Step 5: Every Pencil Needs a Ferrule

Picture of Every Pencil Needs a Ferrule
The metal ring which attaches the eraser to a pencil is called a ferrule. The biggest problem I had making my pencil ferrule was one of proportion. If the thickness of the ferrule were made to the same scale as the rest of this pencil it would be about 1/4" thick. I chose to compromise on the size of my ferrule. It stands out a bit further from the flat sides of the pencil than it should but it also sets into the corners a bit further than it should. If it were as thick as its scale calls for, it would be really hard to work and very heavy to move. Instead, I chose to use 24 gauge galvanized metal. I purchased three strips, each 72" long. Two of the pieces were 11" wide and the third was 13".

First, I rolled each piece until it made a 23" diameter circle. To add some dimension to the pieces, I rolled the 11" pieces through a double roller, putting the rolls about 1 1/2" from the edges. For the 13" section, I used a metal brake to make a series of bends, each 2" apart. The bends were made at 15-20 degrees which required that I bend one, pull the metal out and turn it over, put it back in and bend the next one then remove the metal...and so on.

Initially, I tried using a spot-welder to join the three pieces but galvanized metal does not weld well. I ended up using pop-rivets on much of it. The bead I rolled in and the way the sections joined gave it quite a bit of strength. More on that in a moment...

In order to mount the ferrule to the pencil, I had to round the corners of the pencil. This gave some good, strong mounting points. I built a frame of 2" x 2"s and plywood. I screwed and glued four pieces of plywood to two 10" lengths of 2" x 2" in such a way that two of the 2" x 2"s were on each end of the plywood and the plywood formed a box between the two pairs of 2" x 2"s. I repeated this three times to build structure between each section of the ferrule.

I cut three disks of plywood to fit inside the ferrule. One is positioned at each end of the center section. In the last photo you can see the lip formed where the sections meet on the inside. The third one was fastened at the edge of the bead near the top in the photo. If the ferrule were transparent, you could see one plywood box fastened to the end of the pencil with a plywood disk on top, followed by a taller plywood box in the center section with another plywood disk and then one more plywood box and a final disk. Building it in this manner allowed me to fasten the first plywood box and disk to the end of the pencil before I slid the ferrule in place. Then I built the next box and screwed it in place so that the 2" x 2"s of it lined up with the ones in the first box for added strength. All joints were glued and screwed. Then I was able to reach down inside the ferrule to screw the center box into place then screwed the next disk in place. Next was the last box followed by the last disk. 

At this point. my project looks like a pencil but is lacking an eraser. There is a plate of plywood about 2" below the rim of the ferrule which will allow an eraser to be mounted.