Graphical Construction Glossary >> Tools. >> Hand Tools >> Chalk Line

Chalk Line
1.)A string line that is covered with powdered chalk. When stretched tight on a surface and flicked the chalk leave a straight line on the surface.
2.)A special container to hold the chalk and the line to facilitate the marking of straight lines.

a small plastic chalk line container.

Above is a "cheap as chips" plastic chalk line. The string line is on a spool inside the plastic body that contains the chalk dust. The small metal tag on the end makes it easy to clip the end of the line to a pencil mark. The line is stretched out to another mark, stretched and flicked. Result a perfect straight line.

Beware of some red chalks! I have seen brickies using a red ochre type pigment for setting out walls on a concrete slab. For that it is great, but if used inside on say drywall or plasterboard sheets it can be a disaster. A heck of a job to remove as it really stains. Wiping it with a damp cloth just makes it worse.

a Vietnamese ink line

On the whole chalk is the perfect medium and it has been used for a long while before these little gizmos came out. I have seen a large grapefruit sized lump of chalk with many lines scored though it to chalk up an ordinary length of string and it is still possible to do the same with blackboard chalks if one of these is not available.

Above is a photo that I took in the ancient World Heritage town of Hoi An in central Vietnam. The small home made ink pot is one craftsman's answer to the problem of chalk being blown away and not permanent for work like long rip sawing of framing timbers. This item is around 250 years old.

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Adam Smith 1723-1790

"When we build, let us think that we build for ever."John Ruskin 1819-1900

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
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