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Thread: Marking walnut?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Marking walnut?

    Probably a dumb question, but what is everyone using to mark layout lines for joinery on walnut? Is there a white or light colored pencil that leaves a visible line? I use a piece of white chalk for rough marking, but would like something that leaves a fine line for locating mortises.

  2. #2
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    In the sewing world there are mechanical pencils with white leads. .7mm leads. You can find them on Amazon. They work well on dark woods.

  3. #3
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    These work well for writing on dark woods...available on Amazon: General Pencil GEN-4414-2BP 2 Piece Multi-Pastel Chalk Pencils, White


  4. #4
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    Painters tape and regular .7mm or .5mm mechanical pencils

  5. #5
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    I use a pencil with white “lead” (not sure what the actual material is) that was purchased in a craft store. It can be sharpened in regular pencil sharpener.

  6. #6
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    White pencil on dark toned walnut, red pencil on lighter toned or sapwood, both Prismacolor brand. For joinery the pencil may be used to fill in a striking knife mark. For more intricate joinery, the blue tape method used by Mike Pekovich and others is the rule.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 06-24-2020 at 11:39 AM. Reason: misspelled Mike's name
    I always forget . . . Is it the letter "S" or the letter "C" that is silent in the word scent?
    - Glenn (the second "N" is silent) Bradley

  7. #7
    Soapstone! Buy the package at the hardware store for a couple bucks. It is about 1/2x3/16x6". Rub it on a file to create a pointed edge and you will get excellent lines on walnut. Being a pipe fitter and not having worked at the trade in some 35 yrs I still carry a bit of soapstone in my pocket. Amazing how often it comes into use.

  8. #8
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    I use a "white" or close to that "colored pencil" for marking on darker wood species. Frequent sharpening keeps the line tight. So does "twirling" it while striking the line.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Welder's pencil

  10. #10
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    Tucson, Arizona
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    I use this chalk pencil. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004M5BGD4
    It leaves a nice thin line.

  11. #11
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    I use this with both while and yellow chalk leads:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004M5BGD4

  12. #12
    I prefer blue tape and a marking knife. Takes longer to set up, but my walnut joints are invariably better with this.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    Welder's pencil
    Sorry, didn't see that the objective was for laying out mortises, which requires a precise line. So scrap my welder's pencil suggestion, and instead, I would mark with a marking knife and then rub the area with the side of a piece of chalk, the kind you used at the blackboard in school. Then rub away the chalk with your hand and the knife lines will be remain white, very visible and sharp.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 06-24-2020 at 1:16 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Jamie, I should have asked my wife about this instead of starting this thread. If there is any kind of gadget or gizmo related to sewing, my avid sewer and quilting wife will have it! After reading your reply, I mentioned it to her and she walked into her sewing room and returned with the forementioned white lead mechanical pencil. Problem solved.
    Anyway, thanks to all for the great replies.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I use this with both while and yellow chalk leads:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004M5BGD4
    I bought one of these on John's recommendation. It works well.

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