Here is one of the most unusual and specialized pencils ever manufactured.
The Lyra 334 Profi is a nicely finished oval carpenter’s pencil, with silver lettering on dark blue. It is manufactured in the extra long 240mm length. That alone makes it an interesting specialty pencil. Yet this pencil is so unusual that the format barely registers among the special features.
It’s also a copying pencil. That’s right – it has aniline dye added to the lead. Why? My guess would be to support marking on damp and humid wood surfaces.
There are two variants – the 334S is a pure copying pencil, and the 334 is an even more incredible double ended pencil, 2/3 regular lead and 1/3 copying lead.
Finally, this pencil is an additional rarity in being made from White Fir. Though there are mentions here and there of this species being used, the success of cedar, jelutong, and basswood seems to have banished most competitors from the market place. I am glad to have found a rare example of another tree in use.
So how does it work? The first task is sharpening. Unfortunately, it and other Lyra pencils don’t fit the Keson! So out with the penknife. This is where I am guessing that a working carpenter would have a good array of sharp knives and cutters handy – because a pocket knife is losing in the battle to the Fir. Eventually, I got some lead exposed on both ends of the 334.
The lead end marks faintly – perhaps an H grade, and the copying end even fainter. Some water reveals the purple dye of the copying end. It flows less easily than most “writing” copying pencils. Yet – what a hidden treasure it is.
A 240mm oval shaped double-ended carpenter pencil made from White Fir with one third a copying pencil lead. The most extreme specialty pencil?
This is the fourth of a four-part mini-series. Hope you enjoyed it!