken from Episode Le Ali della Sfinge / The Wings of the Sphinx and episode La Pista di Sabbia / The Track of Sand of the RAI TV series Il commissario Montalbano. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. with and without eraser tip []