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Bernie Brewer

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I'm in the middle of redoing a room in my basement. Right now it's a toyroom for the kids, eventually it will house a pool table.

I was hanging the ceiling grid today, and needed something to ensure that it's level. I'm not about to spent a zillion dollars on a spinning laser that the pros use. Hell, I'm too cheap to even rent one.

So, I decided to do it the same way the Egyptians leveled the pyramids- with water!. I took a spigot from my bottling bucket and put it onto an ice cream pail. I put 20'of clear tubing onto that and put a picnic tap on the other end. Filled it with water, hung it from the ceiling, and voila! Instant water level. I could've bought one for around $25, but this cost me about $4 for the tubing.


IMG_0779.JPG

IMG_0781.JPG

Pictures are kinda fuzzy, my digital is a POS:eek:
 
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Bernie Brewer

Bernie Brewer

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Bernie Brewer

Bernie Brewer

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slnies said:
I will say only "Laser".
Good show with the water though.
As I said in the OP, I'm not about to spend over $100 on a wall-mounted laser, or even the $20-25 to rent one. I'm a cheap bastid.:)
 

doubleb

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Nice work. I probably would've bought the level, but now that I see there is a cheaper way I'd more likely opt for the cheapness. I'm a bastid too. :D
 

slnies

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Bernie Brewer said:
As I said in the OP, I'm not about to spend over $100 on a wall-mounted laser, or even the $20-25 to rent one. I'm a cheap bastid.:)
LOL, My to, I just happen to have access to all of those types of goodies, If I had to rent or buy I would be doing exactly what you are. Thinking outside the box. It looks like it worked well though from the pic. S.
 

RobertHSmith

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I did the exact same thing in my last house when I hung a ceiling. It works well and no need for a lazer. Then I used it to line up some new siding pieces and for eliminating the sag in some joists on a new back porch.
 

ohiobrewtus

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Drop ceilings are evil. I did one room in our old house and I swore that I'd never do it again.

Very creative on your part though!
 

springer

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slyngshot said:
how does that work as a level?
I would assume Bernie was using the water level in the bucket as the level for the drop ceiling grid.

All you need to do hold the tubeing next the bucket and when the water in the tube and bucket are at the same height you put a line/dot on the tube with a marker. So now when you hold the tube say 20 feet away when the water is at the mark on the tube you are now level with water in the bucket which is you'r grid level..Water will always level itself



That should be clear as mud....

You can really just use the tubing without the bucket.
 

Bobby_M

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This isn't some backwoods redneck solution. Water levels have been used in construction for quite a long time and it's really the only way, besides the recent very expensive laser deals, to level things across great distances. Bubble levels just don't work in this application. It's a great way to level joists. I used this method when I was trying to true up the center beam in my house.

As far as how you use it, if you have one height you want to level to, that bucket is the key to it. Once the level fills the whole tube, whatever the level in the bucket is, is where every other point will refer. You go to all your locations and hold the tube up a little higher than the bucket and open the valve, wherever the water settles, make your mark. You don't NEED a valve but it lets you drop the hose down lower than the bucket in between moves.

If you're trying to level a long beam or something and neither end is fixed yet, one person takes each end and holds the tubing up until the water level is even with the bottom of your beam, then you know it's level. The water will always find it.

I like to put some food coloring in the water to make it easier to see the line.
 
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Bernie Brewer

Bernie Brewer

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Bobby_M said:
This isn't some backwoods redneck solution. Water levels have been used in construction for quite a long time and it's really the only way, besides the recent very expensive laser deals, to level things across great distances. Bubble levels just don't work in this application. It's a great way to level joists. I used this method when I was trying to true up the center beam in my house.

As far as how you use it, if you have one height you want to level to, that bucket is the key to it. Once the level fills the whole tube, whatever the level in the bucket is, is where every other point will refer. You go to all your locations and hold the tube up a little higher than the bucket and open the valve, wherever the water settles, make your mark. You don't NEED a valve but it lets you drop the hose down lower than the bucket in between moves.

If you're trying to level a long beam or something and neither end is fixed yet, one person takes each end and holds the tubing up until the water level is even with the bottom of your beam, then you know it's level. The water will always find it.

I like to put some food coloring in the water to make it easier to see the line.
Absolutely. Using water has been around forever, and there are water levels for sale, but for more than I was willing to pay. That's why I "rednecked" it.
 

McKBrew

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McKBrew said:
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/KeywordS..._TO_HIGH&viewItems=20&pageNum=1&keyword=level

Just flipping you some sxit. If it worked, it worked. I hang up so many pictures and shelves every time my SWMBO buys them or when we move, so I have had a level for years.

I didn't really think about the difficulties involved in leveling something like a drop ceiling. A regular level would not be practical for this at all. I retract this post and I kind of feel like a dumbaxx now.
 

Bobby_M

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Technically you could use a nice 6' bubble level for getting the perimeter perfect, then you can either use a straight edge or string to get the ribs straight and level, but that's not as clever as using water. Bernie, I'm a fan.
 

Brewsmith

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We use water levels at work for doing floor level surveys. We'll take reading all over your house and make a map of the elevation of your slab, and it will show a contour like a topographical map. The level is just a reservoir of water with about 50 ft. of tubing connected to a big scale measured in 10ths of inches. We use them to measure ground movement from expansive soil or slow creep in elevation (houses on hillsides). We just use a fancy word for them, Manometer.
 

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I used a water level when I did my room addition. It was easy to use since I had to level a 20' distance. I keep 100' of brewing hose around all the time so it was quick, easy and cheap to do.
 

85 Haro Designs

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I have a small construction company and we do a lot of deck in the summer. Well, we use a water level all the time to level ledgers and joists.

Technically, it's more accurate than most laser transits - and CERTAINLY more accurate than whatever "laser" level the homestores are selling. Do you need to be THAT accurate for a drop ceiling? Probably not, but it sure is easy and CHEAP.
 
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