Mary Tyler Moore sharpening pencils

Mary Tyler Moore Show Sharpening Pencils

As I mentioned in my recent mechanical pencil review, I just got a new app to make GIFs out of videos. My partner, a big fan of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, suggested I make a GIF out of this scene from the pilot episode, where Mary tries to keep busy by sharpening her pencils. And then when they’re all sharpened, as in this video, she continues by breaking the point and sharpening them again.

1946_Morrisharp_Silver_OMThough I’m not typically a fan of electric sharpeners, I’m in love with this one she’s using. With all that chrome, it looks like a Kitchenaid Mixer or something. I’m not sure of this, but according to some Google image searching, it looks like this is a Morrisharp sharpener, from as early as the late 1940s (Citation. Scroll down a bit to find it.)

(When I image searched “electric pencil sharpener 1960s,” It took me a while to land on the Morrisharp, but — holy cow! — look at these beauties!)

It’s a robot! No, it’s a pencil sharpener!

Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Please don’t assume I’m tired of pencils, dear reader — I use them every day.

I’m hoping to shift a bit and start posting more photos than text. I have a brand spankin’ new iPhone 4S with a great camera built in (see the robot holding the pencil above), and hope to take some shots of some of my new acquisitions.

I hate to be one of those bloggers who check in after months of inactivity just to give excuses of why they’ve been lax. But it seems I’m doing just that!

Meanwhile, a coworker brought in something that combines two of my favorite things: pencils and robots. And while it’s a fairly poor sharpener (his chest plate opens up to a sharpener that winds its feet as it sharpens), it’s a great desk prop, wouldn’t you say? Here he is holding one of my favorite notetaking pencils, a blue Palomino.

So don’t give up hope yet, my friends! I haven’t given up Woodclinched.

The Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

For as many different kinds of wooden pencils I use, I’m not usually too adventurous with my pencil sharpener. I usually exclusively prefer hand-held sharpeners, like my left-handed sharpener, my Palomino KUM Long-point sharpener, and the KUM Ellipse I keep in my jacket pocket almost all the time.

I remember with disdain the giant Cold War-era Boston sharpener of yore that would hungrily eat my pencil with its two giant dull grinders. It left me with a long, dull tip and the wood surrounding it half-eaten and dirty. Sure, it didn’t take as long to sharpen with that monstrocity, but it was loud, messy, and ineffective.

This summer, I got an email from Troy Decoff, who developed what he calls the “Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener“. It seemed to combine the heavy-duty nature of the wall-mounted sharpener with a smaller footprint and sharper grinders.

It operates very similarly to the Dahle Fifty-50, which I’ve reviewed on this site just over a year ago. Pull out the front, pinch the holders together, put your pencil in, and start cranking.

The benefits of this sharpener over the Dahle? Well, first, the pencil holder locks into place when it’s fully extended, unlike the Dahle, and it’s sturdier, with an all-metal case. And, most importantly, the point is much much longer.

Look how sharp! Buffy the Vampire Slayer would appreciate this sharpener.

While the point is not quite as long with the Palomino KUM Long-point Sharpener, it’s still very long. And very sharp. If the two-step manual process of the Palomino sharpener is too hard, this will be much easier.

One disadvantage is that, much like the Dahle, the grippers will leave a mark on the barrel of the pencil. If you’re just using, say, a Ticonderoga, it’s no biggie, but I don’t want to ruin the nice sheen on my Blackwing or my Hi-Uni!

I’ve brought it to work and keep it at my desk. It’s perfect because it’s quiet enough to not disturb my office-mates, and it’s quick enough to re-sharpen a dull pencil in less than 10 seconds.

Thanks, Troy, for making such a great product! I like this much better than most of the desktop electric sharpeners you see at office supply stores nowadays.

The Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener | $19.95 from Classroom Friendly Supplies.com

Cool Yikes! accessories on eBay

Photo from eBay auction page

Man. Man oh man. There is a beautiful Yikes! branded pencil sharpener on eBay right now. Though there are only 3 days left, there are no bids! The last thing I should be doing is bidding on it, as I don’t need a $10-quality pencil sharpener for $20 (or way more). But it would look great next to my collection of Yikes! pencils, wouldn’t it?

Photo from auction page

As I mentioned in my post about Yikes! pencils, the sharpeners seem to be pretty darn rare to find. The seller also has an auction for a couple wacky Yikes! branded erasers, still in their blister packaging. I actually don’t remember these from my youth, so I am loving the language from the back of the package that the seller posted:

Spend more time erasing than writing?  Here’s just what you need—a true triple-whammy of primo mistake-munchers in color combinations from your worst nightmares.

Tow away your worst word wrecks with WRECK-TANGULAR erasers.  Go ape for the shape of TRIANGULAR erasers.  Get your hand on something that’s totally TWISTED.

Now all three are together in YIKES! Mondo-Combo Eraserama.  But use with caution—with color clashes this loud, you could put an ear out.

I wonder how long these items have been sitting in the back of someone’s supply closet?

UPDATE: Ooh! It looks like there is another, alternately colored sharpener, too! This one looks like it must’ve been the option for girls, as there is more pink and purple involved.

The Scrapl: one of my favorite things


Pepsi: Summer Mix. Perfect for my Scrapl

Back when I used to blog for PencilThings, the proprietor sent me a Scrapl (warning: website from 1998!), what was essentially a pencil sharpener built into a soda bottle cap. It was elegant in its simplicity, and I knew I had to have the right bottle to attach it to.

That summer, along came Pepsi: Summer Mix. Destined to go the way of Coke II and Crystal Pepsi, this version tasted exactly like someone dropped several Skittles into the soda and let them dissolve. It was gross. But it made for a timeless container for my little pencil sharpener.

I just drank (or poured out) the rest of the soda, washed the bottle, dried it, and screwed on the lid. And it can hold several years’ worth of pencil shavings.

It seems to be marketed toward teachers, which is brilliant. Sure enough, my mother, a teacher, asked where she could get a bunch for bulk prices. According to their website, you can get one on eBay. If you have no luck there, contact the proprietors at PencilThings. They might be able to help you track one down. The website just seems to be random gifs and links in (shudder) comic sans.

Meanwhile, scroll down for some additional photos.