Over the years, I had picked up some custom pencils, but for the longest time I resisted adding them to my database about my Collection. I did have some of them on display, but had not decided what to do.
Finally, with the growing size of the collection of custom pencils, I decided to go ahead and catalog these.
For this writeup, I am going to go over these by where I got these from.
Wood Turned Pencils
The first wood turned pencils I found online were from Turn-of-the-Century, but when I was looking for more wood turned Pentel P200 pencils online, most of the sites that came up were on Etsy, so I decided to purchase a pencil from each of the stores I found on there.
Thom Wilson – P205 Wood Turned Teak
This is a very nice looking pencil, but it would never make it into my regular pencil rotation. This is no fault of Thom, it is just that I like a thin pencil (look at what I am collecting), and his pencil has a grip diameter of about 1/2″ or more, much to large for me.
One other issue is that the pencil has been sealed or varnished, but the end-grain on the cap end, does not appear to have been sealed. Either it was not, or the wood absorbed the sealant on the end.
Richard Altenhofen – P205 Wood Turned Bloodwood
Richard had several pencils in different variety of wood, but I finally decided on the Bloodwood. Again, this is much too thick for my taste, but in his description of the pencils he writes, “I make the diameter of my mechanical pencils a bit larger that [sic] the original because I find people like the grip better.”
One thing I do like about this pencil is that he copied much of the detail that is on the standard P200 body. He has the groove cut out for the clip to sit in, and he has the grooves at the front along the grip, although his has 13 vs. the Pentel’s 11 grooves.
His pencils normally come in P207, but he will change them out to P205 or P209 upon request.
Dale Parrott – P205 Wood Turned Zebra Wood
This is one of my favorite of the wood pencils. At the time I purchased this, he had two Zebra Wood pencils, but I like the looks of this one the best. Another reason that this is one of my favorites, is the shape mimics the P205, and fits my hand perfectly.
It is also very reminiscent of the Brown Marble P205, in the flow of the lines.
Turn-of-the-Century Wood Turning
The next three pencils come from the website http://www.turn-of-the-century.com/write.htm. They offer several types of items including pens and pencils. The pencils use either the P205 or P207 internals, and they usually have a couple of dozen pencils available in several different varieties of wood, and three different styles. I chose one of each style in a different wood each.
P205 Wood Turned High Flare Cocobolo
Turn-of-the-Century carves their flare on the pencils in two different positions. This one is the high flare, set above the end of the pencil for people who like to hold their pencils further up.
I don’t particularly care for the flare, especially this high up, but I wanted to have one of each style of pencil that they make. This is the darkest wood of the pencils I have and is hard to photograph, but it does have some wood grain aspects in a very dark red and brown.
P205 Wood Turned Flare Honduran Rosewood
This flared pencil is made of one of the lighter woods that I have.
P205 Wood Turned Purpleheart
This is my other favorite of the wood turned pencil, and is also the first one I purchased back in January 2017. I really like the purple color to the wood and the tapered shape; it feels really good in your hand.
When I first got on Kickstarter, I backed several makers of pens, but I did not ever see people making pencils out of metal. Finally in 2012, I came upon a Kickstarter by Brian Conti to design a metal pencil based on the Pentel P205. And the collection started there.
I have not found anyone else online who designs a metal pencil based on the P200, so all the pencils below are from https://www.spokepen.com/. All of these pencils, with one exception, were available in 0.5mm, 0.7mm & 0.9mm.
Spoke One Dot
As I said above, I had purchased metal pens (and still use one or two), but had never found metal pencils until the Spoke Mechanical Pencil.
According to the Kickstarter, Brian wanted to design a pencil that was not just another round pencil in metal, and used his CNC machine to make this pencil out of aluminum. To make it unique and stand out, he carved the slots out of the sides to give it the look of spokes in a wheel. Since he planned on doing more pencils later, he decided to make a single dot on one side near the cap, and that would be how he designated the pencils, thus the Spoke One Dot was born.
You can go see the original Kickstarter page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/690647277/spoke-mechanical-pencil . As you can see in the above pictures, I backed the 3-pack, including the Kickstarter exclusive green color.
As best as I can remember, after the Kickstarter, Brian set up his website and a couple of months later he offered this limited edition pencil, without the cutouts. This one still has the One Dot at the top, but also has “SPOKE” stamped on the side, along with the number of the pencil, in my case, “6”. This pencil is made of Gunmetal Gray anodized aluminum.
This pencil was released in 2013, and was a kind of side pencil from the main Spoke line, and thus does not have the Dot designation. It is labeled “SPOKE 2013”, and is also, the only pencil in my Collection that is not one of the P200 family of pencils. This one is made from the guts of the Pentel P225 (the only size available at this time).
It is a good thing that Brian did not decide to try to continue to use the P225, as (at least here in the USA) it was discontinued after the 2012 catalog. Or maybe that is why he did not carry forward with this…
Spoke Two Dot
I missed this pencil when it was first offered and only picked it up this year when Brian posted about having a few left in stock.
Aside from the Two Dot designator, the only difference I see in this pencil is that the slots are cut narrower than the One Dot.
Spoke Three Dot Prototype
This is another acquisition from this year. Made of bare aluminum, this pencil marked a complete change of direction for Spoke pencils, and I think it is for the better. I did like the uniqueness of the prior pencils, but they never fit my hand comfortably due to the flare at the tip end.
This pencil, with the straight grip section that flares out larger into the body where the spokes are is, to me, a fantastic design. It just fits my hand very comfortably.
The only real downside to this design, is that it no longer has any flat edges to keep it from rolling off a desk.
As I said, this pencil is a prototype for the…
Spoke Three Dot
In July 2017, Spoke Design released almost the perfect pencil.
It had the right shape and it was Brian’s first pencil released in Titanium (the only way the Three Dot was released). It was perfect, except that he kept having issues making these out of Titanium (I suspect in the cutting out the slots). Thus, only 100 were released, making a limited edition out of what was (I believe) supposed to be an ongoing production.
Released on Halloween (October 31) 2017, the Spoke 4 was a departure in several ways.
First, the name. The dots and Dot designation were dropped for this release, although the 4 is inside a big white dot. Second, this pencil is made of two sections; the grip and the body.
And these two sections, give you a lot of choices. The body currently comes in 4 colors; the grip comes in 2 sizes: 8.3mm & 9.2mm, and 5 choices of materials/colors. Of course it is still available in the three sizes: 0.5mm, 0.7mm & 0.9mm (if you ask very nicely, you can even get it in 0.3mm). This gives you 120 different combinations to choose from (160 for those who asked nicely).
The first one I purchased was the Red anodized aluminum body with the 8.3mm Black anodized aluminum grip in 0.5mm.
Later I purchased a Blue anodized body (I love this shade of blue) with the 8.3mm Titanium grip (I have always been fascinated with Titanium since a certain comic book series I read as a kid), of course in 0.5mm. This is the first Spoke pencil that I have used constantly since I got it and it resides on my desk at work.
In September of this year, the next two pencils were released concurrently.
These pencils feature the return of the Dots on the pencil, but not in the name. They are designated “5” after the Dots and “2” or “3” after the number of slots cut on each side. The smaller grip area (than the Dot 3 or 4) is 9mm in diameter, but the cap end features the return of a 6 flat sides, which will help with rolling on desks.
Right now, these are only available in aluminum in two finishes; anodized storm grey (see the 5-2 above) and bare aluminum (5-3). Due to being made of aluminum, and such a small cross-section, these are very light, and thus probably won’t make it into my permanent rotation, as I like heavier pencils.
I look forward to seeing what Brian and Spoke Designs come up with in the future.