My first blogging injury.
pencil talk reader Joshua kindly sent me some Mega Brands SRX pencils. Mega Brands has been mentioned here before as the owner of the RoseArt brand, which is a longtime U.S. pencil manufacturer.
They now have some pencils in the Mega Brands name, with RoseArt unmentioned. One of these is the “USA Green”, presumably an extension of their “USA Gold”.
The pencil package states:
USA Green is an earth friendly cedar wood pencil with a high quality graphite core.
The package also notes that the pencil has neither lacquer nor foil stamping. It is made in the U.S.
I was using one, testing it out, when I noticed something extremely unusual – the pencil appeared to be made from four pieces of wood – not the traditional two. Other pencils were made from six pieces of wood.
Coincidentally, I came across a similar pencil a day later at a local bookstore. Made in Japan, this was a very nice looking triangular pencil sold by “Green Apple school supply”.
It similarly was made of multiple pieces of wood – and this was acknowledged on the package. Here is what they say:
Green Apple #2 graphite pencils are made using scrap wood and finger joint construction.
There is the descriptive phrase we need – “finger joint construction”.
To get a better view of what was going on, I tried to split one apart – and got a rough splinter in my finger – my first blogging injury. Luckily not my writing hand. I didn’t learn too much from this interrogation.
Maybe someone with some wood working knowledge could share some information about what’s going on. I’m not sure if this constitutes a new pencil production technique, but it is certainly very interesting.
It appears that the pencils are made (as usual) from pencil slats, but that the slats have been constructed via this finger joint process.
In any case, if this technique is part of a new strategy to compete with the rolled newspaper pencils, I can see it having some appeal.
We’ll look at some other Mega Brands SRX pencils in the days ahead.
As pencils, both have merits. The Green Apple does have a very nice triangular shape and finish, while the USA Green gets a nod for a quite smooth rich lead, especially for what would appear to be a discount pencil at first glance.