Having moved recently, I was missing our basement pencil sharpener.
I have a couple of small, hand-held pencil sharpeners to use, but they aren’t effective at making a nice point without chewing up the wood on my cheap, soft pencils.
What I really needed, and wanted, was a sturdy hand-crank pencil sharpener that mounted to a wall, preferably in the basement. You know, the pencil sharpeners found at the back of most school rooms that can take all sorts of abuse.
I thought this would be an easy find. Surely, a hardware store or office supply store would have one.
Ha! Not so much.
Hubby and I searched at Menard’s, two Office Max locations, Michael’s, and Frattallone’s Hardware. Office Max carried them but didn’t have any in stock, which made me wonder if they were super popular or if there were supply chain issues. At Frattallone’s, they helpfully searched their catalog and found that the hand-crank pencil sharpeners were discontinued.
After all this running around, I was beginning to think we’d have to purchase the coveted pencil sharpener online, even though I was hoping to buy one locally. Amazon tends to be the shopping default online and I’m trying to get away from purchasing items there.
We made a call to a nearby Ace Hardware and found that they had not one, but two in stock in Aisle 1. We drove over, hoping a school teacher didn’t buy them both while we were on our way.
Which made me wonder, if these pencil sharpeners are so hard to come by, are they being used in schools anymore? How much do students even use pencils beyond third grade handwriting lessons? When our kids were in elementary school, they weren’t learning cursive handwriting anymore because the emphasis was shifting to keyboarding skills. That was decades ago. I have no idea how pencil use has changed in this time.
Also on the drive, Hubby asked why I wanted the pencil sharpener in the basement. Why not in my office, where it would be more convenient? He guessed that my insistence was due to tradition. He was right.
When I was growing up, my dad had a hand-crank pencil sharpener on the wall in the basement near his workbench. It was such a dad thing to do, and it kept the pencil sharpener out of the way.
In our old house, we attached a pencil sharpener to an exposed two-by-four in the basement that was part of the wall framing.
No need to break tradition now. I had the perfect spot to mount it in our new basement, on a two-by-four that serves as a corner of our paint shelf. This would keep it from putting holes in the office walls I had recently patched and painted. Besides, I sit so much for work that having to run to the basement to sharpen a pencil would provide me an opportunity to move.
When we arrived at Ace Hardware, we went directly to Aisle 1. It took us a couple of minutes to spot them, but, there on the shelf, were two X-ACTO KS manual pencil sharpeners.
I happily snagged one and installed it in the basement as soon as we got home.
I immediately sharpened the pencil I had used to mark the screw holes in order to mount the sharpener to the paint shelf.
Today, I took a fistful of pencils down to sharpen them. What a satisfying feeling to grind the points to perfection.