Seeing fine pencil lines on dark woods, such as walnut, can be a challenge.

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Seeing fine pencil lines on dark woods, such as walnut, can be a challenge. Some woodworkers recommend white pencils for that situation, but I find white pencils hard to sharpen and too soft to leave fine lines. Instead, I drag the end of a white or yellow chalk stick across sandpaper to create a wide, angled tip. Dragging that tip across the area of wood to be marked creates a contrasting background for a sharp #2 pencil or mechanical pencil with 0.7 mm lead. The result: an accurate and highly visible mark.
—John Cusimano, Lansdale, Pa.