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Old 09-20-2006, 10:14 PM   #1
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String Levels


String levels, should they be checked at the outer edge or in the middle of the string? All i have at this time to level up for an equipment shed I'm building this coming spring. Want to add shale now so it will settle good before I get started

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Old 09-20-2006, 11:36 PM   #2
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String Levels


Middle of the string and make sure the string is super tight.

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Old 09-21-2006, 12:04 AM   #3
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Gotta disagree with you on this one Daryl. The string does need to be tight, but if you check in the middle the weight of the level will tend to pull the sting down and will likely read level when it's not. it's also darned inconvenient often to check it in the middle as opposed to where you are when you attach the string.
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Old 09-21-2006, 12:06 AM   #4
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Have to say, Bradley, have you used a water level? Garden hose full of water with clear plastic pipe on the ends? The water in the ends will always be level. There is nothing more accurate than that.
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Old 09-21-2006, 12:11 AM   #5
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I have just about given up on string levels completely for anything other "somewhat close". Seems a lightweight and very taught string is the only thing that will work "OK".
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:21 PM   #6
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String Levels


String levels are junk, but for very short distances, or where it doesn't really matter, they are OK. You need to put the level in the middle of the run, though, for any degree of accuracy.
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:22 PM   #7
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After messing with strings and line levels in the rain one weekend, I could not wait for Monday to plop down the dough on a sight level.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:06 PM   #8
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Water levels are great. Buying one will not be a waste, they are not expensive and you can use them for lots of things. Ive heard that if you put a little bit of dishsoap in the water, you can minimize the miniscus and make it easier to read too. String levels do suck. The might be somewhat useful for projects where "close" is good enough. LIke my friend recently used on to install a fence in his backyard. the fence was strictly for the dog, and the backyard is by no means attractive to start. He just wanted to get done quickly.
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:09 PM   #9
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I use to always use string levels in the middle. Used to use two strings on spans of 20 feet or more. If you're really uncertain rent a laser.
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Old 09-21-2006, 11:12 PM   #10
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Thanks guys for all the feedback, I sort of agree with Bonus, no matter how tite the string is , if it even has the slightest sag in it the level will still show level in the middle. I'm in the market for a building level, but haven't decide which one yet (hopefully something under $400.00). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also checking on a good water level.
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:03 AM   #11
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I paid $280 for a CST/Berger that seems decent. We have a chain of stores called "Tool Town" that carrried it.
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:37 PM   #12
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I go with "Bonus" on this one, a water level setup is dirt cheap , easy to use, and it's accuracy is gauranteed by the laws of nature. The idea of a 3 inch long level hanging on a piece of string is ludicrous to me.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:05 PM   #13
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After 20 years of construction and 20 years of maintenance for home and industries : The proper way of using a string level is ----->
Tie off one end of the the string. Drive a post 2X4 at the further end to be leveled (at batter board) . Pull string tight enough that it will sing in the wind. tie off this end with a masons block . Slide up or down until level. Note level is about 6 inches from mason's block. Now turn string level around and do again. You will have 2 marks on upright 2X4 . Measure half way between the two marks and you will have a perfect level mark. The reason for turning the line level around is this tool is cheap and it is abuse by ALL by throwing it in the tool box . This will get you a level line as close as a survey level. Remember ancients did not have the fancy tool either.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:00 AM   #14
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im another one who cant stand string levels.. they use to come packaged in with stanley chalk lines all the time.. i would toss em as soon as i opened the package.

water levels are probably the oldest type of level you can get and always accurate.. extremely cheap at that all you need is clear hose, water and food coloring. very rarely used anymore now though. most guys in the trades are switching to pendulum style laser levels, as they can be accurate up to 1 kilometre just depending on what model you get. the most common ones will do 250 feet oudoors and run about $350
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:06 PM   #15
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I also hate string line levels, think about it if you have a 20' span on the string with the level only being a couple inches its like plumbing a 2 story wall with a torpedo level. get your self a laser but if its not in the budget rent one or use a water level you can even make one for a couple bucks.

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