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Absolutely the Most Useful, Inexpensive Marking Tool...

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Review by DeLayne Peck posted 72 days ago 1938 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Absolutely the Most Useful, Inexpensive Marking Tool... No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

What is it? Ordinary old sticks of school chalk. I use it constantly all over my shop and on project-after-project. Chalk cuts down the chaos, bungling, confusion, memory lapses, searching, waste and mistakes that haunt every shop. My shop for sure.

Here are some of my routine uses: Noting the arrival dates of lumber for drying and acclimation. Planning and marking the intended use of and dimensions of new lumber. Laying out initial cuts and dimensions on sheet goods. Noting dimensions. Doing math and making notes right on my bench top. Noting the species and dimensions of valuable scrap and cut offs. Marking mated edges. Noting grain and feed direction. Locating and circling flaws. Finding the low spots on planed or jointed surfaces. Marking the “the rub.” Marking jointed edges. Labeling templates, reference pieces, and story sticks. Identifying completed parts for assembly. Making the best side, left, right, front, back, top, bottom indications. Marking up the assembly order.

Greatest strength: Rubs off easily. Weakness: Rubs off easily.

Also pictured: A handy chalk holder commonly used by teachers to prevent breakage.

Have other uses? Please chalk them up in the comments.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.




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DeLayne Peck

301 posts in 703 days



14 comments so far

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

972 posts in 299 days


#1 posted 72 days ago

All I could find when I remembered to look for chalk was multi-colored sidewalk chalk. But I use it. I like it when I’m flattening a board by hand to identify the high areas.

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BoardSMITH

53 posts in 765 days


#2 posted 72 days ago

I use three to four boxes of that same brand each month. To add to the uses you mentioned, I use it to mark a face before I run it through the double drum sander to make sure there aren’t any low spots left, I mark three to four diagonal lines across an edge before going through the jointer to make sure it has been jointed all the way across, calculating yields and all sorts of math. Good stuff and invaluable here!

-- David www.TheBoardSMITH.com

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4739 posts in 1810 days


#3 posted 72 days ago

I have been using white blackboard chalk for many many years. I keep pieces all around my shop…near the saws, planer, sander, workbench and places I probably forgot that I put some there. You can still get it at Office Depot.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work. http://www.FineArtBoxes.com

View gfadvm's profile (online now)

gfadvm

9555 posts in 1191 days


#4 posted 71 days ago

Yep, I use chalk in the shop for all kinds of things. I also use it to date and ID all the wood I saw on the mill. My granddaughter is constantly saying: “Papadoc, did you take my chalk AGAIN!”

She has that chalk that comes in big, fat sticks that don’t break as easily as the thin white sticks (is this ‘sidewalk chalk’?). I never knew where to buy it so I just grab hers.

I’ve also ‘borrowed’ a couple of her pencils with the fat, soft lead. They are great for marking things to be bandsawed as the mark is much easier to see/follow.

Grandkids are great!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Halc

21 posts in 104 days


#5 posted 71 days ago

I also had trouble finding white chalk in stores. The colored chalk seemed harder to remove than I thought it should be. I didn’t think of looking for it at Home Depot, but I found it at Amazon.com.

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gfadvm

9555 posts in 1191 days


#6 posted 71 days ago

Pretty sure mine comes from Toys R Us!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

301 posts in 703 days


#7 posted 71 days ago

Using chalk is a good tip for beginning woodworkers.

Office and school supply stores are the surest source of blackboard chalk. Chalk holders are available online, 2 to 7 bucks. Not essential, but they stop breakage. Buy one that won’t roll.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3255 posts in 1869 days


#8 posted 71 days ago

Chalk one up for common sense!
You are in the class of David Marks as he uses that all the time!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Roger's profile

Roger

13062 posts in 1305 days


#9 posted 71 days ago

Ditto oldnovice

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

301 posts in 703 days


#10 posted 70 days ago

I was surprise when a LJs search returned no mention of the usefulness of chalk as a marking tool. My review is aimed at beginning woodworker. I regret that I spent most of 40 years without chalk in shop.

Mark +1 for Hans, thanks for mentioning David J. Marks, his incredible work can be found here.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View DMC1903's profile

DMC1903

174 posts in 829 days


#11 posted 70 days ago

Thanks for the great tip, I use chalk all the time for marking rough stock.
The only problem I have with it, is my cousin Daryl and his brother Darly enjoy eating chalk…. it disappears at a rapid pace.

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

301 posts in 703 days


#12 posted 69 days ago

DMC, I failed to mention chalk is low cal, low fat, and low salt. Produces dazzling white teeth. And! As a regular part of you diet, there is no need for bowl cleaner.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3255 posts in 1869 days


#13 posted 69 days ago

Yes, chalk is almost as good as regular TUMS!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Gerry's profile

Gerry

250 posts in 1742 days


#14 posted 69 days ago

Funny. There is always a Physic(al) person in the crowd…...

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

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