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The Fixpencil

A while ago, I bought a Caran d'Ache Fixpencil. This is a lead holder, an ancestor of the modern mechanical pencil. It does not have a lead advance mechanism, but a simple clutch mechanism holding the lead in place. To advance the lead, you push the button at the end of the pen, releasing the "claw" that holds the lead, push or pull the lead until it is where you want it, and release the button. It also takes much thicker leads than a modern pencil; mine uses 2 mm leads, but there is also a 3 mm version (and other brands go up to 5.6mm!). With such a thick lead, you need to sharpen it, and for this purpose, there is a built-in sharpener in the button. Equilibrists use a sand paper to shape the lead anyway they want it.

The pen body is hexagonal, like a traditional wood pencil, made of aluminium with a dark grey (near-black) powder coat finish. It is surprisingly light, but still has a nice solid feel to it.

Maybe not the most practical writing implement to jot down shopping lists or outlining your next shaving soap review, but is is the sort of slightly anachronistic gadget that might appeal to some people here. It being primarily a draftman's tool, now surpassed by CAD systems, it gives you a strange urge to wear a bow tie and a white coat, grab a slide rule, sit down at a drawing board, and design something.
 
I have several non Caran D'Ache 2mm lead holders, but the 3mm Fixpencil is on my acquisition list.

They come in handy for sketching.
 
I'd forgotten about the Fixpencil. It's been on my list for a while and this thread made me buy the 2mm version.

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I've always enjoyed using my Caran d'Ache pens and mechanical pencils. Lately I've been on a lead holder kick.
They work well for me when doing woodwork.

Thank you for reminding me Frogfoot.
 
Had something similar. Also had the sharpener; a heavy round device with the hole where you'd insert the pencil and rotate the hole to sharpen the lead.

They were going to be thrown them out and I grabbed them. I think I got rid of them in the 90's...at least I can't remember which box they'd be in.
 
My wife is a Caran D'ache fan and has a couple of the Ecridor "clutch" pencils. Nice instruments, beautiful to look at, but in my opinion, a bit overpriced for what's basically a metal tube with a lead clamping mechanism. :tongue_sm

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I have the same thing with the sharpener, I think they are made by Staedtler (sp). My dad always had them around, I think from his dad who was a draftsman as well. I used to use one when doing work around the house, but with rough lumber its too easy to break the lead so I switched to the fat pencil they sell at the box lumber stores. I still use the other one for sketching though, they are great for that and the sharpener gives the option of a needle sharp point or a blunter one. Pretty cool.

Had something similar. Also had the sharpener; a heavy round device with the hole where you'd insert the pencil and rotate the hole to sharpen the lead.

They were going to be thrown them out and I grabbed them. I think I got rid of them in the 90's...at least I can't remember which box they'd be in.
 
I love 2mm lead holders! I have many vintage ones as well as modern. The Rotring 800 in black is on my grail list. I still use my drafting table and t-square, its often much quicker for me than starting up the computer.


-Xander
 
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