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Best Chalk Line

Jim_F's picture

Best Chalk Line (post #158976)

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I've been disapointed by my sloppy chalk line marking. I read somewhere that some people have replaced their cotton line with some kind of braided fishing line. What is the specific line used and how well does it hold the chalk for multiple snaps? And where did I see this written up?? Thanks.

(post #158976, reply #1 of 11)

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The lack of response obviously indicated that no one knew the answer. (Although that usually doesn't stop people from piping up around here.) Now you know and you aren't telling the rest of us.

(post #158976, reply #2 of 11)

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Sorry about that. I realized it after I had logged off. The magazine said (July 99 I think) to use catfish line. Which was described as a braided nylon with about 72 lb strength. I went to several places to find it and didn't. I also saw 'somewhere' that squid line worked well, but I didn't find that either. I found a lot of #18 (.058 dia, 180 lb) braided nylon but it seems too thick. I found a length of #12 (.046 dia, 115 lb) braided nylon that I got long ago for plumb bob line. It looks like the right stuff and it's more round than the #18 too. The piece I have is too short to use so I'm going to continue my search. If I ever find the ultimate chalk line I'll let the world know exactly what it is and where to get it.

That's all I know and I can prove it.

(post #158976, reply #3 of 11)

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I have used braided masons line....works so well, you wonder why they don't come with it on the spool.

near the stream, just picked up three new chalk boxes for the present job...

aj

(post #158976, reply #4 of 11)

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Jim F.

Catfish line with a "Straight Line" chalk box. Email me an address and I'll send you some.

Ed. Williams

(post #158976, reply #5 of 11)

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Thanks Ed and Jack for the reply. I'll take you up on that catfish line, Ed. No one knows what I'm talking about, I guess we don't have catfish around here. I have some masons' line but I didn't experiment with it. What I have seems to be braided so that it's flat not round. I didn't think it would work well but I'll try it. I also found via the internet something called a Double Chalker by Thor. It's made for roofers and it's two chalk boxes with a single 100' string. The idea is that two guys crank it back and forth to re-chalk rather than walking across the roof. They use a special hollow woven polyester string. (www.thorsystems.com) It's pretty clever but I've never seen one (and no I don't work for them). I'll keep that one in mind since you can accomplish the same thing by clipping two chalk lines together by the hooks.

(post #158976, reply #6 of 11)

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Jim - I used to work for a guy who insisted that we have nylon line in our chalk boxes. Worked well for stinging a line because of the way cotton sags. Only problem was, nylon didn't hold anywhere near as much chalk as cotton. Kind of depends on how you most often use your box, nylon better for lines, cotton holds more chalk. - jb

(post #158976, reply #7 of 11)

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I use braided DACRON (polyester) fishing line, (Izorline brand, which may or may not matter), not always easy to find and you usually have to buy a pretty big spool, but then you have plenty to share when every one else wants some for their chalk box. 25 lb. test makes a nice fine line but is a little delicate for jobsite work. 50 lb. test makes a fatter line (about half as wide as you get from the line that comes with most chalk boxxes) but is good if you like to really pull on the line. Military surplus braided silk suture line makes a very nice fine line but is also easily broken. None of this line holds as much chalk as cotton, but thats sort of the point if you are trying to use a chalkline for fine work. If you are marking wall locations on concrete floors cotton is better because you can snap more than one before rechalking. If you are marking a cut line on hardwood plywood suture silk or 25 lb. is the way to go. As far as being durable, my 50 lb. test line is about 8 years old and I really should cut off the first 8 feet of the line because it's a little fuzzy and leaves a thicker line than I like. My 25 lb. is just as old but has seen less use and apart from breaking at the knot to the hook once in a while,is just fine still. Until the last year when I became more of a supervisor, my chalklines saw almost daily use. If you can't find this line at a local shop, try Bass Pro Shops 800-227-7776 or Cabela's 800-237-4444.

(post #158976, reply #8 of 11)

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I bought a chalkline from Malco at a local siding company, It's a speedline, holds alot of chalk, and is the best I've used.

(post #158976, reply #9 of 11)

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i found that using nylon fishing line is good becasue its thinner yet stronger than the line that comes with the chalk box . the nylon has a coating on it that the chaulk doesn't like to absorb into so boiling the line in boiling water helps keep more chaulk on the line

(post #158976, reply #10 of 11)

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I have been framing for 17 years and I probably have thrown away over 50 caulk boxes. The new line just doesn't last as long,the boxes are so cheap they only last a couple of months. I have designed the ultimate caulk box It will last at least 10 years I just need to get someone to manufacture it for me. thought about getting dupont to make a line for it,one that would hold caulk longer, be able to get wet and still work. if that interest you guys give me a shout.

(post #158976, reply #11 of 11)

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I've been disapointed by my sloppy chalk line marking. I read somewhere that some people have replaced their cotton line with some kind of braided fishing line. What is the specific line used and how well does it hold the chalk for multiple snaps? And where did I see this written up?? Thanks.