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I'm about to begin attaching tar paper to my sidewall in preparation for cedar shingling. What writes well on tar paper? I've tried all sorts of writing instruments including a Sharpie and nothing works. All all nearly invisible. I need to mark level lines on the paper to adjust my courses properly.
 

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I just ordered a box of Plain White Chalk from China via E-Bay.
the White Board craze has forced our USA chalk makers out of the product.
I use the Paint Stick markers from the Box Store - it writes on car tires
so it should mark on tar paper. found in the Tool Bin of the Box Stores.
 

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A strip of white tape that you can write on would work.
 

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As noted, chalk line is visible enough although may not last on the tarpaper. Paper should be as flat as possible. If you can use a story-pole, you can strike the chalkline as needed and adjustments are easier on the pole.
 

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Scout - just this morning, This Old House:Trade School (episode #22)
covered installing shingles. . . . I found it to be very educational.
especially where they used a plastic mesh behind the shingles for ventilation.
a ledger or story board made it look oh so easy !!

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As noted, chalk line is visible enough although may not last on the tarpaper. Paper should be as flat as possible. If you can use a story-pole, you can strike the chalkline as needed and adjustments are easier on the pole.

Use red chalk. Sun exposure on blue lines on felt will make them vanish.:biggrin2:
 

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For installing the paper.

For something like that I don't require perfection so the lines printed on the paper are close enough for me.


For the siding I usually make a gauge of some sort. Works like a charm after the first course is up.
 

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I'm about to begin attaching tar paper to my sidewall in preparation for cedar shingling. What writes well on tar paper? I've tried all sorts of writing instruments including a Sharpie and nothing works. All all nearly invisible. I need to mark level lines on the paper to adjust my courses properly.
Not sure why you'd snap lines on the paper for shingles. Once you have your first coarse on you snap lines on the previous course just slightly above where the bottom of the next row is going to be.

Use WHITE chalk. The reason for the white is because if (when) you get chalk where you don't want it the first rain will wash it away.

Blue chalk will stain the cedar. It will wash away eventually but try telling that to someone when wanting to get paid.

Never use red chalk for snapping lines on shingles. It is a stain and will always be there.

As far as writing on tar paper just use the yellow lumber crayons that they sell at any lumber yard or hardware store.
 

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I'm about to begin attaching tar paper to my sidewall in preparation for cedar shingling. What writes well on tar paper? I've tried all sorts of writing instruments including a Sharpie and nothing works. All all nearly invisible. I need to mark level lines on the paper to adjust my courses properly.
Just to add.............

I always pull a nylon string line (usually at the first clear course above the windows) where layout says a course will be and from that I'll measure down from that line to make my marks that I'll use for all of the courses below it.

You can either measure down from the string for each course or use a storyboard but the 'string line rules' as the reference point for the layout on that wall.
 
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