Introduction: How to Sharpen Pastel Pencils
I have only recently started using pastel pencils, very little in fact. I have noticed already that chalk or pastels are quite soft and do not stand up to being sharpened in a regular electric pencil sharpener. You can use a knife but it does take some practice and time. Small hand-held sharpeners are available, of course, but they have their limitations as well. So I thought there had to be an easier, more efficient way to sharpen them. Hence this instructable. Before or after a session, I can zip out to the shop with my pencils and within just a few short minutes, sharpen all that need it. Problem solved. This is a "re-edit", for some reason the original was removed from my post.?????
Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed
My "pencil sharpener" is simple to make out of two pieces of wood. I just found some pieces left over from other projects so that was easy. One piece is the base, and is a bout 4 inches long, and is 1/4x3/4x4. The second piece, the upright, is a more square piece, about 2 and 1/2 in long. It is about 1 x 3/4 inch.
A 5/16 in. drill bit is used to make hole in end of upright piece of wood.
I used a hand drill with a counter sink bit as shown in the pictures to pre-drill the base and upright piece.
The pieces are joined with a single 1x 6 screw.
I made the jig to work with my 1 inch belt sander. These are fairly cheap, 25 to 50 dollars will get you a fairly decent model.
Basically, that's all the materials needed.
Step 2: Construct the Base Unit
At one end of the piece of wood that serves as the base, drill a hole using the counter sink bit. Then, place the upright under this hole and drill through to mark the place where the screw will go. Join the two pieces by inserting the screw and driving it home with a phillip's screwdriver. Please note hole drilled near top of upright piece. This hole will guide the pencil being sharpened and is made with a 5/16 in. drill bit.
Step 3: Place Unit on Belt Sander Stage
We are ready to sharpen pencils! Follow pictures to get the general idea. The holding unit allows for good control of the pencil so that nice sharp points are obtained without an excessive amount of waste. I was able to sharpen 15-20 pencils in a very few minutes.
Step 4: Sharpen Pencils
Hold base unit with the left hand and use right hand to insert and rotate pencil against the sanding belt. As you can see, very precise and sharp ends can be obtained.
Step 5: Use Pencils in Creating Art!
So in a very short period of time, all pencils are sharpened and you can produce more projects. I use this setup to sharpen erasers and paper stumps as well. Definitely worth the effort, I'd say.