Subscribe to TIC

The Katz Roadshow Pencil Dispenser

We’ve been asked many times by attendees how to build the pencil dispenser we use at our Katz Roadshow events. It is a handy and cool thing to have in a shop. Just ask Jed Dixon—he has the very first one I made…at least, the first one that worked.

fig. 1-1

(Note: Click any image to enlarge)

This isn’t a difficult project, but it is time consuming. My first design was even more time consuming. Then Todd Murdock stepped in and offered a brilliant improvement: make the cylinder and handles in separate pieces.

fig. 2-1

Click this link if you’d like to download the drawing itself. Be sure to check out the ‘interactive’ handles—click on one of them using the “Interact” tool, and watch the cylinder spin!

The dimensions in the Sketchup drawing aren’t etched in stone. You can build the thing any size you want, just be sure the cylinder is long enough to hold a pencil! fig. 3-1
fig. 4-1 I’d suggest turning the cylinder on your lathe first, especially if you’re as green as I am when it comes to turning. Once you know the diameter of the cylinder, make the sides about 1/4 in. wider.

And if you’re still in the dark about how the thing is assembled—I certainly was, until I built the first one!—here’s a short video where you can see me fumbling my way, from the lathe through the final assembly. I’m sure you’ll notice right away that Todd’s drawings look a lot nicer than the thing I built! 


8 Responses to “The Katz Roadshow Pencil Dispenser”

  1. Greg

    Now this is a very neat project especially for a work shop. You know the question, “Now where did I lay that pencil down?”
    No more spending time to locate it… that is unless it is the 4th or fifth pencil.

    Great Article

  2. Dave Sochar

    This is great! I plan on making about 6-7 of these, loading them up, and hanging them all over the shop. If I do it right, I can load them up about once a year and never have to wonder again where that pencil is.

    Now, to ramp up my design on the 7 HP Powermatic 18″ planer/pencil sharpener to sharpen all those pencils……

  3. Dylan Chagnon

    Aside from this being a cool devise and a neat project, I’m actually most impressed with your video. I’d have to say that it’s the best one that I have seen yet. That is, the presentation, editing and overall flow of the video was seemless, which made it very informative yet didn’t get bogged down as some videos can do. The use of voice overs and high speed footage in certain areas only enhances your ability to show or “teach” the viewer exactly what you did.
    Well done!

    • Jed

      I call mine ” The Katz-o-matic”
      I use up a pencil a day, and this machine saves me more time than my calculator!

  4. Dan Murphy

    The depth shown on the drawing is 9 1/2 inches.
    It looks like it should be 3 1/2/ inches.
    If I follow the dimensions I would get a box 10 x 10 1/2 x 9 1/2

    • Gary Katz

      In the illustrations, the depth of the side (not including the back or front) is shown as 3 1/2″. The width is shown as 10″. The height is shown as 10 1/2″.


Leave a Reply

Please note: Your first comment will be held for moderation/review by our staff before it appears. After you have one comment approved, all of your subsequent comments will appear immediately. Read our comment policy for more information.