When I clean up my shop, I really like sweeping up the curly plane shavings. They were made by my own horsepower, smell wonderful, and the contrasting colors are much more visually interesting than a pile of sawdust.
But there are other things that end up on my floor. They are also made by my own big clumsy hands – bits of dropped chalk. Like many woodworkers and custom home builders, I use chalk to mark rough dimensions when rough cutting stock, so I keep a piece of chalk near my miter saw. I also use chalk to mark the flat faces and edges of boards that come out of the jointer, so I keep a piece of chalk near my jointer.
With all the hustle bustle and my big clumsy hands, I drop, and break, and step on, a lot of chalk. I’m in the shop to build stuff, not break stuff!
Fortunately, I remember Eighth grade Algebra with Mr. Moseley at Madrona Junior High. He had this cool holder for his chalk, similar to a large mechanical pencil. Eighth grade was a while ago so I was hoping they still made those cool chalk holders. Heck, do teachers even use chalk anymore?
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Off to Amazon.com to search for Mr. Moseley’s chalk keeper, and much to my satisfaction, they still make them. In fact, there is a variety of them from a lot of manufacturers. After reading some reviews, I decided on the Deluxe Chalk Keeper because of the good reviews and solid construction.
As you can see, I bought two.
As one reviewer suggested, I removed the dorky sticker. This has been a very useful tool that has saved me embarrassing trips to my daughters craft box to steal her hot pink chalk. Only a few improvements I could think of: make it octagonal so it doesn’t roll, or make it magnetic so it would stay put on machinery, or a clip for a pocket.
This is one of those small things that fixes an old shop frustration for me. Thanks Mr. Moseley!