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Sterling Silver Mechanical Pencil - How To Fill?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 thepenladyuk

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 10:43

I've just come across this pencil - from a small amount of searching on the internet I think it is circa 1930s. It has no lead in it - anyone have an idea of which type of lead it needs and how to fill it?

Many thanks.

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#2 Mike 59

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 11:44

Hi,  I don't own any pencils similar to yours, but I would think the small slider with the three lines on would move back to the stop, then the lead would drop into the chamber, then the stop pushed down to advance the lead....... but I really am guessing.

   Pencils of that era tended to use thicker leads than today's versions, so I would think around 1mm or even more.

  If it was mine I would try some 0.7mm and see if it fits, then estimate more or less from there.



#3 watch_art

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 12:48

Put the advance thingy back in the pen - screw it in all the way. The knob on back (where the eraser would be on a new pencil) twists - cw to advance the lead, ccw to bring the lead back in. When you retract you'll have to push the lead back in against a table top. Simple. 1.1mm leads van be had in B from autopointinc.com and they're great to draw with.

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#4 thepenladyuk

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 22:59

Thanks both for you're help. I'll try to get hold of some leads and see how it goes!

#5 Chthulhu

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 01:05

"Thick" leads, 1.1/1.2 mm or 0.046 inch diameter. Autopoint may still sell them, and the leads for Retro 51 pencil will also fit. "Vintage" leads offer a much wider range of hardness, though; the ones from Retro 51 are all HB, and those from Autopoint are HB or colors.

 

First make sure you can see light through the tip of the pencil to be sure it isn't clogged, then, with the pencil apart as in your first photo, hold the body of the pen tip-down and drop a piece of lead into it. Turn the inner mechanism tip up and put your thumb on the slider to keep it near the cap, then insert the mechanism back into the body. It *should* go in all the way to the cap unless the lead you put in is too long. Then twist the cap clockwise to advance the lead. As Sean says, retracting the lead involves turning the cap counterclockwise and pressing the lead back in against a hard surface (I use my opposite thumbnail).


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#6 watch_art

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 01:09

Autopoint has B or 2B (whatever - they're really nice and soft). 


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#7 Chthulhu

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 02:57

I stand corrected (poor memory). :-)


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#8 thepenladyuk

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 09:34

I have a Retro 51 pencil and have just tried using the lead that's in it. It fits ok, and turning the cap clockwise advances it correctly. However, when I turn the cap counter clockwise it just starts to unscrew and the lead doesn't retract - thoughts?

#9 watch_art

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 11:40

Get a Sheaffer. Not the right answer - but my 1920s (30s?) Sheaffer works flawlessly.

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#10 Chthulhu

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 20:17

Your Eversharp doesn't retract the lead at all, only the little pushrod that advances it. After you turn the knob to retract that pushrod, you still need to push the lead back in manually. If you mean that the cap unscrews, it may just need a bit of lubrication to the threads inside the barrel, and you can snug the cap down while the mechanism is out of the barrel as well.


Mike Hungerford
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#11 jonveley

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:14

Your Eversharp doesn't retract the lead at all, only the little pushrod that advances it. After you turn the knob to retract that pushrod, you still need to push the lead back in manually. If you mean that the cap unscrews, it may just need a bit of lubrication to the threads inside the barrel, and you can snug the cap down while the mechanism is out of the barrel as well.

 

He's got it absolutely right.  The pencil you show was introduced in 1924, when Eversharp redesigned the innards to include that spare lead chamber, put a medial rib on the clip for greater stability and made the tip a little longer.  By 1930, Eversharp's metal pencils only appeared in wholesale catalogs, suggesting they were phased out in late 1929.

 

Don't try to feed lead from the tip.  The tip is rifled and cuts grooves in the lead as it passes through and holds it in place. 

 

Retro 51 is slightly bigger than .046" and in my experience doesn't work as well. Vintage lead is still widely available and works fine, so long as you wipe each stick off with a tissue before use.   Avoid square lead.



#12 watch_art

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:24

Why wipe it off?  Is there some weird film on there?


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#13 Wahlnut

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:53

 

Proper filling method for this pencil.  The internal mechanism is free to come out when the lead is fully pushed out at the end of the lead life.  A little release lever is just out of sight in your photo.  Then that hits bottom at the end of the lead it triggers a release and you pull the entire mechanism out as you have done in the photo.  Then slide the groves worm gear slider all the way back.  That will retract the lead driving piston all the way back ad leave the lead guide cylinder at the front of the mechanism open.  Insert a new lead into they cylinder.  Then with lead pointed up slide the pencil cover outer barrel over and down the mechanism.  This will position the lead will into the cone from the inside during this process.  Clockwise turn the pencil cap/eraser cover to engage the grooved slider into the worm gear spiral inside the pencil barrel and the piston attached to the slider will push begin to the lead through the cone and out ready for for use.  THEN and only then, if you push the lead out too far, you can ccw the mechanism and push the excess lead back into the pencil.  Hope that helps some of you with how to fill eversharp Pencils of this era.  Another interesting fat ire is that the pencil tells you how much lead is left.  At any time you can pull the pencil cap straight back and you will see the mechanism will stop part way out.  The length of the exposed mechanism is the same as the length of the lead left to use.  If desired I can post these instructions as printed with these pencils when new.

Syd


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#14 thepenladyuk

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:57

Hey Syd - this sounds complicated, but I'll read through it again and try to follow. I did notice that there was a point when the inner barrel seemed to be 'exposed' but didn't know why and I just twisted it back until it was flush - now I know!

It would be fascinating to see the original instructions if you can post them up please.

Many thanks for your help....and to everyone who's posted so far! Chris.

#15 Wahlnut

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 21:05

 

It would be fascinating to see the original instructions if you can post them up please.

 

 

Here it is:

EVERSHARPPencilInstructions_zps1696512e.


Syd "the Wahlnut" Saperstein
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The WAHL-EVERSHARP Company
www.wahleversharp.com
New WAHL-EVERSHARP fountain and Roller-Ball pens

#16 Chthulhu

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 03:47

Ah-ha! I learned something new! Thank you, Syd. :-)


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#17 thepenladyuk

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 18:35

Syd - many thanks for posting the instructions.  I followed yours to the letter and indeed it works, although occasionally the lead just falls out (I'm using the Retro 51 lead which is 0.9m apparently).  Anyway, if I apply some pressure to the lead it seems to grip at the other end and stays so that I can write with it.  This will do for me.  It's not a pencil I will be using a lot, but I like the idea that it's more than just a wooden one, so it's in my daily pencil case just in case I want to use it!

 

I don't know it's provenance, but I seem to have a recollection of it being in my late Father's possessions.  He was a policeman but I doubt he would have used for work!  I think it might have belonged to one of his relatives and he inherited it.  It has "Scotland" in small capital letters engraved on the side, so maybe it was a souvenior.

 

Anyway, like most interested enthusitasts, I think there is something wonderful just handling and writing with such an instrument that was once used in the late 1920s-30s - how cool is that!?! - and I wonder what words were written with it and who by....

 

Thanks to everyone who has participated in this thread too!  Chris. :)



#18 Wahlnut

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:31

 

The proper lead is .046" equal to 1.18mm, so its not a surprise it fall out.  There's plenty of old Eversharp lead sold on eBay etc.  If you can't find any give me a shout.


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#19 jonveley

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 03:04

Why wipe it off?  Is there some weird film on there?

 

Lead is affected by humdity, which can cause it to swell,  Wiping it off removes any accumulated debris which adds enough to the diameter that it may cause the lead to jam.

 

Syd, that's interesting to see the second generation Eversharp instructions.  Although the tip-up filling method works on second generation pencils, I've always dropped leads in with the tip pointed down -- it's the only way to fill a first generation pencil, and it works equally well with second generation pencils. 



#20 watch_art

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 03:21

Oh!  Interesting.  Thanks for telling me about that.


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