LumberJocks

Absolutely the Most Useful, Inexpensive Marking Tool...

  • Advertise with us
Review by DeLayne Peck posted 02-06-2014 04:37 PM 2227 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.




View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

345 posts in 855 days



14 comments so far

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

1423 posts in 451 days


#1 posted 02-06-2014 04:42 PM

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.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View BoardSMITH's profile

BoardSMITH

83 posts in 917 days


#2 posted 02-06-2014 07:38 PM

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

5086 posts in 1962 days


#3 posted 02-06-2014 07:41 PM

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.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10861 posts in 1343 days


#4 posted 02-07-2014 01:46 AM

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

View Halc's profile

Halc

34 posts in 255 days


#5 posted 02-07-2014 02:34 AM

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.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10861 posts in 1343 days


#6 posted 02-07-2014 03:07 AM

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

345 posts in 855 days


#7 posted 02-07-2014 04:14 AM

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

3761 posts in 2021 days


#8 posted 02-07-2014 05:47 AM

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

14562 posts in 1457 days


#9 posted 02-07-2014 01:44 PM

Ditto oldnovice

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

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

345 posts in 855 days


#10 posted 02-08-2014 03:06 PM

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

186 posts in 980 days


#11 posted 02-08-2014 04:05 PM

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

345 posts in 855 days


#12 posted 02-09-2014 05:28 AM

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

3761 posts in 2021 days


#13 posted 02-09-2014 07:26 AM

Yes, chalk is almost as good as regular TUMS!

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

View Gerry's profile

Gerry

253 posts in 1894 days


#14 posted 02-09-2014 08:23 AM

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.”

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase