How to Make Wood Pencils
This is one of those projects I've been thinking about for a long time and really glad I followed through on. I couldn't be happier with how they came out. These were made by routing a very small groove into two pieces of wood to hold the graphite and glued together. I tried to have continuous grain to hide the seam and it worked pretty well. I sanded a hexagon shape into each pencil but it's not really noticeable because as I was doing some final sanding they rounded out. The shape is still there and the pencils don't roll off the table but the shape is not as noticeable as I was expecting. I did want them to be super smooth and have a "fine woodworking" feel so I thought the final sanding was necessary. Adding polyurethane and dipping the end in paint was the icing on the cake.
All of these pencils were made in a day. After doing one batch I feel like I could make them even quicker the next time around. These would make a great craft show seller since a handful could be made all at once keeping the final price down and I think I could make them even more eye catching by choosing different color paints for the ends.
If you make any yourself be sure to Tweet some photos to me so I can share them with my audience. Be safe! Be Passionate and Make Something!
Tools and Supplies
- Micro Jig GRR-Rippers
- Router Bit V Groove
- Drawing Lead
- Titebond Glue
- Metal Protractor
- Adhesive Backed Sandpaper
- Painter's Touch Paint
Step 1: Cutting Pencil Blanks
Cut two thin strips of your favorite wood. Size doesn't matter yet as we'll be cutting down to size in a later step.
Step 2: Route Groove
Using a v-groove bit route a very small channel in each piece. This will be used to hold the pencil lead.
Step 3: Drawing Leads
For the graphite I'm using drawing leads I picked up from Amazon.
Step 4: Gluing Up
Add plenty of wood glue to each half and insert the drawing lead in the groove.
Step 5: Clamp it Up
Now clamp tightly and let dry for at least one hour.
Step 6: Cutting Down to Size
Now you can cut your pencil down to size. I found an existing pencil and used that as my size guide.
Step 7: Cutting to Length
Then cut the pencil to length. Here in the photo I'm cutting all my pencils at once.
Step 8: Sanding
Using a jig with adhesive backed sandpaper and two pieces of wood angled at 120deg, I sand some angles to create a hexagon shape.
Step 9: Finishing
Optional: add a coat of polyurethane to bring out the beauty of the wood and add a bit of protection.
Step 10: Dip in Paint
Optional: Dip the end in white paint for a decorative look. I angled my dip for an added effect.
Step 11: Sharpen Your Pencil
And finally sharpen away! I did find that some exotic woods are very hard and takes a bit of force to sharpen.