Blue Sharpie

Part of my routine the last several months is to watch YouTube machining videos on the big screen in the house while I have my morning coffee before heading out to the shop to get to work. I have noticed a lot of guys (some hobbyists and some not) seem to be using blue Sharpie markers as a sort of layout out "fluid" for some types of jobs.

Is there something inherently wrong with this if it works? I kind of have the attitude if something produces a satisfactory result and causes no harm its ok, but even though I do machining everyday I still consider myself a hobbyist.

I can see where it probably would not work out very well for marking from a surface plate to scrape a flat surface.

Do you use a blue Sharpie in your shop? If you do are there times when you use Dykem instead?

Reply to
Bob La Londe
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I use black ones for layout, a fine tip on sheetmetal to show where the bend lines are and which side is up although I bend with the back gauge, and a thick one to scribe through. The ink is thicker than Dykem and sometimes plows up when parts move against each other, as in fitting two surfaces. It won't transfer but it does show contact by rubbing off. It isn't as messy as Dykem.

My latest folded sheetmetal is an enclosure for this:

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It turns a fixed output rectifier or switching supply into a nice adjustable lab supply. Mine can deliver 15A at up to 35V, and 50V at lower current, from a rectifier supply built around a buzz box welder transformer. It also functions fairly well as a manually adjusted Maximum Power Point solar controller.


Reply to
Jim Wilkins

Hopefully, the days of laying out stuff with Dykem are over! At one time I would use Dykem to avoid mistakes when manual machining. I didn't cut to the lines, but if I was merrily cutting along and got really near the lines, it meant I was cutting to the wrong dimension. Stop and re-read the drawing.

Thankfully, in 1996 I moved up to CNC, and have never looked back!


Reply to
Jon Elson

It works great for smaller areas as a layout fluid. It just takes longer to cover a larger area -- even with a big tipped Sharpie. I use it sometimes -- I use the fluid other times.

Also -- it is easier to use the Sharpie where Dykem layout fluid would run into areas where you might not want it.

That is a different substance -- a thin oil paint intended to smear and then to be cleaned off after the scraping. It is dense enough so it shows lots of contrast in a very thin layer.

(And it is/was also useful by apprentices -- to coat a doorknob to stain someone's hands. (It is difficult to clean out the stains.) The layout fluid is allowed to dry (very quickly, given the solvent used.)

Blue, black, red -- whatever it ready to hand and contrasts with the workpiece. (red on brass or bronze does not show much contrast.

Enjoy, DoN.

Reply to
DoN. Nichols

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