Full disclosure: I’m actually embarrassed to say how long it took me to figure this one out.
I mean, talk about duh! Here’s the story.
There is one tool virtually every carpenter and DIYer has, and it’s a pencil. Nothing earth shattering there, right?
Of course, we use said pencil to write on our work: layout — 16 centers for framing, 5-inch centers for deck pickets, marking studs behind drywall to nail up chair rail and so on.
Every now and again (or more often than that depending on the kinds of day you’re having) a mistake gets made. You put the X on the wrong side of the line, read a 6 as a 9 and put a mark that doesn’t signify anything, or your stud finder is — as most are — wildly undependable.
Anyway, the result is you’ve somewhere between 1 and 58,000 pencil lines that you need to get rid of. The eraser on at typical school-boy (or #2 type) pencil is a nub in about 2 minutes, rendering that useless. But leaving pencil lines is both confusing and ugly (who wants pencils lines all over the deck where the pickets aren’t supposed to be?). They’ve got to go — I’ve even seen guys take a sander to the wood to get rid of them.
The good news is that the solution is much easier, a lot less work, and something I found in my daughter’s pencil box: One of those big ole parallelogram-shaped gummy erasers.
It doesn’t get the line all the way off in some cases (neither does a sander by the way) but I’ve found it gets enough to do the job.
Simple, easy, and it reminds me of my kids. It also reminds me that, embarrassing though it may be, you never stop learning.