Lead on pencil falling out

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Ddw04

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
28
Location
Florida
So I have 2 pencils I made a while ago and I've always used .7 lead, but recently .5 and .7 lead keeps falling through when ever u click the top to get more lead. Has anyone had this happen?
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Lucky2

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
984
Location
New Brunswick/ Canada
Why would you attempt to use a .05 lead, in a pencil kit made for a .07 lead? There's a .02 difference in size, doesn't sound like a lot of difference in size. But, it's enough for the kit not to hold onto the smaller lead.

Len
 

randyrls

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2006
Messages
4,203
Location
Harrisburg, PA 17112
As Len said, make sure you have the correct size lead.
I had this same problem a little while ago with my "daily carry" pencil. This is for a Sierra style pencil and you may need a thin straight pin.
These "Push to extend" pencils will sometimes get 1 or 2 leads jammed in the extension mechanism. It can either prevent the lead from extending, or prevent the pencil from gripping the lead when extended. Either the lead will not extend, or it will just fall through without stopping or when you try to write, the lead will just retract into the mechanism.
Carefully dis-assemble the pencil. Do this over a cloth or towel. You should be able to do this with just fingers, Unscrew the nib, and the mechanism should come out the top. Look thru the hole in the nib for any lead jammed inside the nib. Now remove the top knot and the eraser and any lead inside the pencil. Unscrew the silver or brass tip from the black band to expose the actual feed mechanism. The mech. looks like a three jaw chuck with a sleeve around it.. Place the pencil with the black band up and press gently down on the black band. It is spring loaded. Slide the sleeve down. Look carefully for any lead jammed between the "jaws". Remove any obstruction and re-assemble. Put fresh lead into the pencil. Hope this helps.
 

Ddw04

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
28
Location
Florida
Why would you attempt to use a .05 lead, in a pencil kit made for a .07 lead? There's a .02 difference in size, doesn't sound like a lot of difference in size. But, it's enough for the kit not to hold onto the smaller lead.

Len
Because .7 lead falls out suddenly like I said and since all I know of is .5 and .7 all I could do is try the .5 even if its smaller.
 

Ddw04

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
28
Location
Florida
As Len said, make sure you have the correct size lead.
I had this same problem a little while ago with my "daily carry" pencil. This is for a Sierra style pencil and you may need a thin straight pin.
These "Push to extend" pencils will sometimes get 1 or 2 leads jammed in the extension mechanism. It can either prevent the lead from extending, or prevent the pencil from gripping the lead when extended. Either the lead will not extend, or it will just fall through without stopping or when you try to write, the lead will just retract into the mechanism.
Carefully dis-assemble the pencil. Do this over a cloth or towel. You should be able to do this with just fingers, Unscrew the nib, and the mechanism should come out the top. Look thru the hole in the nib for any lead jammed inside the nib. Now remove the top knot and the eraser and any lead inside the pencil. Unscrew the silver or brass tip from the black band to expose the actual feed mechanism. The mech. looks like a three jaw chuck with a sleeve around it.. Place the pencil with the black band up and press gently down on the black band. It is spring loaded. Slide the sleeve down. Look carefully for any lead jammed between the "jaws". Remove any obstruction and re-assemble. Put fresh lead into the pencil. Hope this helps.
I've done that a bunch of times already which is why since I found this site I decided to ask around here in Hope's that someone ran into the same issue
 

duncsuss

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2012
Messages
1,393
Location
Wilmington, MA
What make of pencil are they? I know a lot about Pentel mechanisms, but nothing about the other types, and I don't want to waste your time making recommendations that might not apply to the pencils you are having trouble with.
 

Ironwood

Member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
770
Location
Mackay. Australia
I made some Slimline click pencils a few years ago, the leads that came with them were .9mm, .7mm replacement leads by Steadtler were too thin to be any good in them.
I didn't buy any more of those kits.
 

Lucky2

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
984
Location
New Brunswick/ Canada
Because .7 lead falls out suddenly like I said and since all I know of is .5 and .7 all I could do is try the .5 even if its smaller.
That's the reason for my question, a larger lead has already slipped through. So,why would you think a smaller lead would not fall through? I wasn't being critical. I was just wondering why, a person would think something smaller wouldn't just slide through as well? Did you know beforehand, that a #5 lead was smaller than a #7 lead? If not, then I'm sorry for the question, but if you did, then it was a fair question to be asked?
Len
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
10,415
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Sorry for interjecting a thought that I know won't help with the issue at hand, but .....

This discussion brings to the foreground the basically Paleolithic nature of our overall obsession, namely our fascination with making our own pens and pencils at the expense of about $10+ each when you can get a perfectly long-term functional writing instrument for free from an insurance agent, realtor or dental office.

My family keeps making fun of me for doing this. . I have no defense other than to retreat to my workshop and make another pen !!!!!

Why do we do it ??????????????????????????????????????????????? . Yeah, I know the argument about the "Artist Mentality", and so on ..... .

Please help me try to understand myself !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Lucky2

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
984
Location
New Brunswick/ Canada
Sorry for interjecting a thought that I know won't help with the issue at hand, but .....

This discussion brings to the foreground the basically Paleolithic nature of our overall obsession, namely our fascination with making our own pens and pencils at the expense of about $10+ each when you can get a perfectly long-term functional writing instrument for free from an insurance agent, realtor or dental office.

My family keeps making fun of me for doing this. . I have no defense other than to retreat to my workshop and make another pen !!!!!

Why do we do it ??????????????????????????????????????????????? . Yeah, I know the argument about the "Artist Mentality", and so on ..... .

Please help me try to understand myself !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well Mal, all that I can tell you about this hobby, of making pens and not selling or giving them away as we make them. Is to make sure that, when you do pass away, you have enough of them on hand, for your family members to hand one out to each person who pays respect to you at your wake and funeral. It would be a great way to get rid of them, and to draw more people out to pay their respect to you. Which in turn will make you look even more popular than usual. Because, as people hear about your beautiful pens being given away, to people who attend your wake. People who don't even know you will be showing up, just to get something free.🤪🤣🤪🇨🇦

Len
 

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
213
I have used mechanical pencils all my life. I recommend that you carefully disassemble a few different types to see how they work. If you use them over time, you will learn to do that anyway, to fix the occasional jam.

The basic mechanism grabs the lead tightly to hold it in place while you write. The "jaws" of the mechanism grab the lead like a drill chuck. The center hole must match the lead precisely, in order to grip it without damage. A 0.5 mm lead will fall out of a 0.7 mm pencil because the hole is too large.

When you push the button to extend the lead, the tight grip around the lead pushes the lead forward. At the end of the push, the jaws push past a metal ring that holds them together. The jaws spread apart and release their grip on the lead.

At that point, if there is nothing to stop the lead from falling out, it will. I think that may be happening to your pencil.

On many (all?) mechanical pencils, there is a tiny rubber tube embedded in the tip. It is very very very small. As the lead pushes through the rubber tube, there is just enough friction. It is the friction from the rubber tube that keeps the lead from falling out of the pencil when the jaws release their grip.

As you release the button, a spring retracts the jaws back into their place, but the lead stays forward, partly because of the friction in the tiny rubber tube. The metal ring causes the jaws to close around the lead in that tight grip, but now the lead is a little more forward, ready to write.

Those tiny rubber tubes are oh so very small and easy to lose. You must pay attention if you push a pin or lead through the front of the tip to clear out a broken piece of lead. If you are not careful, you can knock out that tiny rubber tube and lose it. It is so small that you may think it is a dust spec or bit of lead and throw it away. After that, when the jaws release their grip on the lead at the end of the push, the lead can fall out.

Sometimes when you remove the tip, the rubber tube comes out of the tip and stays on the lead, where it may get lost.
 

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
213
Hahahaha, Len !!! . Would you promise to attend on anticipation of becoming a recipient ?? ;) :D😂
Coquitlam is set in a beautiful area, so I would love to go. Please plan it for summer. ;-)

Q: What do they do during the summer in Coquitlam?
A: If it comes on a Saturday, then they have a picnic.
 

DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
201
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
My only experience with "click" type pencils is with the Schmidt DSM mechanism used in the El Grande; I've made a bunch of these and use one daily. While this is a twist activated mechanism, it uses 3 jaws to grasp and expel the lead, just like the click does. It is interesting that to retract the lead with this mechanism, one twists the pencil, lead advances, and while holding the pencil such as to prevent the barrel from twisting back, one then manually - with a finger or pushing pencil tip on solid surface, pushes lead back into thee mechanism. The lead does not fall out. There then is obviously something in the tip that keeps this (the lead from falling out) from happening - most likely a small o-ring - as Penicillin stated above.

Thus, as Captain Obvious might say, your o-ring is shot/damaged or is missing. I have noted that if I try to feed lead into the mechanism from the tip it does not work; the lead simply breaks. This is different from retracting the lead as in retraction the lead is already "contained" by the holding device (o-ring) whereas attempting to load the pencil with lead from the tip, the o-ring, being slightly smaller in diameter than the thickness of the lead will at best impede the lead or worse, prevent the lead from being fed at all.

Assuming the "lead holding doohickey" is an o-ring, depending on the id and elasticity, it may be feasible that both 0.7 and 0.5 lead may be successfully used in the same mechanism.

Just my $0.02 worth.
 

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
213
I called your "o-ring" in the tip a "rubber tube", to distinguish it from the "metal ring" that keeps the jaws closed around the lead.

I am certain that the mechanical pencil industry has specific names for all the parts. I merely use (and make) the pencils. I never learned the names of the parts. Sorry.
 

DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
201
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
I called your "o-ring" in the tip a "rubber tube", to distinguish it from the "metal ring" that keeps the jaws closed around the lead.

I am certain that the mechanical pencil industry has specific names for all the parts. I merely use (and make) the pencils. I never learned the names of the parts. Sorry.
Sorry, didn't mean to misquote you. I've got no idea what Schmidt calls the device in their tip.
 

Ddw04

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
28
Location
Florida
That's the reason for my question, a larger lead has already slipped through. So,why would you think a smaller lead would not fall through? I wasn't being critical. I was just wondering why, a person would think something smaller wouldn't just slide through as well? Did you know beforehand, that a #5 lead was smaller than a #7 lead? If not, then I'm sorry for the question, but if you did, then it was a fair question to be asked?
Len
Because like I said all I know of are .7 and .5 so even if i was smaller there wasnt anything else i could do but try .5
 

Ddw04

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
28
Location
Florida
What make of pencil are they? I know a lot about Pentel mechanisms, but nothing about the other types, and I don't want to waste your time making recommendations that might not apply to the pencils you are having trouble with.
I have no idea :( I made them long ago in school.
 

Ddw04

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
28
Location
Florida
I made some Slimline click pencils a few years ago, the leads that came with them were .9mm, .7mm replacement leads by Steadtler were too thin to be any good in them.
I didn't buy any more of those kits.
Wait there is .9 lead?!?! I thought .7 was the biggest??
 

Ironwood

Member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
770
Location
Mackay. Australia
Wait there is .9 lead?!?! I thought .7 was the biggest??
I was never able to find any replacement leads to suit those pencils. Once the couple of leads that came with them were used up, they were pretty much useless. .7 leads would go in and seem to work ok, but if you applied any pressure when you were writing, the lead would slip back in.
 

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
213
I was never able to find any replacement leads to suit those pencils. Once the couple of leads that came with them were used up, they were pretty much useless. .7 leads would go in and seem to work ok, but if you applied any pressure when you were writing, the lead would slip back in.
If the lead is slipping back in, then the three (or four) "jaws" are not gripping the lead properly.

The lead may be too short, past the point where the jaws can grip it. Usually the new lead pushes the old one out. I assume that you have tried clicking until the new lead is loaded, and it didn't work. Something must be blocking the new lead, or perhaps you are out of leads.

There may be a small piece of lead jammed in the jaws, preventing them from closing around your lead.

Either way, you must disassemble your pencil to determine the cause of the problem. Pay attention to the small parts to avoid losing one. The pencil should have a fine metal pin to clear out the blocked tubes or clear a jammed piece from the jaws. Be careful not to lose the tiny rubber ring in the tip of the pencil. Be sure the pathway is clear, and the jaws open and close as they should when you press the button. If the tip is removed, you may want to do the "jaw function" test upside down or over a table, in case lead falls out. I usually put a white washcloth down, to make it easy to see and pick up the leads.

Reassemble the pencil and you're good to go.

Clearing the mechanism when a pencil jams is a skill you need, if you want to use mechanical pencils. Mechanical pencils are designed to be disassembled and cleared out, and they usually give you a thin metal pin to help.

Despite the occasional maintenance requirements, I prefer mechanical pencils.
 
Top Bottom