It’s a Crayon Jim, but not as you know it

Just what do you think of, if I suggested we were going to discuss crayons?

I have a (almost) 6 year old, so you can tell you where my thought processes are at. It has a lot more to do with colouring in, than working with wood!  When it comes down to it, Crayolas don’t cut the mustard when you have some serious work to do.

So it is fortuitous that there are crayons for the workshop.  Still, I can sense your incredulous look. So yes, I am being serious – you can buy crayons for the workshop, and they have real benefit over other marking methods.

Lumber Crayons

Lumber Crayons

They are the Pro-Ex Contractor Grade Lumber Crayons, and they are specifically designed for work.  They are a much harder crayon than what you are used to using – other than the name, they have little in common with the crayons in a child’s pencil case.  They are clay-based, not wax based, which makes all the difference where it comes to how they function in a serious application.

Obviously designed to write on timber (being Lumber Crayons), they can also write on steel, concrete and stone, dry, wet or frozen (not that much timber is frozen down under!)  They come from a company that specialises in industrial markers for the metal and woodworking industries

Back when I worked for a truck-fitting company, designs for a construction were laid out on the floor in full scale using chalk.  The lines would quickly blur, or simply disappear.  These would have been a real asset in that situation.

I’ve already integrated these lumber crayons into my standard practices, and it was quite surprising just how quickly I found they were the better solution for marking up the timber.  They obviously don’t replace the pencil or marking knife for measuring, but pretty much every other situation, they are taking over!

Timber gets marked where there are defects, the different timbers are identified (where it can become unclear), and offcuts get labeled as well.  Workshops have used chalk for this in the past, and again this can wear off, or the marks fade over time.  The lumber crayons remain a clear mark on the timber.



I have used them to clearly mark where I have found metal in reclaimed boards (which is particularly useful!) and on the thicknesser. By quickly scribbling on the surface of the board, it is a useful visual indication when the board has become flat across the entire surface (sometimes this is hard to distinguish).

Having the three colours is very useful as well – depending on the board, you can choose which will show up the best.  The yellow and black are the most visual (dark on a light background, and vise versa).

There is also a crayon-holder, which affords the crayon more protection from being dropped and a leather strap so it can be hung conveniently nearby.

Crayon Holder

Crayon Holder

These are available from Kaufmann Mercantile, and are made in the USA.

Send in the crayons

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