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Get The Lead Out

A couple of months ago, I was out with family and they decided they wanted to kill some time at Wal-Mart.  I know, what a great social venue.  Realizing I was looking at a loooooooong time, I went and bought an art pad (actual bristol!  Wasn't expecting that) and a pack of Bic mechanical pencils.  #2 lead, 0.7mm lead size.  They were plastic, but they were cheap.  I was just looking for something so I could kill time working on concept sketches.  I wound up with rough versions of a few covers for Sound Waves, and seven of these stupid things left.  Not wanting to see them go to waste, I put my trusty drafter's mechanical pencil aside until I ran through the leads on all these plastic things.

Tonight, I use up another one.  I had been wondering how they got the leads inside, since there wasn't any way to unscrew the tips or open them as far as I could see.  Then I thought, doofus, look under the eraser, just like your regular mechanical pencil.  So I do.  Yup, that's where the leads go.

So I'm running on curiosity.  I take the other plastic pencils that I haven't used and pull off the erasers to see how many leads are in each one.  Each one has a lead already loaded in the path.  Tip it, and two leads come out.

Three.  Measely.  Leads.

The drafter's pencil I bought came with more than that!

I'm not fond of these pencils to begin with.  The drafter's pencil I use has a metal holder at the bottom that the lead sticks through.  The wall are very thin, so when I'm working with my circle templates (go ahead and laugh, but I need the structure, I'm lost without it), I get nice little circles to build my figures around.  The plastic ones, though, they have thicker walls around the lead, which shrinks the size and makes it tougher.  I've mostly been using the plastic ones for general stuff once I have the scene laid out or, primarily, for Sound Waves, since that has more room to fudge the numbers.  And to answer the obvious question, no, I can't just take the leads out and use them in my regular pencil.  It's a .05mm, and the plastic ones are .07mm.

Part of me wants to say, "They weren't even five bucks, just toss the stupid things if you hate them that much."  But the other part argues about being wasteful.  So I think I'll just use them up.  But the next time I'm out with the family, I'm bringing my own pencil with me.

Comments

sinetimore
Sep. 29th, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)
Sir, those are mechanical pencils. They are useful tools for artistic work and should not be used for self-infliction.

That's what I bought the screw gun for.

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