The Best Way to Remove Pencil Marks

Q: What’s the best way to remove pencil marks from the pieces of a woodworking project? Sanding seems unnecessarily abrasive, while using an eraser tends to smear the markings and cause an even bigger mess.

A: Try using denatured alcohol. Dampen a rag and lightly wipe away the graphite from the wood surface. This makes the wood easier to clean up before finishing, and the alcohol will not raise the woodgrain the way that water can.

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