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Imperial Pencil Leads: Where Can I Get Them?



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A friend of mine has a nice Parker Duofold mechanical pencil, made around 1950. He is about to run out of leads. My calipers measure the existing leads at 1/20 inch, 0.05 inch. Does anyone know where Imperial leads are available? The 1.18 mm metrical gauge will work at a pinch, but the real thing would be preferable.

Thanks!

Peter

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Your calipers are off a bit. You are looking for "standard" lead AKA 46 thousandths or 0.046" lead.

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ISW_Kaputnik

There are lots of vintage .046 inch leads available on eBay. Or at least, there used to be. I stopped stocking up a while ago.

 

There's also this place, which has a vintage leads in various grades and lengths. I ordered from them once, and had no issues.

 

https://www.legendaryleadcompany.com/store/c3/.046_inch_%281.1_mm%29_leads.html

 

If you want to be extra sure that you're getting the imperial sizes, they have these.

 

https://www.legendaryleadcompany.com/store/c18/Vintage_leads.html

Edited by ISW_Kaputnik

"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."

 

- Benjamin Franklin

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Thanks for this - yes my calipers were not exactly on 0.05"! And thanks for the pointers.

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Standard leads = 46 thousandths = 1.1mm

"Thin" leads, including Sheaffer's "fineline" leads = 36 thousandths = 0.9mm

 

The thinner 0.7mm and 0.5mm it seems came in about 50 years ago with the advent of the Pentel and other Japanese propel mechanisms with the long tubes to support the leads. Even Autopoint's "real thin" leads are 0.9mm I suspect that the finer leads don't work well with the traditional propel/repel mechanisms.

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BaronWulfraed

The thinner 0.7mm and 0.5mm it seems came in about 50 years ago with the advent of the Pentel and other Japanese propel

 

I still have a Pentel using 0.3 leads. I consider 0.5 to be the fat lead (0.7+ is something for school kids mashing the pencil against the paper).

 

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