To pop long chalk lines accurately when flooring or roofing:

  1. Attach the chalk line at the starting point of the line.
  2. Pull the string loaded with chalk out of the chalk reel.
  3. Hold or secure the chalk line at the end point of the line.
  4. Use your finger to hold the line down in the middle of the run.
  5. Pop the chalk line on either side of your finger, without moving the middle position of the line.

Watch the video above to find out more.

Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: We have a situation on this remodeling project where we need to cut back the parquet floor so the new floor can tie into it. In order to do that, we need a good, straight line for cutting purposes.

Joe Truini: The tool for marking long layout lines is a chalk reel, but we’re going to show you a technique here you’ve probably not seen before. Start by hooking one end on, and because this is a long space, in order to get a nice, sharp, accurate line, we need to double snap it from the center.

You start by holding it down in the middle, then just snapping it on either side of your finger. You just have to remember as you hold the string down that you don’t move it. Otherwise, you’ll end up with two different lines.

Danny Lipford: Now this technique can also be used for roof layout on those long stretches of roof decking—works real well. Also, if you’re by yourself, you can put an extra nail at the other end, so that you can pop it in the middle. Also, if you’re installing wallpaper and need that good plumb line on a vertical surface, it works great.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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