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Level Beam

 
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:04 AM   #21
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Re: Level Beam


I'm with ya HD, I've used the bubble a lot and it is accurate
This thing has a bubble in it and works great and is less than 10$
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:28 AM   #22
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Re: Level Beam


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I'd like to see it in action but holy cow is that thing expensive. I guess the big advantage would be not having to move the laser around the house??? Otherwise for $900 bucks you might as well buy another laser.
The one that I had looked exactly the same but was made? by Stanley.

The beauty of it was that it made all the calculations for you. You would get the height that you needed and press a button to calibrate the unit at 0. Go to the next footing and place the unit on it and it would give you your post length, automatically. On the unit in the pic, you can see a little leg that attached to the bottom of the little display unit, so you don't have to bend over.

I paid like $500 for it many years ago, before lasers were affordable. At that price, it would still be a useful option.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:05 PM   #23
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Re: Level Beam


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true,so true, if I've got a $2 line level in the truck packaged nice and safe and a perfectly good string line why buy anything? I've used a lot of the fancy stuff as well as leveling sticks of wood. Be the Bubble
Possibly the most important trait that makes a good carpenter is the ability to look down the road, seeing errors that could occur before they happen, seeing problems that could arise down the road much further past today, it is a knack, even a sixth sense that few carpenters have. There are things that one carpenter can do and get by but the exceptional capenter cannot because there is a minute possibility that something could go wrong, he takes the higher road or the better route even if it takes a little longer. It is all about avoiding these problems and issues.

When I see that dumb little line level I see disaster waiting to happen. Cumulative error is deadly. You take that little line level and even the slightest error is compounded enormously...a little piece of lint, dirt, the clips getting bent in you pouch, anything could throw the thing off.

Example...You need to level across a 30' area.

30 x 12" = 360" Level is 4" wide. That is 90 sections.

If the level is off 1/32 that is compounded to 2-13/16"

If the level is off 1/64 that is compounded to 1-3/8"

If the level is off 1/128 that is compounded to 3/4"

None of these numbers are even close to acceptable. They are junk. They have no place in carpentry. There is a reason they can be had for a few bucks. You get what you pay for.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:16 PM   #24
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Re: Level Beam


Spence have you ever used a line level or a sight lever??
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:41 PM   #25
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Re: Level Beam


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Spence have you ever used a line level or a sight lever??
Yes, I've had a line level tucked in my bag for a long time. The guy I used to work for didn't have jack for tools and was unorganized so I had it in case I got stuck somewhere without a laser. I admit I only used it a couple times. Mainly due to the fact that, like someone said above, for it to even be feasible to use you have to have the string stupidly tight.

I have used a sight level on a tripod a little bit but never really needed to because a laser was always available. I don't consider a line level and sight level to be in the same league. I don't have anything to say for or against sight levels. Don't know much about them.

Dirty if you say its accurate I'm cool with that. I just don't see how it can be.

Another issue altogether is reading the bubble. You better have some good eyes to get the bubble on that thing perfect. Even if the level itself is perfect, you've got to be able to look at that thing perfectly and keep it there or we're back on cumulative error all over again.I have seen how much I can be off just by looking at the bubble wrong on my plate level. Can't imagine trusting myself to get the bubble dead nuts on that little line level
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:26 PM   #26
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Re: Level Beam


I would use a line level for a fence only, or for estimates, not for real work. Not that a fence is not real work.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:22 PM   #27
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Re: Level Beam


I trust a sight transit more than I trust lasers but maybe that's only because DR EVIL trust a lay-zer!

Sorry I had to do it.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:03 AM   #28
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Re: Level Beam


I have used a line level, this yellow grade level and even run my eyeball down a 8' level to get a stop 40 feet away and they all work. We needed to get innovative before there were lasers
Just for fun put a 4 or 6' level on a wall make it level sitting on 2 nails. Use 2 mini wedges to make it read good. Run your blood shot eye ball down the top of it and have you helper tune a pencil up and down till it looks good and mark it then get you laser out and see if it read good
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:05 PM   #29
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Re: Level Beam


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Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
Mainly due to the fact that, like someone said above, for it to even be feasible to use you have to have the string stupidly tight.
Not really. As long as you have the level dead center on the string, the sag from each end will be equal. While it's not my first choice with all the other options available these days, I've used them in the past with good results and still carry one.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:20 AM   #30
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Re: Level Beam


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Not really. As long as you have the level dead center on the string, the sag from each end will be equal. While it's not my first choice with all the other options available these days, I've used them in the past with good results and still carry one.
To each his own on this one fellas.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:55 AM   #31
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Re: Level Beam


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To each his own on this one fellas.

Hi, my original post was to the OP who was used to using lumber to level with. a string line is much lighter than wood (one person capable) and a tight string is just as straight as a stick of wood. my post was not recommending to people who have used expensive high tech equipment for leveling purposes, they typically will look down on simple tech...
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:26 AM   #32
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Re: Level Beam


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Hi, my original post was to the OP who was used to using lumber to level with. a string line is much lighter than wood (one person capable) and a tight string is just as straight as a stick of wood. my post was not recommending to people who have used expensive high tech equipment for leveling purposes, they typically will look down on simple tech...
You're alright. I see where you're comin from. Just a little friendly debate is all. End of the day I respect anyone on here looking to better themselves even if their ways are different than mine. Thats what we're all here for.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:33 AM   #33
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Re: Level Beam


How does a laser level itself
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:37 PM   #34
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Re: Level Beam


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How does a laser level itself
Black magic if you ask me...
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:50 PM   #35
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Re: Level Beam


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You're alright. I see where you're comin from. Just a little friendly debate is all. End of the day I respect anyone on here looking to better themselves even if their ways are different than mine. Thats what we're all here for.
Thanks everyone, these are very basic 10x10 decks we are building, I am thinking a string level will work great, I had a bad experience with a string level, when my old boss thought he would level 52' long house, that sat on 10x10s, and ended up 2" low in the middle so I vowed never to use it again. But also dont want to spend the money, I think a string level will do this job.
Would not use it for much larger jobs.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:56 PM   #36
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Re: Level Beam


If you are concerned about cost and want something that one guy can use easily I use this water level a lot.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Zircon-Co...specifications
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:56 AM   #37
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Re: Level Beam


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You're alright. I see where you're comin from. Just a little friendly debate is all. End of the day I respect anyone on here looking to better themselves even if their ways are different than mine. Thats what we're all here for.
NP, thanks for responding. just like with any tool if used correctly the results will be within tolerances for the given situation. there are certain situations I would not even think of using a line level but decks are not one of them.

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Originally Posted by nakarsten View Post
Thanks everyone, these are very basic 10x10 decks we are building, I am thinking a string level will work great, I had a bad experience with a string level, when my old boss thought he would level 52' long house, that sat on 10x10s, and ended up 2" low in the middle so I vowed never to use it again. But also dont want to spend the money, I think a string level will do this job.
Would not use it for much larger jobs.
as someone mentioned earlier if you do have the line level in the middle and it shows level then chances are even with a sag it is level at the ends just not down the entirety of the string. if using the line level alone keep it at the ends where you can see it while pulling tight... do not pull yourself off the deck either and watch out for flying roof nails to the ear if they pop free when pulling on the line( been there done that). wanted to mention also, once you get the deck platform level you can measure up from the deck to get your post numbers too.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:38 AM   #38
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Re: Level Beam


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Thanks everyone, these are very basic 10x10 decks we are building, I am thinking a string level will work great, I had a bad experience with a string level, when my old boss thought he would level 52' long house, that sat on 10x10s, and ended up 2" low in the middle so I vowed never to use it again. But also dont want to spend the money, I think a string level will do this job.
Would not use it for much larger jobs.
All I can say is wow. 2"

To be fair. I do have a rotary laser phobia. I still get out a level when forming just to make sure something didn't get knocked out of wack. Wood is one thing, concrete is whole different story. Especially foundations.

I've never used a water level but think I might get one.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #39
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Re: Level Beam


Line levels are a handy tool to have.
The level needs to be placed within the 1st third from either end for an "accurate" reading.
Wouldn't use it to level anything over 16' - 18' unless for fence posts.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:18 PM   #40
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Re: Level Beam


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Line levels are a handy tool to have.
The level needs to be placed within the 1st third from either end for an "accurate" reading.
Wouldn't use it to level anything over 16' - 18' unless for fence posts.
First its exactly in the center, then its in the first third. This is starting to sound like amish voodoo to me. Spit on a rock and throw it over your left should to get rid of the hickups. Line levels are dead nuts accurate you just gotta know exactly where to put it on the string.

I just can't take it anymore. They suck already!

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