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Artist-Color Leads

Full range of colors for mechanical pencils
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
  [vote for,

The other day I did some Googling for colored leads for mechanical pencils, and found red and blue and nothing else. What??? When a whole range of colored leads are available inside standard-wooden-pencil format, it should be simple to make an equivalent range of colored leads for mechanical pencils, but so far I don't know if anyone is actually doing it.
Vernon, Jul 12 2010

Pentel eight-color pencil refills https://www.pentels...65630f79e4171131f38
[xaviergisz, Jul 12 2010]

http://www.statione...d-refill-p-511.html [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 13 2010]


       The reason they aren't generally available, I would guess, is because mechanical pencils have a much lower artistic range than traditional ones (line weight, width, etc. is much harder to control).   

       That eliminates most artistic uses, and most technical users rarely require more than red/black.   

       There's also the fact that colored pencils are typically wax or similar materials, and thus are not really suitable for production in the typical (.5-.7mm) mechanical "lead".
MechE, Jul 12 2010

       [MechE], there is a 0.9mm size also available, for mechanical pencils.
Vernon, Jul 12 2010

       [xaviergisz], thanks for the link, but it appears to be a specialty item for a special pencil, not a generic lead refill for any mechanical pencil of the right size. In fact, the pencil for which those leads are intended appears to be the fully-baked version of another Idea here "Multicolored Mechanical Pencil" (see link at upper right of screen).
Vernon, Jul 12 2010

       thermal wax pencil.
FlyingToaster, Jul 12 2010

       It is my understanding that the ordinary pencil "lead", while it has that name because the first pencils actually used lead metal in them as the writing substance, nowadays basically consist of a mixture of graphite (black) and clay. The amount of clay determines the "hardness", with 1 being soft and 4 being the most difficult to put black marks on paper. This in turn implies that the clay is just the binder, and almost any colored pigment can work as a replacement for graphite, if it is ground finely enough. To be determined, obviously.
Vernon, Jul 13 2010

       If 1.3 mm works for you they are baked. [link]   

       I couldn't find anything under mechanical pencil, but "pencil pen" has a few hits.   

       [2 fries], it is interesting that the first link doesn't specify the diameter of the leads. Perhaps these (made by same company) are a different set of leads, for the same pencil as the other set.
Vernon, Jul 13 2010

       By Jove you might be right.   

       Sp: Colour
Twizz, Jul 13 2010

       There are two forms of 'mechanical' pencil - there's the 'clutch' lead pencil, arguably the father of all pencils that uses leads of approx 3-5mm, and the 'clicky' kind with the 0.3 - 0.7 mm leads. I'm guessing we're talking about the clicky 'propelling' kind here, because the clutch variety have a reasonable (if still small) choice of colours.
zen_tom, Jul 13 2010

       [Twizz], I won't complain when a Britisher uses the spelling "colour" if you won't complain when an American uses the spelling "color", OK? We both know what either of us talking about there, after all.   

       [zen tom], the original variety of mechanical pencil, with a spiral inside the plastic tube, and a twist used to extend the lead, doesn't seem to be very available any more. I'm looking at one now, that I've had laying around for more than 30 years, and the thickness of its lead appears to be less than 1mm (perhap 0.9mm). I bet the new mechanical type is prevalent simply because it is cheaper to make, heh!
Vernon, Jul 13 2010

       Traditionally, non-photo blue and red pencils were used because they don't show up in copies, and as they are usually made of waxy "lead' they can provide more degrees of contrast.
Wayne Scotting, Mar 29 2011

       So, we can now add the history of pencils to our burgeoning list of halfbakery expertises. Excellent news!

I'm all in favour of more colour in the world, so + from me but I suspect that MechE's anno is correct.

PS: That's not your real name is it Wayne? Please say it isn't!
DrBob, Mar 30 2011

       The history of pencils is long and fascinating. Henry Petroski wrote a surprisingly good book on it.   

       Wayne Scotting is not my real name, but the name vernon was taken.
Wayne Scotting, Mar 30 2011

       Apparently the Borrowdale mine in Cumberland used to be about the only place in the world where graphite for pencil leads was mined.
hippo, Mar 30 2011


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