I say, for the kids, because I wasn’t truly concerned about the pieces being exactly true to 1/12 scale, and most kids don’t care as much about that, but it’s a fun and easy project for anyone. Is there anything that says ‘back to school’ more than the iconic composition notebook and a freshly sharpened #2 pencil? I know, I know, I couldn’t tell you the last time I actually saw anyone using a #2 pencil, but most of us can still see an image of one in our minds.
The scale of the pencil was determined by the size dowels that are readily available, and the smallest I could find was about 1/16″ in diameter. You can make dowels finer by pulling them through a draw plate, but for this project I went with the size available at the art supply store. A good sanding is always the first step with a wood project, then a coat with that bright yellow paint, followed by another sanding to smooth out the finish. Follow that up with a coat of clear sealer in either a matte or glossy finish-or something in between. The painted and sealed dowels then get cut to length. I used a chopper with a stop set to 1″ for cutting multiples, but an X-acto knife works just fine. For the kids, I had them use an emory board to sand one end to a slight point-don’t want to make them dangerous here-and then use a black sharpie to color the tip black. At the other end, dipping it in a dark red paint, just to coat the end (I used Americana’s Georgia Clay), and when the paint is dry, create the look of the metal ferrule by drawing a stripe around the ‘eraser’ with silver uni-ball marker by Sanford.
Check back next week for the instructions for the composition notebook.