Why are #2 pencils shaped the way that they are?????
- MarkGLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
A pencil is constructed by sandwiching a lenght of graphite in between two pieces of wood (Cedar). The shape is derrived by the manufacturing process where by pencils are fabricated 10 at a time.
Basically you start with two flat pieces of wood into which lenghtwise grooves are cut. (The bread slices)
Graphite rods are placed into the grooves of the bottom slice and glued into place. The top slice of wood with its mating grooves is then pressed on top and held together with glue.
You now have a plank of 10 pencils which are then seperated by cutting the wood inbetween each graphite rod. If you seperated the pencile by just making a single cut you would end up with square shaped pencils.
A square pencil would be rather uncomfortable to write with. So by making angled cuts(when seperating the pencils) and sanding
you will get the familar hexagon cross section.
This shape is approximately circular and doesn't have the sharp uncomfortable corners a square has.
The individual pencil is sanded, painted, stamped with a logo, afixed with a ferrule and finally topped off with a soft eraser.
The #2 refers to the grade of graphite. The grade indicates how hard or soft the graphite lead used is. The graphite is mixed with clay, the more clay mixed in the harder the pencil. Soft pencils with less clay leave a darker mark but wear down quickly. Harder pencils with less graphite and more clay leave a lighter mark and wear down slower.