Faber-Castell, founded in 1761 in Germany, is an art supply company that creates quality writing and drawing utensils. Its pens, markers and pencils tend to be favorites amongst artists. In 2018, the company shared how it makes its pencils in a viral YouTube that racked up over 12.4 million views.
Faber-Castell began by mixing graphite and clay in its industrial equipment. Then it pressed the mixture into long, skinny cylinders that would become the pencil leads. After the leads were dried, they were fired, then placed in a wax bath.
But that’s just how the leads are made. The pencil casing required a different process.
Slabs of wood were milled to create grooves where the lead is inserted. Each slab held enough grooves for about half a dozen pencils. On an assembly line, every groove was filled with glue, then had a pencil lead fixed on. The next step was called “sandwich,” where another slab of grooved wood was placed on top of the slab with the leads.
After the slabs were dried, they were cut into individual pencils. Then each pencil was painted its appropriate color. For example, Faber-Castell’s colored pencils were coated in their respective colors, like yellow, green and purple.
Next, a machine stamped the pencils with the company’s metallic logo and each pencil bottom was dipped in paint before being put to dry.
The last steps were all about quality control, the pencils were tested to ensure they function properly and could withstand 2.5 kilograms of pressure. After testing, the pencils were sharpened, packaged and shipped to retailers.
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