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标题:Colored Pencils and Electric Sharpeners: Are They Bad? 内容:

Colored Pencils and Electric Sharpeners: Are They Bad?

Using an electric sharpener is a fast and easy way to get your pencils to pointy perfection. Art isn’t about fast and easy though. Are we actually hurting our colored pencils by using an electric sharpener with them?

You can sharpen colored pencils in an electric sharpener, but be sure to be very gentle with your pencils and regularly clean your sharpener to remove any wax build up. If done improperly, sharpening your colored pencils in an electric sharpener can damage both your pencils and your sharpener.

We all remember our elementary school days that were filled by the constant soundtrack of students sharpening their trusty yellow pencils in the classroom’s electric sharpener.

But, what works for an elementary school classroom isn’t always what works for an artist. It’s time to think more about your electric sharpener than you ever thought you would. Your colored pencils will thank you for it.

Yes, you can technically sharpen colored pencils with an electric sharpener. Technically, you can also paint your fingernails with a paint roller. But, just because something is technically possible doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice.

Sharpening your colored pencils in an electric sharpener is possible, but it’s not the best choice. Of course, if it’s the only choice you have, it will work. But, if you have a handheld sharpener you can use, that’s going to be a better option.

Colored pencil cores are either wax-based or oil-based. They consist of a combination of pigments, binders, and additives that are a lot softer than what is found in graphite. Electric sharpeners can be too harsh for these fragile colored pencil cores.

The softness of your colored pencils will vary from brand to brand. That said, even the hardest colored pencil will be softer than a typical graphite pencil.

There’s a reason why colored pencils are soft and dreamy. That soft and dreamy quality doesn’t always mesh well with a harsh electric sharpener.

Graphite is made of carbon, which is one of the hardest materials out there. It can cut glass and steel, to give you an idea (source, source)On the other hand, most colored pencils are wax-based. Similar to crayons, though not as soft. Wax isn’t very strong and would be a miserable choice for cutting glass or steel.

Using the same electric sharpener that’s designed to sharpen a pencil made out of strong graphite to also sharpen a pencil that’s made out of soft wax isn’t the best scenario.

There are two things that could happen to your colored pencils when you use them with an electric sharpener:

1. The tips can break. This means you’ll have to fully resharpen your pencil all over again, which is a huge waste of your pencil. If this happens too many times, you’ll use up your pencil much faster than you would have otherwise and have to buy new pencils.

Colored pencils are really delicate, as we’ve talked about. If you break the tip, you’re not only losing out on that section of your colored pencil, you could be doing internal damage to it as well. If you want beautiful, vibrant colored pencils, it’s not great to break them all the time.

Electric Pencil Sharpener Repair

This Fix-It Guide on electric pencil sharpener repair tells how an electric pencil sharpener works, what often goes wrong, how to identify an electric pencil sharpener problem, and what parts and tools you will need to fix it. It then gives simple step-by-step instructions for how to disassemble an electric pencil sharpener in order to test the electrical cord and motor. It then refers to electrical cord repair and motor repair guides for specifics on electrical cord and motor repair.

An electric pencil sharpener is a small motorized appliance for sharpening or refreshing the points on lead pencils. Inside the hole, a small electric motor turns a blade assembly at high speed. The blades shave wood and lead from the pencil’s end, bringing it to a point. Most electric pencil sharpeners are powered through a 120V electrical cord, though some are battery operated.

The most common problem with electric pencil sharpeners is clogs from wood and lead shavings. In addition, the electric cord can fail, the blade can become dull, and the motor can malfunction. Preventive maintenance (cleaning and lubricating) can dramatically extend the life of an electric pencil sharpener.

  • If the unit does not operate when a pencil is inserted into the hole, make sure power is on at the outlet, then test the electrical cord and replace if faulty.

  • If the unit still does not operate, the problem could be in the motor. Test the motor and replace it or the device if necessary.

  • If the unit operates but does not cut a sharp point or seems very sluggish, the shavings tray may be overfilled and the unit plugged up in other areas. Disassemble the unit (see below) and use canned air to clean it out.

  • If the unit still operates sluggishly or does not sharpen well, the blade may be dull. You can try disassembling the unit and using a small file to sharpen the blades–or you can replace the unit.

It’s difficult to find replacement parts for electric pencil sharpeners because the devices themselves are so inexpensive. However, once you’ve disassembled the device you can clean out debris and even test the motor. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Screwdrivers

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Canned air

  • Multimeter

How to Sharpen Pencil Sharpener Blades

Here is a problem I’ve had since elementary school – my pencil sharpener getting dull. Back then, it was a problem. Today, it’s an inconvenience. Well, no more because I have learned how to sharpen pencil sharpener blades. And it’s pretty easy, with the right tools and enough patience.

1. Setting Up the Proper Workplace

Setting up a proper workplace may seem unimportant, but to me, it is. The appropriate workplace is a flat, solid surface. If the surface is not flat or stable, the sharpener may wobble a lot. The blade can cause damage in such a scenario.

Place the sharpener on the flat, solid surface. The blade should be facing up.

2. Get a Screwdriver

Most handheld pencil sharpeners are held together by a screw or screws, depending on the number of blades. The screwdriver should be the right size for the screw on the sharpener.

Usually, sharpeners use tiny screws. I had to try a few before landing on the right one. Fortunately, I have an eyeglass kit, which comes with a small screwdriver. It fits perfectly well with the sharpener screwdriver.

Some sharpeners use a flathead screw. If that’s the case, be prepared to get the appropriate screwdriver. If there’s no screwdriver small enough available, use something small and flat and can fit into the screw. A paperclip or a flat end of a fork can work. They are just harder to use.

3. Remove the Screw

Insert the screwdriver into the screw and rotate it counterclockwise. Keep on turning until the screw is completely removed. Make sure to keep track of the screw so assembling the sharpener will not be a problem.

4. Remove the Blade

Flip over the sharpener to loosen both the screw and the blade. Don’t try digging out the blade with your fingers; it can cut you. Here are pointers to keep in mind when removing the blades:

  • Flip the sharpener upside down to remove the blade.

  • A little shake may be necessary.

  • Make sure to hold the sharpener close to the flat surface to limit its bounce when it falls off.

5. Repeat Steps 1 to 4 if there are more Blades

Some sharpeners have more than one blade. If all those blades need sharpening, repeat the blade-removing process on all of them.

6. Use a Sharpening Stone to Sharpen Blade

Here’s the tricky part. Sharpener blades are tiny and very challenging to hold while sharpening them. But it’s not impossible.

  • Wet a sharpening stone with water. Some sharpening stones don’t need water, so make sure to follow the instructions from the manufacturer.

  • Others find that instead of using water, oil is a better whetstone lubricant.

  • Place the sharpening stone on a damp cloth so it won’t move around when the sharpening process begins.

  • Some sharpening stones have different grits. The grit is the measure of the coarseness of a sharpening stone. The higher the grit, the less coarse it is. The coarser it is, the more metal it rubs off in a pass. Since sharpener blades are tiny, I suggest sharpening stones with a finer surface. They should have a higher grit.

  • Because sharpener blades are tiny, I suggest using a tweezer or, better yet, a needle-nosed plier to hold the blade.

  • Slide the sharp end of the blade across the sharpening stone at a 20-degree angle. A few slides should be enough to sharpen the blade.

Uses for Electric Eraser

We can hear the protests already. “Why would I use an electric eraser when my regular eraser is working just fine? What could an electrical eraser possibly do that my putty eraser can’t?!”. The electric eraser is the tool that you think you don’t need until you start using one, and then you can’t imagine your life without it. Think of it less as a mistake-reverser and more like a tool of its own.

  1. Why waste time on your mistakes? When your hand slips outside the lines you can eliminate the error WITHOUT accidentally doing more damage because the eraser is so tiny so you’re less dependent on the steadiness of your hand.

  2. Highlights! You can use the edges to create a tiny highlight in the eye of your subject or intentionally color a large area and come back to create reflections along it with your electric eraser. The electric eraser is to pencil what the white gel pen is to marker work.

  3. Did you know electric erasers can be used on more media than a regular eraser can? You can cleanly remove colored pencil, graphite, charcoal in addition to regular pencil!

  4. Speaking of colored pencil, if your paper is too full of pigment it can be difficult to add details. Remove some pigment with a light stroke of the electric eraser.

  5. The teeniest, tiniest nooks and crannies in your drawings can be accessed with an electric eraser. You can use the sides of the eraser but another great way to do tiny details is the file the eraser into a point by holding it at an angle while running it.

  6. Create crisp edges with the touch of a button on any medium. It can be difficult to create a sharp edge with a traditional eraser.

  7. What’s worse than going in to correct a tiny mistake and accidentally removing a large area of your hard work? A clunky eraser can be your worst enemy when you’re trying to limit how much you remove.

If you’ve never used an electric eraser before, you may need to practice a little bit to find the pressure that works for you. Start by pressing less firmly than you think you need to and you will get the hang of it in no time!

Do you use an electric eraser? What’s your favorite use for it?

The Many Types of Stationery & Why Customers Can’t Get Enough!

You’re shopping. A cute notebook catches your eye. No, you think, I have notebooks at home. Many, many notebooks. But for some unknown reason, you need that notebook. Why? What is it about stationery that we can’t resist? Call it the blank page effect.

Every new notebook is a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to take notes, motivate yourself with to-do lists, and jot down ideas. So really, when you give customers stationery—no matter which type of stationery you choose—what you’re actually offering is the powerful, irresistible potential of a blank page.



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