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View Full Version : Two B or not Two B,,,,,,

Magwitch
12-08-2004, 04:34 AM
You know when a Fact becomse a Theory? The world wobbles a little and nothing is ever certain again.
I have known most of my life that the correct grade of pencil for chart work is 2B. Every other year I buy a few more secure in the faith. Everybody uses 2B, right?
No, not right. Yesterday I met a sailing pal in a pub and he told me that he, his father and his grandfather and all their friends used 3B,,,,,, Three Bee I ask you, how can people be so wrong and yet apear so normal?
You all use 2B, don't you,,,,,?

IanW

Leon Steyns
12-08-2004, 05:13 AM
I use my cursor! My laptop hates pencils...

:D :D :D

Greets, Leon Steyns.

NormMessinger
12-08-2004, 07:50 AM
Pencils are for the insecure. Around here we use a ball point, preferably a Fisher Space Pen. Writes upside down and if ya spill butter on yer chart, no problem, just write right over it.

cs
12-08-2004, 07:52 AM
For those of us that sometimes make mistakes we use pencils. I prefer HB.

Ian McColgin
12-08-2004, 08:01 AM
4H or HB for me, when using a pencil. I use a mechanical pencil so I don't have to keep sharpening it.

I mostly work on a mylar overlay with dry-erase markers so my charts don't get too muddied. Also, the markers have a line about ten times thicker than a pencil, thus obscuring any small imprecisions in my chart work.

Magwitch
12-08-2004, 08:12 AM
Originally posted by NormMessinger:
Around here we use a ball point,See Norm, when you draw a line on a chart it needs to be a thin line, a line not smudged, an accurate line. You can get that with a hard pencil, HB maybe or even HHB or yes even a space pen, but... if you might need to use that chart again you need to be able to rub out the marks you no longer need and that requires a soft pencil. 4 or 5 B maybe. To get all you need of one and all you need of the other you buy a, wait for it,,,,,, 2B pencil . It's a given, it's a fact, it's not up for argument, it just is.
,,,,,, then again perhaps it isn't. But it should be.

IanW

Mrleft8
12-08-2004, 09:00 AM
I use a 3B for just about everything that I'm not using a lumber crayon for. 2B's are too soft.

J. Dillon
12-08-2004, 09:08 AM
Any pencil in sight for me and I make lots of mistakes. Does any body know of a pencil that has a eraser that works ? :confused: Mine smuge up any marks made. Especialy the metal holding the worn down eraser :eek:

JD

alteran
12-08-2004, 09:09 AM
We mostly use soapstone but it may not show up well on white paper. Don't know, we never use that.

cs
12-08-2004, 09:09 AM
Pink Pearl, the best eraser made.

Joe Dupere
12-08-2004, 09:33 AM
The nice people here where I am won't let me use anything sharper than a crayon.

Joe.

Gary Bergman
12-08-2004, 09:50 AM
Hmmm, my chartplotter really HATES pencil's!!..as for 'drawing', well, can't keep a decent pencil handy onboard, so most everything gets scribed by pocketknife due to availability..

Scott Rosen
12-08-2004, 10:32 AM
Ian, This isn't as simple as it sounds. To make matters worse, there may be some differences in labelling between the US and UK.

Anyone growing up in the US in the 1950's and 60's is going to like what we call a "number 2" pencil. That's because all of the standardized tests we were given in school required the answers to be filled in with number 2 pencil, so the testing machine could read it.

Number 2 is equivalent to HB. I'd bet that most folks on this side of the pond use the HB. 2B is too soft and smudgy.

But that's not where it ends. Sometimes you need a pencil for things other than navigation, and sometimes you need to write something down and the only surface available is paint or varnish. Your paint and varnish finishes can be rated for hardness by a so-called pencil test. Most marine finishes are pretty soft, and will be scratched by anything harder than an HB. As long as your pencil is soft enough not to scratch the paint and varnish work, you're okay.

But back to your original point--3B is way too soft.

Magwitch
12-08-2004, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by Scott Rosen:
Ian, This isn't as simple as it sounds. To make matters worse, there may be some differences in labelling between the US and UK.............But back to your original point--3B is way too soft.I looked up the web site of the Cumberland Pencil Company at http://www.pencils.co.uk/p roducts/product.asp?id=1687&category=70&subsection=285&total=1 (http://www.pencils.co.uk/products/product.asp?id=1687&category=70&subsection=285&total=1)
and am reminded that UK pencils range is, from soft to hard, 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, 4H, 5H and 6H.
F is the choice of shorthand note takers.
I suppose that the quality of chart paper should be taken into account. Twenty years ago I took an old chart to the factory and tried a few grades of pencil. My hope was to find a grade that made a clean line and did not indent the surface of the chart. Anything softer than 2B tended to crumble easily, anything harder than F ploughed up the paper.
For a while I used a carpenters pencil cut to a chisel point. Thin edge for Course, thick edge for Tide,,,,,,, but I was picky in those days, I'm better now, as you can tell,,,,,,,,,(?)
IanW

[ 12-08-2004, 11:19 AM: Message edited by: Magwitch ]

htom
12-08-2004, 11:37 AM
I can't think of anything I use a 2B for. Normal use is HB or F; drafting, 3H or 4H, sketching 3B or 4B.

Hwyl
12-08-2004, 06:07 PM
Originally posted by Magwitch:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Scott Rosen:
Ian, This isn't as simple as it sounds. To make matters worse, there may be some differences in labelling between the US and UK.............But back to your original point--3B is way too soft.IanW</font>[/QUOTE]Ian; you'll never guess what they use rubbers for, over here

Scott Rosen
12-08-2004, 06:28 PM
We still have to get to the question of what material makes the best pencil for on-board use . . . Wood or plastic.

Magwitch
12-09-2004, 07:07 AM
Originally posted by Scott Rosen:
We still have to get to the question of what material makes the best pencil for on-board use . . . Wood or plastic.Tcha,,,,,, wood naturally, but which wood, and what's the best stone for honing a pencil sharpener? Further,,,,, how do I modify my pencil of choice to stop it rolling? Why don't the multinational pencil conglomerates make a triangular 2B navigator's pencil? I blame the US.

IanW ;)

Mike Field
12-09-2004, 08:22 AM
.
To give a serious answer where I don't really think one is wanted --

</font> Any wood is wood, as far as pencil construction is concerned.
</font> Don't hone a pencil sharpener. Don't even own a pencil sharpener. Use a single-edged Gem razor blade and a sandpaper block.
</font> To stop minor rolling (assuming you can't get a multi-sided pencil like a Staedtler) shave a sliver off one side of the pencil, full-length. Or to stop major-upheaval, on-her-beam-ends type rolling, drill the pencil transversely and jam a match through it.
</font>By the way Ian, our grading list for leads is (surprise, surprise) the same as yours. I think the softest lead I've ever used would have been an HB, and the hardest a 6H (although they used to go up to 9H as I recall.)
.

Mrleft8
12-09-2004, 09:26 AM
My apologies for muddying up the water.... I use what we refer to as a #3, not a 3B.

Magwitch
12-09-2004, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by Mike Field:
.
To give a serious answer where I don't really think one is wanted --

Sure it is, but a little idiocy from time to time can't hurt, can it?
I can't get on with a blade and sand paper, OK on land for drawing but navigating, which assumes sailing and rolling and stuff I use a pencil sharpener of the sort that catches the sharpenings and black dust . Keeps one out of the bilge pump and the other from causing smudges on the chart. I don't sharpen often enough, so you can see how long a trip has been by the gradually widening pencil lines.
I wish I was neater,,,, smile.gif

IanW.

Scott Rosen
12-09-2004, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by Mike Field:
.
To give a serious answer where I don't really think one is wanted --Now, now. It's good for the spirit to take a light subject and make it serious. Before politics crept into here (I'm just as guilty as anyone else), we used to spend endless hours in serious discussion about light-hearted matters, some not even as serious as pencils. After all, wooden boats are, for most of us, nothing more than big, expensive and time consuming toys. Baseball is nothing more than a silly little child's game. Thanks, Ian.

Aromatic cedar was the wood of choice when I was a school kid. As for sharpening, I use whatever is handy, usually a rigging knife. I tried mechanical pencils, but I always break the lead.

Ian McColgin
12-09-2004, 10:11 AM
Just to amplify why I don't use a pencil for chartwork except when sitting for a Coast Guard exam or doing celestial:

I have a nice chart board with swinging protractor that's really just a cheap version of a drafting machine. The best commercial version is now made by Weems & Plath -

The drymarker is the key to happiness. You can repeatedly make your piloting marks as you go back and forth over the same area and keeping the chart itself clean is a snap. This allows you to keep your plotting and DR skills really sharp in clear weather so you can recon with confidence in the murk. Also, you can invite everyone to plot their own bearings. You can easily read at a distance and if you color code course from bearings etc the whole display is very nice. If the chart is properly labled and updated, a simple picture before changing chart and cleaning the mylar gives an excellent record of part of the trip, helping keep photo's organized an all that.

George Roberts
12-09-2004, 10:53 AM
I find I can scribe lines on wood with mechanical pencils with .7mm HB lead.

I made this discovery after losing my shop pencils. I noticed my wife had a large supply of mechanical pencils and .7mm HB lead in her office.

bob goeckel
12-09-2004, 11:41 AM
sheesh, don't you people have anything to do? :rolleyes:

Magwitch
12-09-2004, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by bob goeckel:
sheesh, don't you people have anything to do? :rolleyes: What? You mean anything else ? Sure, between playing here I fed the dog, made another pair of saw horses, got a scrip from the doctor for antibiotics to fix my broncitus, read the last few chapters of "Coot Club",,,,, again, drank coffee, cooked a pork chop with chantarelles and drank a small malt whisky.
A pretty full afternoon I'd say.

IanW

Meerkat
12-09-2004, 02:53 PM
Next topic: tube socks! ;)

htom
12-09-2004, 07:36 PM
Tube socks are not socks.

Nicholas Carey
12-09-2004, 07:49 PM
0.5mm mechanical pencil. B leads for ordinary writing. 4H or 6H for layout lines.

non-abrasive white vinyl drafting erasers/rubbers for getting rid of the lines.

It's sometimes difficult to get them to order B leads here at work. It sometimes takes a certain amount of arm-twisting as the supply ordering types appear to think that "B" is a typo and that I intended "HB" instead.

John B
12-10-2004, 02:05 AM
When making a new batten for the dinghy sail today.... when shoving the batten in with right hand, pencil also clasped on in there ready to mark off the cut.. and the bunched up sail in the left hand,.. it all turned to jam when it kind of slipped and I stabbed my left index finger right on the tip with an HB.
I am a two finger typist. My wife wants to know why I yell every second letter.
So yes Ian, HB is definitely too hard. I vote 2 B.

actually , on reflection, I vote for felt tip marker pen.

PS PS,( other questions for Ian) whats this magwitch lark, did you see my post on what Peter Brookes is up to, Is there ferment in the blackwater on one of their boats being exported to Enzed.? ;)

[ 12-10-2004, 02:16 AM: Message edited by: John B ]

Ron Williamson
12-10-2004, 06:35 AM
Ian
We use an orphan oarlock socket as a pencil holder/chart weight.

For a shop pencil,I've been using a Staedler 0.9mm mechanical(HB is all I could get in that size).It's great,just don't get epoxy in the works.Prior to that,I was partial to Mirado 2H.I still like them the best(fine line,long-wearing)but they get snagged,broken and lost sticking out of my back pocket.
R

Donn
12-10-2004, 06:57 AM
Absolute hands-down best automatic pencil made for general rough-neck use is the Faber-Castell E-Motion:

http://www.ecosway.com/ecosway_html/images/pimages/30003626_m.jpg

I takes a 1.4mm "B" lead, that you have to try to break, but is soft enough to make a good visible mark. For finer lines, it's easy enough to hone the tip of the lead on a piece of sandpaper. 5" long, with a maple barrel and a 1/2" long eraser under the cap. The pocket clip is the best I've ever seen. I've had one for 6-7 years, and am still in my first 6-pack of leads, with 4 spares still riding in the reservoir.

For desk and dress, I have a nice old Waterman .7mm, which I use with 2B leads. It's primary use is drawing and crossword puzzles.

Best outboard pencil eraser is the Pentel Hi-Polymer. Clean and long lasting.

[ 12-10-2004, 07:39 AM: Message edited by: Donn ]

Magwitch
12-10-2004, 07:08 AM
Originally posted by John B:

PS PS,( other questions for Ian) whats this magwitch lark, did you see my post on what Peter Brookes is up to, Is there ferment in the blackwater on one of their boats being exported to Enzed.? ;) Why Magwitch? Well, post sailing season I looked like Grizzly Adams old fat Dad and SWIMBO "suggested" that a light trim was called for. I went for the veteran Russian tank driver look,,,,, 1/8in all over. My mate Rob thought I looked like the escaped prisoner in "Great Expectations", Magwitch by name,,,,,,,
I had to start a new e-mail account 'cos spam was around 150 a day. New account with the old name still got spammed so I went with a new id, Magwitch sprang to mind,,, that worked. Then I screwed up when I put the new addy in my profile here and lost my old id,,,,,,
I'm one of very few who missed Peter this year, pity. I hear "Blackadder" is for sale and several of Peter's WSOD have migrated to the south coast.
What boat is going to NZ, haven't heard much fuss, but I've been away a lot,,,,,,

IanW

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-10-2004, 07:18 AM
I am a coarse navigator - the sort who, when crossing to Antwerp, just forgets about the tide as it takes about 12 hours to get there.

I use any pencil lying around, but the ones that lie around longest are carpenters pencils, cos they are flat. Sharpen with ship's knife...

Magwitch
12-10-2004, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
I am a coarse navigator Woodbridge-Antwerp in twelve hours Andrew?
Bloody Nora, Mirelle must be faster than I thought,,,,,! ;)
I did Orwell-Oostende in 18 hours once, and was mightily pleased at my own skill and good fortune.
Must get one of your pencils, eh?

IanW

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-10-2004, 12:46 PM
Well, to be quite honest, Mirelle has twice in her life done Ostende/Orwell in 12 1/2 hours...

Once when she was new, and once when she was celebrating her fiftieth birthday by repeating her shakedown cruise. I have a witness to the latter performance as we gave Martin Evans the surveyor a lift back - he had just delivered a boat to Ostende.

In practical terms, I start faffing about with vectors after the first 12 1/2 hours.

John B
12-10-2004, 02:54 PM
go here Ian, for the Brookes info. The boat is here already.

http://media5.hypernet.com/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=6&t=003358&p=

bob goeckel
12-10-2004, 03:34 PM
sheesh, don't you people have anything to do? once again........ :rolleyes:

Scott Rosen
12-10-2004, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by bob goeckel:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> sheesh, don't you people have anything to do? once again........ :rolleyes: </font>[/QUOTE]You're reading it, Bob. What's your excuse?

Mike Field
12-11-2004, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by Joe Dupere:
The nice people here where I am won't let me use anything sharper than a crayon. Sorry Joe, I missed this before. Rico. smile.gif

And plastic scissors to cut your charts up with when you've finished with the crayons, I suppose? :D
.

Hwyl
12-11-2004, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
[QB]I am a coarse navigator - the sort who, when crossing to Antwerp, just forgets about the tide as it takes about 12 hours to get there.

QB]One of the best pub conversations I ever had was about this subject (in a later post you admit it was twelve and a half hours, which is perfect in a lunatic kind of way). The pub (The Garddfon in Felinheli/Portdinorwic) was a nice 12.5 hours @ 5 kts away from Dun Loghaire or Ramsey IOM making 62.5 miles the perfect cruising distance.

bob goeckel
12-13-2004, 11:20 AM
scott, waiting for the canvas to arrive(canoe restore), the steambox to get hot(canoe shelf), the varnish to dry on a shadowbox, a plank to set on a canoe coffeetable, the glue to dry on a bed project for swmbo, oh and i just finished a new canoe saturday. other than that i'm not busy much. and i'm planning a greenland kayak to fill up that time. :D

[ 12-13-2004, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: bob goeckel ]

John B
12-13-2004, 02:50 PM
It dragged you out though didn't it Bob. All well with you I trust... no marshmellows necessary I hope.
Is that sanding dust all over your lawn... you fair that canoe with micro spheres?

bob goeckel
12-14-2004, 10:26 AM
john, going great. 6 yrs now and the ticker is fine(6 yrs i never thought i'd have). just built the 4th canoe as you can see but the barn is getting full so i gotta switch to something else. i'm giving my daughter my first canoe for christmas. thinking of going back to carving(they don't take as much room as a canoe). building is like an obsession and i hate to sit down anyway. hows your summer? seems strange that your christmas is in mid summer. at least to us. smile.gif

Meerkat
12-14-2004, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by htom:
Tube socks are not socks.Shouldn't that be "tube socks or not tube socks?" ;) :D

John B
12-14-2004, 03:39 PM
Well, glad you're doing well Doc. I sail a lot with a Chiropracter mate of mine and I still drag out that "when chiropracters go bad" comic strip you posted a few years ago. In fact , when he opened his new clinic , I stuck it up in the reception room .. ar har har. Have a good christmas. beautiful canoe BTW.

[ 12-14-2004, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: John B ]

NormMessinger
12-14-2004, 08:13 PM
Tube socks or not tube socks, that is the question.

bob goeckel
12-15-2004, 10:00 AM
this is my alltime favorite:
file:///C:/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/whine.jpg