How Are Pencils Made?
The “lead” pencils we most often write with today are made side by side, as many as nine at a time. In the pencil factory, a substance called powdered graphite is mixed with water and clay to form the “leads.”
The pieces are baked in an oven until they are hard. The pencil leads are inserted into grooves on a little slat of wood and another slat is glued on top, making a sort of pencil sandwich. Machines then divide the sandwich into pencils.
Individual pencils cut from the sandwich are ready for further processing. Any pencils with defects, such as un-centered leads or chipped wood, are discarded at this point. Afterwards, the individual pencils are sanded and painted.
After painting, some pencils are wrapped in decorative film or foils with fancy designs; although, most pencils are imprinted with the brand name by stamping the foil into the surface of the pencil.
Finally on a “tipping” machine, an eraser and a ferrule (the metal ring that holds the eraser to the pencil) are crimped into place on each pencil.