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Thread: Water Levels

  1. #1

    Default Water Levels

    Anyone ever use them? I made a home made water level this weekend. So far it works great. See no need to get a laser level. For less than $30 of supplies to build one the water level does the job.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Anyone ever use them? I made a home made water level this weekend. So far it works great. See no need to get a laser level. For less than $30 of supplies to build one the water level does the job.
    Good job....I've mostly used a sight myself, but don't currently have one. Usually just rent a rotary for $20 or so when I need one. Gotta start footings for a 24 x 36 walkout next week, maybe I'll try the water level....what'd you use?
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Yep, I set my foundation with one I made.
    Cost me about the same as you, maybe a few $$$$ more.
    I used 3/8" clear tubing with gate valves on each end so I could leave it filled.
    I filled it with -55F windshield washer fluid so it doesn't freeze.

    It worked awesome.


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    Member nooksack's Avatar
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    Yep, A long time ago I was siding spec homes one after the other. I had a garden hose with a piece of short clear tube on each end. The project manager came along and asked what h$!! that was. I told him and he laughed and went to get his transit. I got the last laugh as my belly band was perfect! He had never heard of or seen that before.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Good job....I've mostly used a sight myself, but don't currently have one. Usually just rent a rotary for $20 or so when I need one. Gotta start footings for a 24 x 36 walkout next week, maybe I'll try the water level....what'd you use?
    Mine looks somewhat similar to Drifter's. I'll try to take a picture some time this week after work and post it. Basically I picked up two 8 ft 2 x 4s and cut them to 72 1/2". Then I took a couple yard sticks and used a brad nailer to nail the yard sticks to the boards for measurements. Then I took some clear vinyl tubing with a inside diameter of 1/4" that was about 55-60 feet long and I nailed the tubing loosely to the boards next to the yard sticks. On the top of the boards I glued line level with a hot glue gun to keep the sticks plumb while checking for level. Then fill the tubing with water trying not to get any air bubbles in the tubing. When the boards are side to side the water will rise to exactly the same level. When you move the boards to different heights you can add or subtract the difference of heights on the yard sticks to find your grade.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Mine looks somewhat similar to Drifter's. I'll try to take a picture some time this week after work and post it. Basically I picked up two 8 ft 2 x 4s and cut them to 72 1/2". Then I took a couple yard sticks and used a brad nailer to nail the yard sticks to the boards for measurements. Then I took some clear vinyl tubing with a inside diameter of 1/4" that was about 55-60 feet long and I nailed the tubing loosely to the boards next to the yard sticks. On the top of the boards I glued line level with a hot glue gun to keep the sticks plumb while checking for level. Then fill the tubing with water trying not to get any air bubbles in the tubing. When the boards are side to side the water will rise to exactly the same level. When you move the boards to different heights you can add or subtract the difference of heights on the yard sticks to find your grade.
    Oh and I forgot to mention I nailed the tubing on the boards with electrician's staples so as to not puncture the tubing. I read my previous post and realized my description was probably confusing without that detail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooksack View Post
    Yep, A long time ago I was siding spec homes one after the other. I had a garden hose with a piece of short clear tube on each end. The project manager came along and asked what h$!! that was. I told him and he laughed and went to get his transit. I got the last laugh as my belly band was perfect! He had never heard of or seen that before.
    I also impressed the Aliens with the accuracy of my water level in a previous live when I was the head engineer building the Pyramids.

    Sorry I don't have any pictures I had not invented the camera for another 300 years. LOL

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post

    Sorry I don't have any pictures I had not invented the camera for another 300 years. LOL

    PFFFT!!!
    I would have just chiseled the image into a piece of stone!!!!!

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    PFFFT!!!
    I would have just chiseled the image into a piece of stone!!!!!

    Or used papyrus.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Mine looks somewhat similar to Drifter's. I'll try to take a picture some time this week after work and post it. Basically I picked up two 8 ft 2 x 4s and cut them to 72 1/2". Then I took a couple yard sticks and used a brad nailer to nail the yard sticks to the boards for measurements. Then I took some clear vinyl tubing with a inside diameter of 1/4" that was about 55-60 feet long and I nailed the tubing loosely to the boards next to the yard sticks. On the top of the boards I glued line level with a hot glue gun to keep the sticks plumb while checking for level. Then fill the tubing with water trying not to get any air bubbles in the tubing. When the boards are side to side the water will rise to exactly the same level. When you move the boards to different heights you can add or subtract the difference of heights on the yard sticks to find your grade.
    Sounds legit...the look on my excavator's face alone would be priceless...
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

  11. #11

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    Okay, here is a couple quick snap shots to show how I made the water level.




  12. #12
    Member nooksack's Avatar
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    Ok I guess it was not that long ago or on a planet far far away. Just seemed like a long time ago to me

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    I just used a piece of the Pex Water tubing, the white one, so I could see thru it, used it to set the cut off height for my 8 legged gazebo I built last summer at the cabin. Just hold one end at the level you want and pick up the tube to match on the other post. Worked great. We could not see the red lazer during the bright sunny days.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Yup, I'd much rather use a water level than some battery operated gizmo. You don't really need to get all fancy with rulers and such either, if you don't wish to. A jug or bucket on the stationary end and clear tubing on the working end is sufficient. Establish your reference elevation, mark the tube with a sharpie, and hit that same elevation at any other spot on the job site, all day long. No batteries, arithmetic, or unobstructed line of sight necessary.
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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Back in the 70's, when everyone was living in trailers, almost every hardware store in Anchorage sold a set of clear 3/8" tubing with hose fittings so you could use this tubing with a garden hose to level your trailer. I've still got mine (somewhere).

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    Add food coloring to see the levels better or antifreeze for winter work.

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