How to make a pencil?
The history of the invention of graphite pencils goes back to the distant sixteenth century, when English shepherds found in the land near their village a strange black mass, which very much resembled coal, but for some reason did not want to burn. Soon the new material was still used - they began to make thin sticks from it, which could be used for drawing, as they left good, clear marks on canvas or paper. However, these sticks were not widely spread because they were very impractical: they often broke and soiled their fingers. Everything changed only when in 1863 the first wooden pencil in the world was made in Germany, the shape of which has not changed much over the past centuries and has survived to the present day.
How do pencils
The production process in a modern pencil factory consists of several dozen individual technological operations. For the manufacture of one pencil used about a hundred kinds of different consumables, and the time it takes at least ten days.
What is the pencil made of?
The main materials for the production of pencils are graphite, clay, colored pigments and polymers. All of them are used to make the “heart” of a pencil - its writing rod.
The second, equally important component of each pencil is a wooden shell, which reliably protects the rod from mechanical damage, and our hands - from graphite dust. Not every wood is suitable for such a responsible business. Pencils are made only from alder, linden, pine and cedar.
How to make a pencil: production of a pencil
The production of any pencil begins at the sawmill, where the logs are cleared of bark and made of timber. Next, the beam is cut into short pieces, each of which is then cut into planks of a given thickness.
Plates are sorted, rejected non-standard, collected in suitable packs and loaded into the autoclave. There the plates are finally dried, and then impregnated with paraffin.
The boards prepared in this way come to the next workshop, where they are passed through a complex machine, which simultaneously grinds their surface and makes parallel thin and long grooves on it from one side. The rods of future pencils will subsequently be laid in these recesses.
In the meantime, writing rods are being made in another workshop. Make them from a mixture of graphite and clay, which is crushed into the finest powder. Then the powder is mixed with water and the rods are molded, squeezing the resulting “dough” through thin holes, made in a special stamp, approximately the same as spaghetti is made. Then the semi-finished products of the rods are dried, after which they are baked at a temperature of about one thousand degrees in a special electric oven.
After annealing, the rods are saturated with fat. This is done so that the rods can then be written.
The finished rods are sent to the assembly shop, where the machine will place them in the grooves already cut in the plank, and then the second greased plank will be placed on top so that the edges of the grooves in the upper and lower parts exactly match. The resulting pencil “sandwiches” are put in piles and tightened with clamps so that the glue “grabs” well and the two halves adhere tightly to each other.
The stacks are dried for several hours at a temperature of 40 degrees, then the clamps are removed and the plates are brought to the machine, which they will already divide into individual pencils.In the same place, pencils will give a round or hexagonal shape that is familiar to us and will carefully trim the ends.
The finished “bare” pencils are then sent for painting. To make new pencils smooth and shiny, they are painted not once, but three and even sometimes four, and then several times more varnished. In the same place in the paint shop pencils are applied marking and company logo.
Bright, shiny, fresh-smelling pencils are transported to the packing department, where they are laid out in cardboard boxes, which are then packed in large boxes and sent to stores.