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Leveling, Plumbs On Walls

 
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Old 04-05-2019, 02:42 PM   #1
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Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


A few questions:

1. I don't always have a budget for higher quality levels. Once in a while a cheap $20-$30 Chinese aluminum 4' level has a bubble that is calibrated to an an almost level read. My method for working with that condition is to bisect the bubble positions returned from the level one way and then the other colinear way (on 180). Are there bubble levels out there that are placed just in one direction (or the other) and simply trusted most of the time?

2. I've never built any tall, multi-story concrete and steel buildings. How are those 'plumb bobbed'? Now vs. 50 years ago? (Plus how are those plumbed with lateral wind loads on them all the time?)

Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:58 PM   #2
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


I have an older craftsman level that I've had forever. I checked calibration with it by flipping the level over and making sure the bubble was in the same place. One of my viles is off so I 'X'ed it off and circled the good one.

Now when I go to buy a level I check them that way. It's actually pretty tough to find a less expensive level that will read the same in all directions on all the viles.

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Old 04-05-2019, 07:54 PM   #3
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


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Originally Posted by sn2 View Post
1. I don't always have a budget for higher quality levels.
You're looking at it backwards... if you want a better level, you pass along the cost to the customer the same way you pass along any other business cost...

ALL costs lead back to the customer... with a level, you can easily pass that cost along to the current or next customer...
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Old 04-05-2019, 07:59 PM   #4
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


SN2: "I don't have a budget for high quality tools....."

The best 4' levels made in MO are only 120-130.00 US $ (Crick or Smith multi-ply wood levels) keep them in a plastic case (~10.00$), much like a plan protector, they'll last with light oiling decades, in constant temp and humidity conditions.

As a 8 x 16' garden shed is North of 3,000.00$ I think you are being silly....

First learn about the accepted level of tolerances in the US building Codes, then worry about your bent stick.

I have sent several masons home that showed up with worn out levels,

the redeemable ones, I loan a new level to, till they can pay for it..

Any employee that buys his own tools, Even durned Architects need to spend 3-5 % of the their gross income on "tools" during their in Training years IMHO, an AT LEAST 1 % for the rest of their active practice.....

Nothing pisses me off more then a Architect checking the veneer Masonry for plumb on a built by illegal alien crook fest, that the same A. never checked the footings, the anchor plates, the steel framing, the FFLs window heights, floor flatness, Nada, then wants the siders & brick wrappers to shine up a low bid turd.

You Check for plumb on mid and high rise when the wind ISN'T blowing, no charge for that nugget, get up early or wait till sunset, most days least wind hours

On sunny days and with a little astronomy, observe the walls at solar noon, or "show time" as my union brothers would say..."

On further thought, I'd think your use of a known faulty tool is contrary to any oath and or ethical standard a licensed Architect is sworn to...
You need to seek advice from an informed source as to the level of care you need to practice as the QC person.

Could you justify using an older, known inaccurate CAD-CAM software to save a few hundred dollars a years as a designer?
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Last edited by Fouthgeneration; 04-05-2019 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:17 PM   #5
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


This is a classic example of the XY chromosomal cheapness tendency that many of us possess. Penny-wise.....

After many years of pain, some of us finally figure it out and think "wtf was I thinking?"

It's like watching guys working in poor light conditions because they're averse to carrying some lighting. It's just so much easier with lighting..but most choose to suffer. I don't think many know there's a such thing as a headlamp.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:40 PM   #6
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


You can zero in bubble vials on an aluminum level. You 1st mark plumb by the 180' flip method, & then place level on that line. Next step is to loosen vial screws, & adjust til it reads plumb. Level vial works the same way. It used to be a bi-monthly routine on my frame crews back in the day. The levels available today are a quantum leap from those aluminum level days.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:46 PM   #7
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


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You can zero in bubble vials on an aluminum level. You 1st mark plumb by the 180' flip method, & then place level on that line. Next step is to loosen vial screws, & adjust til it reads plumb. Level vial works the same way. It used to be a bi-monthly routine on my frame crews back in the day. The levels available today are a quantum leap from those aluminum level days.
It's pretty rare to see a level with adjustable vials these days.....at least on the sites I visit.

Even more rare to find a guy that knows how to adjust it properly.
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:55 PM   #8
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJames View Post
This is a classic example of the XY chromosomal cheapness tendency that many of us possess. Penny-wise.....

After many years of pain, some of us finally figure it out and think "wtf was I thinking?"

It's like watching guys working in poor light conditions because they're averse to carrying some lighting. It's just so much easier with lighting..but most choose to suffer. I don't think many know there's a such thing as a headlamp.


Or guys that work on the ground!!! Nothing makes me cringe like seeing someone use a miter saw on the floor!
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:06 PM   #9
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


All great answers. Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:53 PM   #10
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


I don't have a budget for cheap ****. I simply can't afford it.


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Old 04-06-2019, 12:39 AM   #11
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


Just buy a Stabila already and be done with it.
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Old 04-06-2019, 05:15 AM   #12
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


Get a dot laser. We rarely will use a level for plumbing walls. Using a leve for wall bracing is a 2 man job. With a laser, you can set it on the floor and view the dot by yourself while adjusting the brace. Pays for itself in so many ways.
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:16 AM   #13
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


My thoughts on levels are the longer the better. Laser is the best for plumbing bottom to top plates which eliminates level run-out on crowned studs especially on 10' and taller walls. Stabila levels probably the best levels I've owned. All the wood levels seem to warp like anything wood if working in wet/humid conditions.
Problem with knowing where your level is off and adjusting for it during use is the next guy grabs it and doesn't adjust for bubble being off.
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:12 PM   #14
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJames View Post
This is a classic example of the XY chromosomal cheapness tendency that many of us possess. Penny-wise.....

After many years of pain, some of us finally figure it out and think "wtf was I thinking?"

It's like watching guys working in poor light conditions because they're averse to carrying some lighting. It's just so much easier with lighting..but most choose to suffer. I don't think many know there's a such thing as a headlamp.


A headlamp is my definition of poor lighting.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 04-06-2019, 01:08 PM   #15
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


Way better than darkness....
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:44 AM   #16
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Re: Leveling, Plumbs On Walls


How often are you buying levels if you "don't always have it in the budget" to get a good one?

I think I've purchased 2 sets, Empires (2/4/6) early on and started switching over to Stabila 2-3 years ago, just need a torpedo to complete the set.

Levels are too important to cheap out on

-Rich

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