- Measuring rule
- Drill and bits
- 3/8 inch plywood
Step 1: Disassembly
Remove the tray that catches the pencil shavings. Remove three screws on the bottom of the unit as in the first photo. Remove the mechanicals from the case. The second photo shows what the problem is. The large plastic drive gear has become brittle and has broken. Remove the two screws that attach the cage supporting the cutter as in the third photo. Pull the cutter out of the machine.
Yes, you can buy a parts kit that includes a new drive gear and a new cutter assembly. But, the cost is almost identical to the cost of a new pencil sharpener.
Step 2: Build a Support
The shaft on the cutter assembly can be grasped by the chuck on a 3/8 inch electric drill. The space between the shoulder on the geared plastic collar and the end of the drill chuck is a tiny bit more than 3/8 inch. Get a piece of 3/8 inch plywood and cut a rectangle 2 x 2 1/2 inches. (2 x 3 or 3 1/2 inches would have been better in retrospect.)
Step 3: Drill
Drill a 1/2 inch hole through the plywood that is located 5/8 inch below one long edge and centered between the two shorter edges. Because I was using a spade bit, I drilled part of the way through and turned the piece over to drill the rest of the hole from the other side. This eliminates chipping the wood surface.
Step 4: Two More Holes
Notice the two tips on the geared plastic collar. Mark where they touch the plywood piece. Drill two 1/8 inch holes. See the second photo. Press the geared plastic collar into the plywood. The tips are a little off-center and will go into the plywood only one way. Round the corners for aesthetics.
Step 5: Use the Pencil Sharpener
Chuck the shaft of the cutter assembly in the electric drill. I am using a finger to hold the drill down so it does not rise up. Hold the pencil with the other hand and insert it into the cutter assembly. Turn the drill "on." I sharpened this pencil over a piece of ordinary 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper so you can see the distribution of the shavings. When finished, carry the paper to a wastebasket and let the shavings slide off into it. The second photo gives another, closer view.
My wife probably will not use this improvised sharpener. We will probably be buying a replacement. But, this modified sharpener will make a good pencil sharpener for my shop.