Introduction: DIY No-Mess Pencil Sharpener

As a gaming nerd I have two things in abundance, pencils that I need to sharpen, and boxes that dice came in. I've used self contained pencil sharpeners that keep the shavings in a container, but never found one that sharpened well enough for my liking, so I've been using my favourite sharpener and catching the shavings in a snap lock bag while gaming. I also like using the kinds of mechanical pencils that take 2mm leads, which make an unholy mess if you're not careful when you sharpen. Ideally what I'd like is a self contained sharpener that can sharpen both kinds of pencil.

So, working to the maxim "Need a tool, make a tool", I grabbed my pencil sharpeners, an old box for a set of polyhedral dice, some tools, and made exactly what I needed.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

To make this you'll need these tools:

  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Round jewelers file
  • Hobby knife

You'll also need: these materials:

  • Sharpener(s)
  • Box to catch the shavings
  • Glue (hot melt, epoxy, super glue, what ever works for you, I used hot melt because that's what I had handy)

Step 2: Place the Sharpener(s)

I lined up the pencil sharpener where I thought it would fit best on the lid of the box. I marked where the centre of the hole was, then worked out where I wanted to put the sharpener for the mechanical pencil. Having done that I measured the hole for the normal sharpener, which turned out to be 8mm. The mechanical pencil sharpener is 5mm in diameter.

I drilled the holes for both and cleaned them up with a small round file. I then glued the sharpeners on using hot melt glue. You could also use epoxy or super glue, I imagine. It's important to make sure the holes line up when you glue the sharpener on. I eyeballed it, but it would be better to use a pencil to make sure they line up properly.

Step 3: Finished!

Once the glue has set your sharpener is ready to go. No more mess when you sharpen! Hopefully you found this useful. I've also entered this in the Trash to Treasure competition, so if you did find it handy, please vote for it.

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