When life gives you scratches... abrade!

One day I was going through a bag of mechanical pencils that were superfluous, had been extras alongside pencils I’d really wanted. One of them was this PILOT MP of rather ordinary stature. It’s like about 5 other models that have been made. This one featured a satin finish of an aluminum alloy. It looked pretty nice… when it was new. This one had a few nasty scratches on it. They were in such a way that there wasn’t a possibility to correct it. And the pencil wasn’t so coveted that I’d want to invest in that. What could I do?

And that’s when it hit me. Why not abrade it? Intentionally scuff/scratch/mar the finish. I experimented a little in one spot using a dremel with a brush grinder wheel, then kind of got a random motion going. I taped up the clip and kept going. Eventually, I stopped. Not bad! I decided to make another run across it, to “average out” the abrasions. Maybe it might start looking like an intentional design rather than, “behold my pencil that survived a tornado!” What really made this work was the serendipity of the alloy. While firm, the metal would soften a little under repeated rapid abrasion. Not quite like clay, but it definitely seemed to soften under duress. I think that helped create this rather interesting finish:

So then, I had this PILOT Knight capped rollerball I’d bought rather cheap. It was used with some of the black body rubbed off in spots. Wabi-sabi. Then while fidgeting with it, my thumbnail caught a lip of a chip and subconsciously started fiddling it. It widened. Now, it looked a bit of an eyesore. So I used a Sharpie. That worked initially but didn’t last. Then, I used some Testors enamel paint. That worked longer, but still… not enough.

It was then, I knew… it was time to abrade! :smile:

Of course, this was different from the pencil. The Knight is a brass bodied writing instrument with an anodized exterior (silver and black are the colors, possibly more). In this case, I did the abrading differently. I was tempted to try imitating leopard spots, but thankfully I nixed that idea before it was too late. This was fun. And the pen now has so much personality!


Love the top finish! Talk about breathing new life into an otherwise unremarkable pencil :exploding_head:


I love this! I have a real affinity for this sort of thing. I take pleasure in adding a personal touch to things. While precision and automation are wonderful, there’s a certain magic in the touch of a hand.


These are amazing. I’ve been wanting to try out some abrasion on a couple of cosmetically damaged pencils I have - sone good tips in here, Gary!


They certainly have an interesting finish and are attractive to the eye, I have seen something very similar to the Pilot, what would it have been?:thinking:

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Thanks, Stu! You’re welcome. There are so many different Dremel bits you can experiment with. First I chose one of those sandpaper like conical bits. But I found the wire brush wheel was more effective. I imagine this whole genre is ripe for exploring. And frankly, if a damaged pen or pencil can be had on the cheap, this is a good reason to pick it up.

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