Chalk Talk for Dark Lumber

Pencil lines barely show up on dark wood species and tempered hardboard, which can lead to mistakes when you’re breaking lumber into manageable pieces for your projects. And putting tape onto pieces so you can write down joint-matching information is a real time waster.

Avoid these problems by using chalk instead of a pencil. In fact, you can choose from several types of chalk to suit the level of accuracy required. For bold marks, reach for a jumbo piece of sidewalk chalk, which is available in several colors. For joint identification and notes, downsize to regular blackboard chalk, which also comes in several shades so you can color-code project components. Use a light touch with both of these types, and you’ll be able to erase lines with a soft cloth. For the finest lines, switch to tailor’s chalk. You can buy all these types of chalk at a hobby center.

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