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I'm Wondering If I Should Buy A 0.2Mm Or 0.3Mm (Or Even 0.5Mm) Mechanical Pencil For Practicing Spencerian Script...

handwriting spencerian pencil mechanical mechanical pencil

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15 replies to this topic

#1 TestTube

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 04:38

I'm wondering if I should buy a 0.2mm or 0.3mm (or even 0.5mm) Mechanical Pencil for practicing Spencerian Script...

 

It is suggested in several places that when practicing Spencerian Script I should use a writing utensil that produces as thin a line as possible. However, I'm wondering if 0.2mm or even 0.3mm lines are simply too thin?

 

By the way, if anyone was wondering, this is the pencil I'm going to purchase: https://www.amazon.c...B06VWNYHY3?th=1

 

The reason I'm using a pencil and not a pen is because I want to use super cheap paper and I don't want to get any feathering, bleed-through, etc.

 

What do you guys think?


Edited by TestTube, 05 January 2020 - 04:40.


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#2 vicpen123

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 05:51

There are many pencils on the market that take a .3mm lead for a fraction of the cost eg. Pentel 200.

 

Prefer .5mm myself preferably with a 2B (or equivalent) lead for smooth writing.

 

I have used thin lead pencils for drafting for many years and they can be simple and inexpensive.

 

Look around.



#3 TestTube

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 05:57

I'm set on the pencil that I'm buying because of its features. I appreciate the suggestion though.

 

I'm simply wondering if you guys think 0.2mm is gonna be too thin and if 3mm would be better.

 

The reason it's suggested that the line is smaller is that it's easier to detect mistakes when practicing handwriting...but I don't wanna go TOO small. (If in fact 2mm IS too small, that is).



#4 dumaresq

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 07:07

I'm not sure what stage of the Spencerian journey you're at, so please excuse me if this is too basic!

 

Do you intend to move on to writing Spencerian with a flex nib (either fountain pen or dip pen) and making the swells (the thickened parts of some letters)?

 

If so, these require a very particular angle of orienting your body/hand to the paper, and practising with a pencil may build the wrong movements into your muscle memory.

 

I would recommend practising with a flex nib pen. There are some inks that work well on cheap paper, e.g. from my experience Diamine Bilberry.



#5 D B Holtz

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 23:25

I have two Kuru Togas, an 0.5/HB and an 0.3/2B, that regularly make it into the rotation of pencils that I use for Spencerian practice.  Both work well for me, but I think a 0.2 would be too thin to be useful.  Based on what I see with the 0.3, I think the shading from a 0.2 would not be noticable.

 

These are great for generally practicing and specifically improving the letterforms; if you are looking for a pencil that is more convenient to carry than an oblique dip pen and a bottle of ink, then something softer in the 4B - 6B range is a better match to the light touch you need for the pen.  I like the Tombow Mono KM-KKS (6B), the Mitsubishi Penmanship Practice (4B), and the Palomino Blackwing (the "black" Blackwing).

 

HTH,

DB



#6 TestTube

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 18:03

Okay. Thanks. I'm wondering also...(though maybe I should make another thread with this question):

 

What do you (or anyone else) think is the best brand of mechanical pencil lead?

 

EDIT: To the above poster "dumaresq" - I am a beginner, only 2-3 weeks into practice, although I practice several hours each day and I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

 

I do own a Pilot Metal Falcon but what I want to do first is to make just my handwriting itself as close to a perfected version of Spencerian as possible. Also, I'm completely new to the Palmer method (using my arm to write instead of my wrist / fingers), and there are a bunch of exercises that - if I were to do them with a fountain pen - tend to use an absurd amount of ink and actually destroy even good paper sometimes if done enough.

 

Once I'm confident enough with my regular handwriting, then I'll change my focus to practicing a calligraphy version of it, but that won't be for a long time.


Edited by TestTube, 06 January 2020 - 18:42.


#7 Honeybadgers

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 00:59

fine mechanical lead will break before you can put enough pressure to really give an expressive line.

 

What you want is a good B, 2B or 4B solid wood pencil or 2mm + lead holder. You can really lean on those without having them snap, giving bold, expressive shades.

 

But for a general spencerian practice tool, pencils are rather impressive.


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#8 spencerfan

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 11:57

Honeybadger, I am not sure what you mean when you say that pencils are rather impressive as general Spencerian practice tools. It had never occured to me to practice with a pencil, but certainly would cause me to practice more, I should think. My mother learned Palmer (an extremely beautiful version taught by Mexican Nuns in the 1920's) with a dip pen, so I have been copying her exercises with a dip pen. At age 70, I enjoy this challenge. What seems most effective is remembering the rhythm of her arm/hand movement.

D B Holtz, Thank you for listing the various pencil options -- a new world for me, and a great idea for birthday presents for my elementary school age grandchildren as an introduction to the value of fine writing and drawing tools.



#9 miwishi63

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 22:33

I personally find 0.2 unusable because of its fragility and my heavy. Hand. I can use 0.3 if I'm careful, but generally stick to 0.5 these days. Good luck in your new hobby!



#10 Honeybadgers

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 03:17

Honeybadger, I am not sure what you mean when you say that pencils are rather impressive as general Spencerian practice tools. It had never occured to me to practice with a pencil, but certainly would cause me to practice more, I should think. My mother learned Palmer (an extremely beautiful version taught by Mexican Nuns in the 1920's) with a dip pen, so I have been copying her exercises with a dip pen. At age 70, I enjoy this challenge. What seems most effective is remembering the rhythm of her arm/hand movement.

D B Holtz, Thank you for listing the various pencil options -- a new world for me, and a great idea for birthday presents for my elementary school age grandchildren as an introduction to the value of fine writing and drawing tools.

 

The difference in line width and fact that pressure yields literal instant results in terms of what we'd call "snapback" with a normal nib makes them very forgiving. Shades are dramatic without that fat blob at the bottom of the downstroke that takes practice to prevent.

 

Just grab a pencil and practice doing light and dark shades with pressure. It's kind of incredible how intuitive and simple it feels.


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#11 spencerfan

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 09:27

 

The difference in line width and fact that pressure yields literal instant results in terms of what we'd call "snapback" with a normal nib makes them very forgiving. Shades are dramatic without that fat blob at the bottom of the downstroke that takes practice to prevent.

 

Just grab a pencil and practice doing light and dark shades with pressure. It's kind of incredible how intuitive and simple it feels.

 

Neat! I will try it out. Thanks!



#12 TestTube

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 23:03

So...I bought that pencil I said I was going to buy (the Pentel Orenz Nero) aaaaand...it broke about 3 days later. =( This is kind of discouraging considering it was 30 USD and the place I ordered it from on eBay doesn't take returns.

 

I can't imagine that it was my fault but whatever mechanism causes the pencil to automatically load more lead while writing doesn't work anymore. After fiddling with it for a while I managed to get it to write like a normal mechanical pencil that I have to click (almost, it has its own issue although small) so I suppose that's a silver lining, though I'd like what I paid for...

 

Anyway, I don't want to give up on the pencil thing because of this so if anyone can recommend a good mechanical pencil let me know (in addition to the one mentioned above). The lead that I purchased is in 0.3mm though so that might narrow the possible suggestions...or I'll just continue using the half-broken Nero...or I'll attempt to call Pentel and see if they can do anything about this, we'll see.


Edited by TestTube, 27 January 2020 - 23:12.


#13 D B Holtz

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 17:14

The two Uni Kuru Togas that I bought from Jetpens have worked well for me, and were not that expensive.

 

For the price of the one you bought, Pentel should have sent a technician to your house to fix it.

 

DB



#14 TestTube

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 20:51

The two Uni Kuru Togas that I bought from Jetpens have worked well for me, and were not that expensive.

 

For the price of the one you bought, Pentel should have sent a technician to your house to fix it.

 

DB

 

LOL.

 

I called Pentel and shipped the pencil out so, lets see what happens from here.

 

I'm still up for buying yet another mechanical pencil though (preferably in 0.3mm size) so if anyone else knows any more, feel free to let me know.

 

Thanks.



#15 JosephKing

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 01:21

I'd like to explore, for a moment, the possibility that the breaking of your pencil isn't a manufacturing defect, but a non robust design in the auto extending mechanism. It may be possible that the lateral forces applied during the downstrokes might be too great for that particular feature. The following could be some ways to reduce the forces:
- a softer, darker, lead, would allow you to see greater variation in the downstrokes
- a thicker lead would also allow for the same

Another alternative is to reduce the number of possible sources of failure (no auto extension, no retracting lead sleeve, no lead protection feature). I have a Staedtler 925 03 that seems robust enough (assuming the lateral forces wouldn't bend the solid lead sleeve)

But... this is just an exploration of it not being a manufacturing defect, which it probably is.

Edited by JosephKing, 03 February 2020 - 02:17.


#16 Anne-Sophie

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 15:16

Check this guy's blog and the links from his blog to other pencil enthusiasts blogs and pages.  http://davesmechanic...s.blogspot.com/

 

Here is another article about 0.3 mm lead holders, on another pencil blog.

http://www.penciltal...rafting-pencils


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: handwriting, spencerian, pencil, mechanical, mechanical pencil



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