The Musgrave News, revisited; or why I ditched carpenter pencils forever.

Imagine my surprise when I fired up the old WordPress dashboard this morning to find my review of the Musgrave News, a pencil that I kind of pooh-poohed, became the most-viewed post on this blog almost overnight. That’s actually appropriate, because the whole reason I went there was to post a little bit more about my experiences with that particular pencil. In the review I panned the News for the purposes of writing, but conceded that it may have niche purposes that I haven’t found.

Well, I think I found one: carpenter pencil. As it turns out, these guys are great for use when marking measurements and cut lines on lumber, sheetrock, and other building materials.

It makes a nice, dark mark which is easy to find when you go to make your cut. I use a lot of lumber which I reclaim from other things I demolish around the house and yard, and the wood is often weathered and gray — the perfect camouflage for hard-leaded pencil marks. Not with the Musgrave News! Its rich, black graphite really stands out, which saves me a lot of time and frustration when I don’t have to scour the length of an 8-foot board to find my mark.

The fact that the lead is soft doesn’t seem to matter, because all pencils lose their point fast in this line of work. In fact, the soft lead might even be a plus: other, more brittle pencil tips often snap off when marking on things like wood, but the News doesn’t.

I reckon I’ll be putting my box of Musgrave News pencils out in the tool shed!

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