This is for anyone with a love of old school woodworking — luthiers, ébénistes and the rest. In 2009, the humorist David Rees gave up cartooning and opened up his one-man artisanal pencil sharpening service in Beacon, New York, an old factory town along the Hudson River. Just a man, some high quality cedar, a knife, and an occasional pencil sharper revive a bygone era and a disappearing instrument of communication. 400 pencils later, at $15 a pop, Rees has something good going. You can learn more about Rees and his craftsmanship by reading (seriously) his new book, How to Sharpen Pencils, with a forward by John Hodgman. Or start with an excerpt, of course, at Etsy.

Note: Rees uses some NSFW language during the video.

via Reddit


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  • Gef Flimlin says:

    Whomever pays him $15 to sharpen a pencil must not be the sharpest pencil in the box.

  • giuliop says:

    @Gef Flimlin

    I don’t know, whoever pays him that much obviously has lots of money, and if that money was obtained legally, there’s a good chance they are indeed the sharpest in their box.

  • Chelly Kelly Johnson says:

    I saw you on The Sunday Morning show on CBS today and would love to get one of your $20.00 pencil sharpening gifts, complete with Certificate, etc for my Husband who is in Afghanistan and won’t be home for Christmas this year. I know he would enjoy this very much, as he uses pencils all the time and thinks they are the best tool in his Den!! :-) Please let me know how to order and pay for this unique gift….your time on The show this morning was wonderful!!! Thanks and congrats on a great idea for those of us who love to give gifts no one ever got before…you’re the best!!! :-)
    Chelly Kelly Johnson
    chellkell@gmail.com

  • dayle law says:

    How do I order and pay for a pencil sharpening gift? Saw you on CBS Sunday Morning, it was fascinating and I have someone in mind who would love it. Thanks

  • dayle law says:

    Where do I acquire this gift and pay for it? Thanks

  • Norman says:

    Barnum lives! “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  • Barbara Middleton says:

    Saw you on CBS good morning sun and would like to order a kit would make a cute gift. Thanks

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