When clutch pencils first came along in the 1930’s there was a requirement for a device that could sharpen the lead on these pencils, without damaging the metal casing or the clutch jaws of the pencil.
In the intervening years the design has changed slightly from the original but the basic idea remains:
- Project a small amount of lead from your pencil (also works with ordinary woodcase pencils, though you will need to cut the wood back first!)
- Insert pencil into guide hole
- With a light downward pressure on your pencil, rotate it 4 or 5 times
- Remove pencil from hole and inspect your handiwork – be careful though, the point will be incredibly sharp!
With only one moving part, the design is delightfully simple: a guide hole for the pencil, a grinding disc and the outer casing. Rotating the guide hole when a pencil is installed rubs the lead against the grinding disc, which, in a few short turns, puts an alarmingly sharp point on the lead.
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