In this instructable I will show you the product of my procrastination. 
Which lately is carving small letters out of pencil lead.


There is absolutely no purpose or point. I just needed some graphite powder (maybe an instructable for later) and started messing around with a pencil and a knife. And I noticed that the graphite in a pencil point could be shaped easily with quite good precision.

Later just wandering on the internet I read an article about "Dalton Ghetti" http://www.daltonmghetti.com/ 
So yeah, it is quite similar to what he does, but I lack the skill and devotion. You should really visit his site and see what he can do with a pencil. Since you probably clicked the thumbnail to this instructable you will like what he does.

This instructable

In this instructable I will show you what I did. There isn't actually much to explain since it is just carving and a bit (literally) fingerspitzengefühl.
But I will show you the process of ho I made the letters 'V' and 'O' which basicly covers the carving and the drilling of holes and refining.

In the last step or so I will show you some failed experiments. I tried to copperplate some letters (look at the 'T' in the picture) but that failed.
earlier tries with a long pencil pint gave promising results but weren't reproducble with the letters.

In the picture above you can see my (temporary) collection of letters. I have lost many  of the first ones.
And they are all made at completely different times (days or weeks between each letter) and therefore completely individual. That explains the different sizes.
Also, I got a lot better. Seriously, the ugliest ones are the oldest and the more beautifull ones ('v' and 'o') are the newest.

Step 1: Gather the Materials and Tools


The pencil

You can use whatever you want ofcourse but I used a pencilpoint.
In my experience just normal ones you get for free with advertisement are good enough. 
Pick one that is a bit on the soft side (B or HB)  (just one that leaves a nice black line when you write with it).
The harder ones just aren't fun, they are harder to work with and not specially stronger. The soft ones are great for carving but often break without warning. 
So yeah, the normal pencils are somwhere in between and thus therefore enough.

Try to avoid those pensils with those tiny black stones which feel annoying when you write with it.

A knife

The knife should be thin like an X-Acto-knife or Segmented blade. 
A normal blade isn't good since you can't get in very tiny spaces with it. And a large blade blocks the view.

Dalton Ghetti says he uses a razor blade.

A pin

To get in the very tight spots and to carve out holes.
Try to get one with a plastic ball on the other end because drilling a hole requires application of some force on the needle.


Sewing wire

I used this to make the holes a bit larger and the cuts a bit deeper by using it as a wire saw.

metal file

To get rid of large chunks.

Ain't nobody got time for that!
amazing! <br>
hey you should enter this into the pocket sized contest
I can't because this instructable is quite old already. <br>But thanks for the suggestion! <br> <br>(And I've already won a GoPro Hero camera in the previous 'Pocket sized contest' :) <br>
This is cool! Have you tried to electroplate while it was still attached to the pencil instead of tying it to the elctrode? Use the letter or object as the electrode. You could set just the letter or object you are trying to electroplate into the solution...dont know if it will work or if you have tried it but maybe worth a try
But then, when the letter is removed from the pencil a small piece won't be plated. <br> <br>I havent tried that, but what I did do was draw rectangle on a piece of paper with a fat pencil so it would be conductive. Then I've attached an electrode to the paper (with graphite on) put the letter on it and submersed it in the liquid. The only result I had was that the paper became somewhat brown.
Bizarre, fantastic!
Next challenge: Q!
These are so cool!
Awesome! I love this! Thanks for sharing and have a splendorous day!
Pretty neat stuff here. II would never have thought it would be as easy as you make it seem. I would have thought it would be impossible! <br> <br>As far as the quality of the instructable itself, you showed your mistakes, which is always helpful, and you're pictures are a prefect example of how to take pictures for instructables! <br> <br>A+ on both counts!
Hey, thanks! <br> <br>Yes, failures are experiences too and often valuable enough to share. <br>

About This Instructable




Bio: I work in optical design.
More by Sparticles:Small Wimshurst generator from cardboard and CDs A cardboard televisor (with arduino and LEDs) Etching waste green/blue candle 
Add instructable to: