How it’s Made: Video Dump!

I posted a link to a great How It’s Made video the other day, then proceeded to spend the better part of an hour watching videos for other office-supply related clips from that show. And because I like to help others find ways to waste their time, I thought I’d share it with you.

You’re welcome.

Of note is the fountain pen video: it’s amazing how they regulate the ink flow, and how much is made by hand!

Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Pencil sharpeners (hat-tip to David Wasting Paper)

Fountain pen

Retractible ballpoint pens

Bic Cristal ballpoints:

Dri-mark highlighters:


Graphite cores for pencils

Copy Paper (disturbing if you fancy yourself an environmentalist)

Pre-inked rubberstamps

Field Notes assembly video

Following up on how printing ink is made, I wanted to bring you some  letterpress porn. I could watch these videos all day. This one is from Field Notes, who I’ve discussed previously and just announced a new color in their lineup: “Raven’s Wing“. It’s a good looking notebook. Seriously. If I didn’t already have too many of the regular Field Notes cahiers, I would totally get a pack of these.

I can’t think of anything I don’t love about this video. The rousing old-timey march spun slightly too slow on an old record player, the press shooting off uniformly attractive black notebook covers efficiently, or just the knowledge that the resulting product will be a beautiful black Field Notes cahier.

In any case, check it out. It’ll bring a tear to the scribomechanical enthusiasts’ eye.

WoodChuck in the flesh!

Well, on video at least. Charles Berolzheimer from California Cedar and made a short video about the Palomino Blackwing! It’s short and sweet, though nothing a faithful reader of this blog probably doesn’t know already. Still, I think you’d be interested in seeing it.

Pencil geeks: If you are trying to explain to someone what you’ve been blathering on about for the last two months (like people have asked me), or someone simply wants to know what that cool pencil you’re writing with is, this is the perfect video to show them.

Gorgeous video of how printing ink is made

This blog, of course, is about wooden pencils, but I imagine you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who really likes pencils who doesn’t also like other writing paraphernalia, like paper, pens, typewriters, and ink.

I found this video at Apartment Therapy, a great home style blog. It’s about nine minutes long, so you might want to come back and watch it when you have a little time. But, I guarantee you, you’ll be riveted the whole time. The promotional video for the Printing Ink Company in Canada, it’s well-edited, doesn’t jump around from shot to shot like on How It’s Made, and — dare I say? — just beautiful. The founder and narrator is introspective, poetic, passionate, and there is bright, airy classical music behind it, romanticizing this busy, grimy manufacturing floor. It really shows the craftsmanship behind ink making.

Without further ado, check it out (or click here to watch it in georgeous HD on YouTube.):

Review: the Dahle 50 Fifty Rotary Pencil Sharpener

This is my first attempt at a video review! Apologized for the slightly crooked shot framing.

The Dahle 50 Fifty makes very little waste, so a newly sharpened pencil is almost as long as an unsharpened one.

The website I referred to was here, what seems to be a gallery of Dahle sharpeners, including some really cool midcentury modern cast iron models.

Summing up the video, here are some strengths:

  • Tray fits into the base well
  • Easily removeable blade for replacement
  • Grinder chews up very little wood, to prolong the life of your pencil (see image to the right)
  • Produces a short point, for easier control during writing
  • Unlike a lot of rotary sharpeners, the exposed wood on the point is very smooth. No splinters or rough edges
  • The adjustable barrel holder can hold oversized pencils, and guides them into the grinder, keeping the pencil straight

Some weaknesses:

  • It’s rather awkward to extend the guide, open the hole, and insert the pencil with just two hands
  • The shavings tray is loose, and rattles
  • The whole unit is plastic and feels cheap
  • Mounts to the wall or a table with a Command Strip, which might be knocked loose during sharpening a particularly hearty pencil

Overall, I give this pencil sharpener 4 stars out of 5 — I will enjoy using it because of the great point it creates, with a minimum of waste.

As I said in the video, leave a comment if you find somewhere that sells this model!