I'm putting up lap siding on a garden shed I'm building. I'm trying to snap
a line across the studs of a standing wall to align the siding courses.
It's the way I've read it's done, snap a line between your marks on the
Problem I'm having is that the line ends up as just a mess, like 2-3 lines
and a big smudge of chalk. I'm not doing anything obviously stupid that I
know of. I use quick clamps to hold the line in place over the mark on each
story pole and get it nice and taut. Then snap it in middle.
Is there some trick to this? I mean I'm getting it done and the siding is
straight and all it just seems that there should be a way to consistently
snap a single solid line.
The dread double line! There is some art to using a chalk line,
believe it or not. Here your problem is probably that your studs are
not in the same plane. When you snap, the line has room to oscillate
and hit the surface several times. I don't snap from the middle unless
I can hold the center down and snap either side separately. Just be
sure you don't move the line when you do this (I once framed a house
with the help of a homeowner, and he moved the line about a half inch
off when snapping a second floor plate layout. We found it when we
were siding--second floor wall had a half inch wow in it--way too late
to fix it!). You should also snap gently if possible--you are not
shooting a bow here--, and concentrate on pulling the line back in a
90 degree angle from the surface you are snapping.
Every time that I think of chalk lines, a story comes to mind.
We had just finished putting up the rafters on a single story
and I was preparing to pop the line for the first line of
decking. My helper was walking down to the other end of the
roof to hold the chalk line on 4'. I was yelling at the
ground crew to start laying the decking up against the side of
the roof on saw horses, when my chalk line starting rapidly
zipping out of the reel. (My first thought was to jerk the
line back to set the hook.)
I looked up and my helper was gone. I ran (as fast as you can
on top plate) down to the other end of the house and my helper
was laying on the ground, unhurt (as I found out a little
later). He had landed in the pile of sand that the masons had
brought. The thing was that he had about 30 feet of chalk
line in his hands, and he was covered in red chalk, so it
looked like he was really bleeding badly.
Scared me shitless.
trick is to flick the string to remove excess chalk before stretching into
place, then have it tight, and pull directly up at a 90 degree angle. The
multiple marks you are getting are from pulling it up at an angle and not
making a clean release. And you can do it from the end, you don't have to
be in the middle. two people will make it all kinds of eaiser also.
Actually that's exactly what I ended up doing today. I just marched the
chalkline up the story poles as I went. At the very top the clamps holding
the poles were in the way of the siding so I did have to snap that one line
and take the poles down. Snapping the line in the air to remove the excess
chalk seemed to be the ticket item I was missing yesterday.
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