The only pencils I have are propelling, with 3B lead, and I use them for lubricating nut grooves and such, but I notice they are described as "high polymer" and wonder if that means they don't contain graphite.
I used to have a pure graphite artist's pencil, but I have no idea where it is nowadays, or if I still have it. You might like to try one if you like to use graphite but can't source it easily. It would probably be very good for pegs.
I remember not liking high-polymer leads because they were hard and the tip would get polished by the page to a perfectly smooth surface, which made it difficult to write and draw with. However, that might be exactly what you want for "lubricating" the slots on a nut or bridge...
The "lead" in a wooden pencil is a mixture of powdered graphite and clay. The ratio graphite to clay determines the hardness - the more graphite the softer (and darker).
Excellent answer, Bo, thanks!
You could accumulate some lampblack.
I use lead of a Dixon Ticonderoga B1 pencil to lube my bridge and nut grooves.
I use the same 6B wooden pencil I use for marking my music.
I remember those days of erasing from orchestral parts all that 6B pencilling that someone had made using as much pressure as they could!
I find 6B quite easy to erase and much easier to read than the default HB that a lot of people use.
HB is horrible. It cuts grooves into the paper.
I use an Ebony pencil for the bridge and nut grooves (it is a combo of graphite and carbon - the darkest it writes is a beautiful jet black); and I prefer a 2B or 3B pencil for marking the sheet music.
@pamela, last night I bought a couple of 9B graphite crayons/sticks on Amazon, a Faber-Castell and a Lyra (never heard of the make, but it looks OK). One will be a present for my teacher, along with an apple, lol.
I've been a longtime fan of the Staedtler Mars plastic erasers. I also tend to like the Pentel stick-clic erasers, and Tombow makes good erasers to put on the end of pencils. None of them are rubber though. Pentel's hi-polymer eraser, I think?, is rubber... I like the plastic erasers because they do not damage paper.
There aren't a lot of polymers that are black on their own. The black color (think rubber tires here) comes from a filler (for example carbon black) that serves to reinforce the polymer mechanically, among other purposes as we see here. I am working on a research project to reinforce polyethylene with nanocellulose -- a difficult problem but we are making progress (our first paper is under review). I'm not sure what Pentel's hi-polymer eraser is specifically, but erasers have been made from styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and plasticized vinyl (draftsmen prefer vinyl). The "hi-polymer" type of eraser does work very well in my experience -- it would not surprise me if they were plasticized PVC. If you have a habit of chewing on your eraser -- don't. Plasticizers can be endocrine disruptors.
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