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Pencil writing waterproof, archival, fadeproof??


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Centurion

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 16:41

If pencil writing isn't erased, is it fadeproof and waterproof, perhaps even bleachproof for archival purposes?

If yes, it's interesting how easily pencil writing is rubbed away, but endures better than BP or RB and most FP inks.

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#2 wimg

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 21:23

Hi centurion,

I don't know about bleach for sure, but I guess it is pretty much proof against most things, except erasing :D. After all, the main ingredient is supposed to be carbon :D. Drawings of old masters done in pencil and/or charcoal, the predecessor of the pencil, have survived the ages quite well AFAIK... :D

Warm regards, Wim

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#3 KCat

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 22:51

:D. After all, the main ingredient is supposed to be carbon :D. Drawings of old masters done in pencil and/or charcoal, the predecessor of the pencil, have survived the ages quite well AFAIK... :D

Warm regards, Wim

pretty sure it's bleach proof - among other nasty chemicals. it's the preferred method for labeling in the labs I've worked in. Grease pencils smear and can be removed with certain chemicals, ballpoint and sharpie are susceptible to organics and other chemicals.

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#4 Centurion

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 02:10

Interesting and a bit ironic. The pencil is in many ways bulletproof like some of Noodler's inks, but pencil is so easily erased.

I would readily use it for something for my eyes only as in a journal or date book, but I can't write in pencil on the flip side of a page without some pencil markings being pressed onto a previous sheet in the journal or datebook. :( Also, pencil writing isn't particularly vivid, like FP ink can be. Oh well, nothing is perfect.

I noticed that colored pencils are more difficult to erase. What is added to give to the graphite to give it color such as red or green etc.? I believe that modern pencil lead is made out of graphite, a type of carbon?? The natural color is an greyish black, I believe, so something must be added to give it color, and this color makes it more difficult to erase. KCat, I wonder if colored pencil lead has the same or better bulletproof qualities as regular pencil lead??

#5 Stylo

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 02:19

But anything written with a pencil can smear quite easily if one is not careful.

#6 eli

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 03:04

Centurion, basically you ‘modern’ pencils are a mixture of graphite and clay, sometimes with a little carbon (lamp black), that is baked hard.

Harder 'leads' contain more clay and make lighter lines.
Softer pencils are darker and contain less clay. Sometimes carbon is added for an extra degree of black. Softer pencils are easer to smear/remove than harder leads.

Carbon pencils are also available.

Colored Pencils are usually a mix of clay, pigment and waxes. The pigments may be the same as used in artists' paints, crayons, inks, glazes for pottery etc.; as well as commercial products. An exception that may contain graphite or lamp black would be a black or grey.

You can also make a silver point or gold point pencil by stopping into a lapidary shop and picking up a couple inches of soft, pure silver and gold wire. Take spare mechanical pencils or lead holders along so you get a good fit (the cheap student pencils are great for this) and after you have positioned them in the pencils, round the points on very fine sandpaper. Then you can take glossy magazines and draw/write on the white/lighter pages.

Silverpoint and goldpoint were a favorite media with the 'old masters. The silver point will darken over time as the metal tarnishes. The gold should remain bright and unchanged. The glossy magazines work well for messing about because the pages are coated fit clay.

If you decided you wanted to do this on fresh paper, you'd have to either prepare it yourself or try to buy some already made-up for the artist market. Either way, in the hands of a talented draftsman, this can be very delicate and beautiful. Just look at the silverpoints of Leonardo for master examples.

Of course it's a lot of fun for us ordinary folks too.

And it is also very permanent.

Cheers,
Eli

Edited by eli, 07 March 2006 - 03:07.


#7 Centurion

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 00:33

Eli, who makes carbon pencil lead? I'd be interested in trying that out. :) I typically use pencil lead from Pentel or Staedler's. More Pentel because it's easier to buy (more available). It would be great to get the qualities of a pencil in a darker color and it sounds like carbon pencil lead is the way to go!

#8 eli

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 06:11

Centurion, try Dick Blic www.dickblick.com for Generals' carbon sketching pencils and Wolffs' carbon pencils. They carry Conte branded items but I did not see their carbon pencils listed.

I have Conte carbon pencils and they are a pleasure to use, but these others should be fine. I think I bought my supply of carbon pencils at a local Binders Art Store, about 12 years ago.

Local artist stores, IF they are halfway decent should have these. I have not done a search for leads for lead holders and mechanical pencils so if anyone has a tip about these, speak up please.

Cheers,
Eli

PS: I did a quick Google and came up with this for carbon leads http://www.artistsup.....Colored Leads
[I]

Edited by eli, 08 March 2006 - 06:14.


#9 Gerry

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 06:46

What, nobody mentioned indelible pencils? :lol:

All the qualities of lead pencils plus can't be erased when set. Setting involves moisture.

Actually, I have seen tests of various pencils, including indelibles for permanence. Wish I could remember where...

Gerry
Edit: Oh, yes...: http://aic.stanford....17/bp17-05.html
See test results fig 11 ...

Edited by Gerry, 08 March 2006 - 06:58.


#10 saturation

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 16:00

I once brought this up to the US Nat'l archives via email.

Most pencil marks are archival in that if taken care off, will not fade. The paper may deteriorate!

Modern ink is usually not archival quality. Generally, if water soluble, its not acceptable. Quill and pen day ink were suspensions of carbon or such, and have persisted but modern ink are dyes that deteriorate under various conditions.

http://www.archives....of-contents.pdf


I ran into this little handbook on how to write, make a quill, mix ink etc.:


http://www.dohistory...it/writing.html

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#11 JD-Be

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 08:30

OK, we are 12 years later on this threat ...

But I have heritated some boxes of copy-pencils. They have to be dipped into water to write indelible.
Dry, they give a grey colour, wet they bring a purple colour. In the past, many administrations in Europe used them. Aparently, in Italy it is still in use to write some official papers.

You should NOT use lasiva, because the anilin inside the lead is poisonous (after a longer period of time used of course.)  JD
copypencil-demo.jpg



#12 JD-Be

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 08:37

See also the very useful threat:
 

http://www.fountainp...1-pencil-v-pen/



#13 bluebellrose

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 12:05

hmmm, so the carbon black inks are kinda like liquid pencil.



#14 Corona688

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 18:20

Graphite is 100% fade-proof and more inert than the paper you wrote on.

Lots of mineral pigments share this property but not all of them are polite to use today.

Colored pencil, wax pencil etc aren't the same thing, they may use dyes and be subject to fading.

Edited by Corona688, 07 March 2018 - 18:21.


#15 sidthecat

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 05:12

I just got one of the “writing instruments” that Hisnibs.com is selling. They’re a revival of a very old technique called drypoint, in which a metal alloy is used to put a delicate line on paper. Graphite put it out of business in the 17th century, but there’s a lot of charm to the concept of a thing that needs no sharpening and never wears out. It’s a superb layout tool, and a very pleasing object to hold. All it needs is a name for it.

#16 Torrilin

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 13:03

Mentioned up thread, it’s either silverpoint or goldpoint most likely.






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