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Old 08-11-2009, 09:58 AM   #1
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checking grade


I want to put a shed in the yard. The instructions say check level grade of site. When I use a string level the string is at one hight on the first stake and ends up at a differant hight when I come back to the starting stake. I want to know if there is more than 6" in the geade differance. Is there supposed to be a differance when the string returns as to when I started and does it make a differance as to how high I start the string from the ground.

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Old 08-11-2009, 10:02 AM   #2
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checking grade


How are you measuring this?
4 stakes & putting string between using a line level?
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:31 AM   #3
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checking grade


It doesn't make a difference where you start. If it was working as it should, you are to end up with a series of level marks on all the stakes. Measuring from the marks to ground level would tell you the grade. The problem you have is that strings and line levels aren't very accurate. A water tube level would be much better while still being close to the bottom price wise. The absolute cheapest way to do this is to get some clear plastic 1/2 i.d. tubing. Fill it with water. Tape one end to your starting stake and walk around with the other end from stake to stake. Adjust the free end up or down until your water level is even with your pencil mark on the first stake. Mark each stake at the water line. Don't hold your thumb over the end when you are trying to find level....... or you can buy a fluid level which works the same way. When you are finished all of the marks will be at the same level.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:51 AM   #4
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checking grade


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Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
It doesn't make a difference where you start. If it was working as it should, you are to end up with a series of level marks on all the stakes. Measuring from the marks to ground level would tell you the grade. The problem you have is that strings and line levels aren't very accurate. A water tube level would be much better while still being close to the bottom price wise. The absolute cheapest way to do this is to get some clear plastic 1/2 i.d. tubing. Fill it with water. Tape one end to your starting stake and walk around with the other end from stake to stake. Adjust the free end up or down until your water level is even with your pencil mark on the first stake. Mark each stake at the water line. Don't hold your thumb over the end when you are trying to find level....... or you can buy a fluid level which works the same way. When you are finished all of the marks will be at the same level.
X2 on the water level. Add a little food color.
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Old 08-14-2009, 03:46 PM   #5
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checking grade


ditto on water level - poor man's choice and works extremely well if you take your time (did all my foundation footings with a homemade setup - after the pour the contractor who did my septic set up his level and we ran around the footing and checked to within +/- 1/8" around a 30x40 run - incredible - I was shocked). So I used it to level the tops of a couple of new concrete pier forms under camp recently - and to level the building itself once the piers were in.

fwiw - if you have an old garden hose in decent shape (no leaks) you can get a cheap hose repair kit ($4 or $5) - male / female threaded connectors with 1/2" barbed couplings (typically used to put repair / replace ends on an old chunk of garden hose). Screw the threaded ends from the kit parts into the existing threaded hose ends, with barbed side sticking out, then slide a short piece of the 1/2" id plastic tubing onto the barbs at each end - only need a foot or so of clear tube at the end for adjustments / to view the fluid level, etc. This was my middle of nowhere solution - only needed about 2' of clear tubing which I had on site, + the hose kit + an old 50' garden hose (also on site). Total cost in my case was @ $5. The simpler alternative is just spending a bit more $ on a long length of clear tubing, but if you have the old hose, and just a couple $, why not make use of it, IMHO....
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