Chalk line - how to use it?

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I know this probably a stupid question, but I'm a single mom who needs to put a roof on an outdoor shed. Roofers wanted $700. I bought all the supplies for less than $80.
Reading the roofing books I have an idea of how to do this. And my 18-year-old son is going to help.
But, we went work to put out chalk lines and I need help.
I bought an irwin chalk line set at the hardware store. My first mistake was cutting the line off the hook, not realizing it needed to be tied there.
Then, I realized the line has no chalk on it. I do have a blue bottle of chalk. My son found a sliding lid on the chalk reel. He thinks the chalk should be squirted into this compartment. It makes sense. But I was hoping someone could confirm. Also, how much do you put in -- when do you stop.
Yes, I know, a paranoid, duh, question, but when you have no idea.... tina
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snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

It doesn't *have* to be there, just makes it easy to hook over a nail when you are working alone and don't have anyone to hold the end. ______________

Yes, put chalk in the reel. The amount isn't written in stone but you might as well put in as much as you can but not so much as to make it difficult to reel/unreel the string. You can always add more.
--

dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

Thanks so much for the help. It seemed the thing to go, but when you aren't sure... Anyway, works perfectly now. Guess that means we have to get to work (just hauling the shingle bundles a hundred yards from the car and then up to the roof about did me in already this morning, though).
Thanks again! tina
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Hate to smack a tired woman, BUT,
You really don't need a chalk line if you follow the lines of the old shingles.
--
Colbyt
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Colbyt wrote:

True, but even pros will run a chalk line now and then on some jobs, like around dormers. Besides, for the beginner, a chalk line helps to buld enough confidence to discard it after a few squares are down. And don't forget the roof jacks and planks and other safety related items. Good luck.
Joe
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1. Based on the price she paid for the supplies (unless she got a hell of a deal on some closeouts or something), this is a small shed. Probably not big enough to need roof jacks and such.
2. Once you tear off the old shingles, and put down new felt, there aren't any old shingle lines to follow. Roofing is enough of a PITA that you want to do it as little as possible. And that means a tearoff, no matter what code says. If you lay the felt carefully, you can use the lines on that. For a newbie, snapping a line every 3rd course or so isn't a bad idea, and only takes a few minutes. Nothing screams 'amatuer' more loudly than courses that wander up and down.
aem sends...
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snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

I agree with the last statement. Everything depends on getting the starter course straight, and the usually means just following the edge of roof. After that you just need to be careful. In most cases just carefully butting each shingle to the next will result in a straight line. But to insure parallel courses you can use a stick cut to the length of the shingle exposure and use that to measure the exposure at each end of the shingle before nailing.
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she didn't say it was going over an old roof

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Yes, that's a very physically demanding job. You've got my respect. Can you hire any teenage boys to help? They are the ones with energy. Sometimes no direction, but lots of energy.
Years ago, a friend showed me that on the long flat edge of the shingle is a cut. You find that cut, and that's where the short edge of the next shingle lines up.
--

Christopher A. Young
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That depends on the type of shingles being used. Three-tabs and "shangles" (those three-tab shingles designed to look like shakes) it is important to line the shingles up correctly so that the cutouts line up every other row. On architectural/dimensional shingles, it doesn't really matter.
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TakenEvent wrote:

Actually, shingle manufactures suggest that the cutout line up after more than every other row, to minimize streaks and rain groove wear. I followed the instruction on the package and mine line up every third row. Most roofers in my area follow that pattern.
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snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

If you ever attempt a larger roofing job, seriously consider rooftop delivery of the shingles and tar paper. The savings in medical bills alone can make it worthwhile.
My 1st roofing job was a reshingling, and since the original shingles were aligned about perfectly, I didn't have to lay down chaulk lines. But when reshingling it's important to overlap, or "butt up," the new shingles correctly over the old ones to minimize the amount of empty space each shingle spans and therefore the sag. This is why the instructions say to cut the starter course of shingles to the same width as the tab exposure rather than simply nail down whole shingles with the tabs facing upward. If the overlap is done wrong, the new shingles will develop a bend where they sag.
My 2nd attempt at roofing was over bare plywood decking, and I had to redo it since I originally laid down only horizontal chaulk lines but not vertical ones. The alignment looked fine to me while I was on the roof, but from the ground it was a completely different matter. So chaulk lines are a good idea.
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do_not_spam snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

Why would one ever put down vertical chalk lines? If the alignment of slots is off, the installer is cutting the starter shingle for each row incorrectly. Starters should always be cut at the slot or midway between slots (unless one is into some fancy pattern. Anyway, the wrapping on each bundle gives all the instructions.
It is a shed so there should be no dormers, just a straight shot.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

You get a much nicer look and errors are not as obvious if you use the shorter offset. Can't recall now if it is 1/4 or 1/3 a tab. Done that way, the tabs don't line up on every 2nd course. In my opinion, the mark of an amatuer job is slots lining up straight up the roof.
Harry K
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

Because I lack the talent to get the horizontal alignment correct without them, and the shingles I used were about 1/4" wider than the originals
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do_not_spam snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

Not to start a discussion, but I don't see how vertical chalk lines help one align things horizontally. Normally one aligns a horizontal thing with a horizontal line. Don't see what the difference wider shingles would make either, unless one put them on top of the originals and then you just align the new shingles by butting them up to the lower edge of the original shingles.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

Yep. In any case, I prefer to use a shingle hatchet. Well worth the purchase price even doing just one roof, I just finished 2 sheds and a 2 car garage last summer and never used a chalk line except for the ridge caps (hip roofs). Slap shingle down, adjust with hatchet twice to set the exposure ( three times on the course starts for the offset) nail and done. On a larger roof I would probably do a chalk line up toward the middle.
Harry K
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

I don't see how they help one align things vertically. Ask a pilot how the horizon is used for aligning planes vertically.

For attitude or elevation?
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snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

Others have explained the chalk line.
Instructions (and very good ones) are printed on every shingle bundle. You should be able to do a professional job just by following those instructions.
Harry K
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Using a chalk line requires a college degree. Go to your local university and sign up for "Chalk Line Classes". In two years for the basic degree or 4 years for the advanced degree, you will be a chalk line expert.
On 10 Sep 2006 13:20:07 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

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