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  • Pencil Marks

    I had finished a small piece (bare wood) and I thought to put a small design on the sides ,I marked it with pencil lightly, I changed my mind and I wanted to erase the marks,I had to sand very heavily,spoiled it. How do I get rid of the marks without starting all over sanding?
    Thank you, any tricks?
    Alice
    www.WoodCarvingIllustrated.com
    www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
    www.ScrollSawer.com

  • #2
    Re: Pencil Marks

    Alice:
    I wash my carvings in warm water and spray them with Simple green,this cleans off all oils from my hand and also cleans off pencil marks.I can do this because I paint my carvings wet,hope this helps.
    Mark N. Akers
    My Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KarolinaKarver

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    • #3
      Re: Pencil Marks

      Alice...

      I'll second Mark's advice plus add that I like to use Ajax dish soap. I'm also very careful that I use a soft lead pencil, no harder than "HB" and that when using it I don't bare down and make any impression on the wood. Actually I saved a bunch of "B" leaded drawing pencils from the days when people actually used to draft on paper and the graphite is so soft that it washes right off with soap and water. I also don't paint my carvings wet as Mark does. I let them dry out after washing them.

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      • #4
        Re: Pencil Marks

        I use dish soap and a tooth brush, works just fine for me and will take pencil marks off.

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        • #5
          Re: Pencil Marks

          An old toothbrush and a bar of white bath soap clean my carvings up just fine - gets rid of hand oils and graphite both.

          Claude
          My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/
          My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/
          My Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/claudeswoodcarving/
          My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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          • #6
            Re: Pencil Marks

            I asked this same question of John Engler (quite a few years ago). He recommended a "pink" eraser that is sold in Walmart (among others). It is a relatively firm (not hard) eraser, it is cheap (I buy them at 3/package) and does an excellent job of removing the pencil marks. I do have to reshape the thing now and then as I wear away the thin edge.

            I use lots of pencil marks. Keep a centerline, mark feather groups, individual feathers, keep the skeleton on animals to indicate muscles, even the flow lines for hair. I also use a soft lead pencil so that I don't make marks in the wood with it. The marks that are not cut/sanded away are erased when I am done. A friend, watching me carve, remarked that I do more work with a pencil than with carving tools.

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            • #7
              Re: Pencil Marks

              I do the same as Paul...those pink soft erasers..I call them "bubble gum" erasers work just fine. Got mine at Wallyworld also
              "Lif iz lik a box "o" choc lets, ya nevr kno whut yull git!"

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              • #8
                Re: Pencil Marks

                Mark,
                What`s the advantage of painting a carving wet?
                John

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                • #9
                  Re: Pencil Marks

                  Thanks everybody,yes my pencil was just a regular one so the soft ones for the next job. I had an eraser but it did not work maybe because of the wood? it is Birch,
                  Good advice, as always :-))
                  thanks again
                  Alice
                  www.WoodCarvingIllustrated.com
                  www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
                  www.ScrollSawer.com

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pencil Marks

                    Pentel manufacturer's a refillable eraser that's white and works pretty good at getting rid of graphite marks. It's very similiar to the Staedtler Mars plastic eraser used for drafing. They both erase clean and leave no residue.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pencil Marks

                      Just checked the actual name of the eraser I use....Pink Pearl. I have used them on basswood, tupelo, China birch plywood, pine, and it has worked well on all of them.

                      Eddy, I have and use the pentel white erasers. They work well also. The main problem I have with them on long marks is that the carbon stays on them longer. It is easier to erase large areas with the pink pearl.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pencil Marks

                        Paul...

                        I have noticed that but the way I get around it is that I take my x-acto knife and trim off a slim sliver at the end when it becomes a problem. Sounds as if your Pink Pearl might be less hassle. It's just that I've got a life time supply of these things left over from my drafting days!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Pencil Marks

                          I have never had a problem erasing the graphite pencil markings on carvings. I have had problems with erasers that are any other color than pink or white. I have also had erasers get "old". When they sit around and don't get used much, they form a tough layer on the outside. I have found that rubbing the eraser on sandpaper will get rid of that tough outer skin and the thing is good as new, soft and ready to go. If you try to use an eraser with that tough outer layer formed on it, that will smear the graphite all over your work but a fresh eraser (or freshly sandpapered one) will pick that all up and it will be good as new again.

                          The mechanical erasers that look like a mechanical pencil are nice too.

                          Green erasers are horrible. They leave a green smear on the work that is worse than the graphite.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Pencil Marks

                            Just for my edification! How do you like that five dollar word?... Has anyone noticed that it's often harder to get the graphite off of some wood than others even under the exact same conditions. Density? Grain? Color?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pencil Marks

                              Susieg ,this, I think was my problem the eraser is to old , so I will see if freshen it up will help
                              Thanks for all the advice
                              Alice
                              www.WoodCarvingIllustrated.com
                              www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
                              www.ScrollSawer.com

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