Under MC's instruction, cutting the joinery is straightforward, but relies on precision measuring and marking. That in turn calls for a sharp pencil. I was constantly sharpening the thing with a chisel. And because you're using heavy hand tools and the pencil is fragile, you've really gotta be careful with where you place it; civilization and stationery supply stores are miles and miles away.
After I got back, out of curiosity I searched for durable, permanently sharp pencils. The Asian timber framers whose techniques MC teaches use sharpened bamboo shoots dipped in ink: What's a more convenient, modern-day solution? What I found was this awesome Module Mechanical Pencil, by Taipei-based design firm 22Studio:
A stainless steel cap protects the tip in transit. The Béton brut (French for "raw concrete") aesthetic is beautiful. The company has designed an entire line of writing instruments using it.
Each piece takes 14 days to make with their curing process, and the prices are correspondingly high: The pencil is $80, the rollerball $100, and the fountain pen $150. A bit out-of-reach for me, but maybe someday….
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