The Ti-Pencil a/k/a "Ti-Scribe"
This piece was a long time in the making as some of you might be aware of. Originally, it was hoped that the piece could look exactly like a pencil. Unfortunately, dreams meet reality head-on at times and compromises have to be made. I was finally able to convince James Piorek of JSP-Bladerigger to make these.
I had one individual in line to manufacture this piece and apparently after seeing what was going to be involved…it was dumped. After three  E-mails with no response, I have to assume that it was dumped and something went sour. Another individual expressed a desire to make the piece and they, too, dropped the project like a hot rock.
I think people underestimate exactly how hard Titanium is to work with. When you see a Titanium product that is cheap, it is usually cast Ti. Finishing Ti is also a bear…so there are many things that have to be taken into consideration.
The anodizing, it was hoped, could be made very close to yellow. The problem with that becomes one of finishing. You then have to polish the Ti in order to anodize it to any shade remotely resembling yellow or gold.
So, when you polish it, that takes time and materials and that costs money. What we want is something that is top of the line and camouflaged, yet affordable.
I have had people E-mail me about this project and it almost becomes a particular form of insanity dealing with some people’s ideas.
No one with any skill works for free. If we can agree on that, then an understanding can be reached. Some people think that a Maker should lend themselves out to a "Welfare for Warfare" Program or something and simply make a pittance. Makers want to make a living as well.
Some companies have 10,000 things in a catalog and they can afford to make a couple of dollars on an item. I’ve seen one company in particular that likes to Xerox designs and then place them out there on the market. The quality and attention to detail is simply not there but some people rush to them for a deal. They get something mediocre.
Then, the same people would scoff if the pencil was in fact made to look like a pencil because the simple Scribe would be over $150.00 to do. This is a reality that should be accepted. If the project seems simple, remember that two people ran out on it. It is not as simple as you might think.
Another thing we looked at was powder coating it yellow. OK, well…you have to send the pencils away to be coated, the coating costs money, shipping back and forth costs money. The cost of everything is transferred to the Buyer because no one works for free! Nor should they be expected to.
These are handmade from stock; they are not molded or cast. It is not cheap material and, the material [Ti] is rising in cost due to Military Applications.
The Finishing and the Grip
When Titanium is beadblasted, it can still be anodized but shades of yellow become very dark. So, we wanted something that had a rougher surface for grip enhancement. And it works very well.
The eraser head is aftermarket. It can be replaced if need be, by the Buyer. I have already purchased a package of them just to make sure that aftermarket, slip-on erasers that were commonly available would fit the Scribe. They do, nicely.
The pocket clip is also aftermarket [and was not easy to find!].
Another aftermarket item you could purchase to aid in the grip would be a slip on device that goes on a regular pencil. They are sometimes triangular and sometimes resemble a blob of plastic with several flattened areas on them for placement of the fingertips. To lessen the fatigue that often accompanies a lot of handwriting.
The one thing that I wanted was for ordinary people to be able to afford this Scribe. No astronomical pricing involved. In order to do that, the compromises were made that I stated above and for $44.95 plus shipping, I don’t think you can beat this.
Someone will inevitably do something or other and copy this, it’s just too good not to. This is the Genuine Article as far as I’m concerned. And it is affordable, as are the other items in this "Line."
One, Basic Requirement
The one, basic requirement was point strength. In earlier versions made by other people, the point was more like a needle, an extreme grind on the end, very fine point. This Scribe has a more stubby appearance. This will strengthen it. It is still incredibly pointy.
As with all JSP-BladeRigger Items, the attention to detail is evident when you open the package and this simple Scribe is in keeping with that tradition. The grind is as close to perfect as my naked eye can tell! Very pointy…
Well…I had this old headboard, see? If you have read some of my articles, I like destroying things that other people have discarded or I am about to.
In the pictures, you see the results of "Woodpeckering." Very fast taps into the wood, the "torn" holes were attempts to bend the point, done with the deliberate idea of trying to get the point to roll over like this Þ ì Ü and as I expected, that did not happen. Titanium is strong and the grind is strong.
I would tap the wood and draw the point out, you can see that in the pictures. I could have hammered the Scribe through the wood and I’m sure had I pulled hard enough I could have bent something. You can destroy anything if you want to. We have seen that constantly in the past.
So, the basic requirement is, it has a strong point that is indeed pointy! Passed both tests! Simple.
But that wasn’t enough, I figured with this particular item, someone might want to throw it. Seems reasonable to me. So, I really flung it hard into the headboard four times. There was absolutely no point damage whatsoever. What you will see in the picture is some discoloration of the point and that’s all!
The last time I threw the Scribe, I did it so hard that the pocket clip slid down about one inch so fast that a gigantic spark flew off of the clip! No point damage, that’s good enough for me.
I could not throw it any harder and still maintain safe control of the Scribe. I’m sure that if I had my old knife and hatchet target outside, a cross section of tree, the Scribe would stick in that no problem.
A Titanium Projectile that is thrown by hand is not going to have the same impact as a similar sized piece of steel because the Ti weighs less than steel. So this is something entirely different.
Yet, this might be the way to go if you like to throw or believe that has an application in Self-defense as a segue to drawing something else. Michael Janich wrote an article about this a few years ago that was excellent and I agree with him 100%.
[Remember those safety glasses or goggles when throwing anything for a hobby.]
Again, to keep this a very simple project and very affordable, we decided to leave the choice of how to carry to the Buyer. Of course it is a very pointy object and it will wear a pocket out and in some instances go through the pocket. You could injure yourself if you do not carry it safely; this is your responsibility. We cannot be held responsible for you carrying pointy objects in your pocket anymore than if you purchased a fixed blade knife without a sheath and carried that around in your pocket. If you think it is stupid to state the obvious, all I can tell you is this; this is the world we live in. Sometimes you have to say these things because some people will do the most absurd and unsafe things and then try to blame someone else for their own stupidity.
But there are ways around that problem. For an Office-type setting, Pocket Protectors do still exist and if they are so "offensive" to you and scream "nerd" or "geek," you might have to get over that. OR…you can take the concept [there is that word again] and run with the concept. You can make your own "Mini-Boot" out of a piece of nylon webbing/belt. You would simply cut a length of nylon webbing/belt to twice the length you want to cover the Scribe, then fold it and sew a straight line up both sides. You then have this somewhat sturdy boot in the pocket that is still flat. When you go to pull the Scribe, you would drag it out so the little flat sheath slid off.
There is also a very nice Leather Pocket Protector available, do a Google Search for Levenger.Com if you want a nice, improvised sheath and wish to avoid the stigma associated with carrying around an original, 100% vinyl "Pocket Protector."
There are quite a few "sheaths" out on the market designed to carry flashlights and Multi-Tools on the belt, etc. You could use one of them as well. One type is the "Pock-Its" brand of belt carrier. So…experiment a little bit! Those are usually available at Wal-Mart. If not, do a search for Pock-Its!
I have been carrying it in a nylon sheath that was designed for the SWAT Brass Tiger Balisong. This has a boot/belt clip on it. Another way to possibly carry this as a pencil in the pocket would be to simply purchase another aftermarket eraser and place it on the point and put the Scribe in your pocket!
Personally, I think I am going to make the "Mini-Boot" that I mentioned and reinforce the bottom of it very well with a couple rows of stitches.
Other Modes of Carry
I have taken a few pictures for you so you can see how well the Ti-Scribe fits in with other tools and pens. As you can see, when placed in the pencil/pen sleeve of several different types of portfolios, it blends right in. This item can simply be a probe if you so desire. As a probe or punch tool for some applications, you’re certainly not going to destroy it.
I know when I worked for an alarm company and we had to trace wires down for the alarm system, sometimes we had a terrible time doing this. Sometimes, we would take over an account from another alarm company, and we would rip the "can" out, meaning the control, and then the individual points of protection and we would leave the wiring intact. (That is one way alarm companies clean up, meaning…rip-off, some Customers too…by the way…) When we went to service the account, the wiring was odd and I have seen more than one screwdriver covertly stuck through drywall in a place easily concealed, simply to get a peek behind the wall to see if wiring was lurking there. You could tell when this happened in some Telephone Rooms and up above false ceilings, the drywall looked like a sheet of Swiss Cheese…
So, along with a Mechanic’s Magnetic Pick-Up Tool, a Dental Mirror, Penlight and a Telescoping Hook for grabbing wires, this would have been ideal… It’s a tough tool that can have many applications.
The Mandatory Disclaimer:
Ordering, owning and carrying any item is your responsibility. Always remember that. I accept no responsibility for misuse of information or anything else contained on this site. Likewise, for legal troubles that might occur from you doing something you should not do. Consult a Lawyer if need be.
Interested in owning one? Drop me a line, just click on the link provided. Click here!
Back to the Main Index