"A bad worker quarrels with his tools"

Liquid eraser

Using DNA to remove layout lines

Published 1/26/2011

Removing pencil marks and layout lines can be a pain. Erasing makes a mess and can smear the line into the grain. And, since an eraser is actually an abrasive, you can tear up the wood fibers into a fuzzy mess.

Fortunately, there's an answer. Graphite (you do know it's not actually lead, right?) can be dissolved by denatured alcohol (DNA). Most hardware stores will have it for about $7 for a quart or $20 a gallon. It has a ton of uses. It's a great cleaner, you can dissolve/thin shellac, remove paint, etc, so I like to keep it around.

Do be careful, though. DNA is a solvent and will mess up non-colorsafe clothing. It's also flammable!

If you don't know, DNA is actualy ethyl alcohol , the stuff that in liquor. But it's been "denatured" with noxious additives to make undrinkable.

Using DNA is easy, just put some on a cloth and rub the layout lines. I guess you could also put it directly on the wood, that might make it more effective on heavy lines.

A nice benefit of using DNA is that it won't raise the wood grain, since there's no water in it.

Simple, relatively safe, cheap, and effective. Good stuff.

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