Have you ever wondered how your pencil got to your local office supplies shop? Opisina.com.ph gives a more in-depth look at how pencils are manufactured.
- Pencils are made of incense cedar, a type of wood that are flexible enough to shape but sturdy enough to withstand pressure under a person’s hands. The cedars are cut into the usual 5mm-thick slats (18 by 7cm) before they are brought into pencil factories.
- The slats are placed in machines which will cut several grooves into the middle of them. These grooves will hold the lead of the pencil.
- The grooves will be filled with glue which will serve as a type of padding to prevent the lead from breaking inside the pencil.
- After passing under the glue applicator, the slats will pass under a lead-laying wheel. The wheel, where the lead are attached and evenly spaced on its surface, will roll over the slats, loading the lead into the grooves. It’s basically the same process for every pencil there is— the only difference is the components of the lead inside (e.g. the lead of colored pencils are made of wax, clay, and dye and requires no baking).
- Another group of slats will be flipped over the slats with lead to cover them. These slats will end up in a kind of sandwich pile that will be compressed by another machine until the glue in them dries.
- Finally, the slats will pass into two types of cutting machine, which will separate the slats into pencils. The pencil will now be ready for quality checking.
- A factory worker will pick a pencil from the pile, sharpen it, place it (sharpened end up) under a machine that will apply pressure to it. A pencil should be able to hold at least 2 kg of force in order to pass the quality assurance test.
- The pencils will now be coated with several layers of lacquer until stamped with the company’s trademark. The pencil will then be placed into another machine for capping or for adding rubber ends on them.
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