Attaching a pencil with no fasteners

I wanted a simple and secure way to hold a pencil for a project and I came up with this idea after looking at some Japanese joinery. At the end my project didn’t need the pencil but I thought the method would be useful so here it is:

I sketched it for 3mm plywood but you can use the idea for the material thickness and pencil size you want. The wedge will let you adjust for some pencil variability but you can size it to your specific pencil for a tight fit.

And the SVG for 3mm plywood:
pencil-holder-4

5 degrees for the slope of the wedge seems to work quite well both for holding firmly and for allowing you to remove it. But I’m sure there is an ideal angle to be found with further research. I hope this helps add a simple feature to one of your projects.

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Curious about what you’re attaching pencils to… some sort of drawing machine?

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Thanks for sharing.

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Nifty! Thanks for sharing!

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That’s really clever! :sunglasses: Thanks for sharing the design & technique.

I know you ended up not using the pencil for your project, but I can’t help wondering if reversing the direction of the wedges (to skinny end up) would help prevent the pencil from working free over time? Any downward force caused by the weight of the arm would then work to tighten the join (I think).

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Now that is very cool—thanks so much for the design!

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Yes, a drawing contraption of sorts. I’m trying to design a center finder. The idea was to attach the pencil permanently to make it one-handed operation but having the pencil stick out of the bottom makes it less accurate because it can easily bend sideways. This is what I have right now:


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Ahhh! That’s a clever use for it! :grinning:

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I know this will use more material, but what if you made two layers? One on top about an inch or two up the pencil with your wedges, and one on the bottom to slide on the piece you’re finding the center of? Basically combine the two designs you have here, offset from each other to provide alignment.

Something along these lines:

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Here’s a shout-out to your rapid prototyping skills!

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I may have gone a bit overboard…

Here’s the model I made: Center Finder

And here’s the svg of that model. I make no claims this actually cuts because I’m away from my GF, so use at your own risk
center_finder.zip (5.2 KB)

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It just gets better and better. :smiley:

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This is amazing!

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I had to cut it. It works great! I like how you made the alternating fingers on the side pieces. It’s kind of nice to hold the whole thing too, although you can also just hold the pencil if you want.


This was a really nice gesture @drelleum! I used to work at a prototyping shop and I remember we used to roll our eyes at people that gave suggestions by saying: “can you just… (insert suggestion here)” to the point where it became an inside joke. Well, this was the opposite of a “can you just add a second layer and mount the pencil there”. You even provided cut files with your suggestion, top notch :+1:. Thank you!

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Glad to hear everything worked well! Yeah, hanging around this forum if an idea gets in my head I can’t put it down until I’ve explored it :grimacing: Since you posted your file originally I felt it was only natural to share my adaptation on them.

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Very cool! Team design work … nice going!

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@drelleum is my pick for forum hero-of-the-week. :slight_smile:

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This thing is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing!:smiley: