Summary: Learn how to use a chalk line, make a straight line using chalk and string.
Chalk lines are used in the building industry for making straight lines on surfaces, where the accuracy is required over a long distance. Using a straightedge is the usual procedure for straight lines, but when the distance starts to become a problem, chalk lines are far easier and more accurate. A chalk line consists of a piece of string covered with chalk or some other coloured substance. When the string is stretched out marking the line needed, you simply flick the string against the surface and a marked line will appear.
Making a chalk line
- The chalk line is useful for marking the position for dado rails, wallpaper borders and other wall features that need straight lines to mark their positions. When laying floor tiles, a chalk line is also very useful.
- To use, you firstly need to mark two points on the wall where the line will run between. Do this by measuring from either the ceiling or the floor and mark the corresponding point at the other end where you want the line to finish.
- If you do not have a helper, you will need to knock a small nail or tack into the wall on the first mark you have made and attach the string to it.
- Then hold the string taught against the second point and flick the string so it leaves a straight line.
- Alternatively, it would be better to use another person to hold one end of the string so you do not have to insert nails into the wall.
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