how to level a long chalkline?

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I'm cutting off the bottom 20" of my t1-11 panel siding to replace it and want to cut it off straight. The bottom edges of the siding are rotten, so I can't just measure up from those 20" as a guide. So I bought a chalkline but I now realize, I don't know how I can make sure it's level. The length will be about 27'.
How can I level this? Or is there a better way to do this?
thx!
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you could take a bubble level and draw some short lines. Make several of these along the entire length (like a dashed line). Then use any straight edge to extend the dashes to the full 27' so the full line is parallel to all of them. You might be able to use the top edge of the panel as a vertical guide..
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For 27' feet? You won't even be close at the end.
Harry K
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It might work if you use a 6' level and 6" increments. <g>
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If he uses the chalk line to make sure he's parallel with ALL of the dashed lines, including lines near the end which are vertically aligned using the top of the panel as a measuring reference, why wouldn't it be close at the end?
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is any small error in the level itself.
A water level is dirt cheap to make and dirt simple to use, and its accuracy rivals that of professional surveying equipment. Why use anything else?
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I would measure down from the soffit about every 6 feet. You need to pull a lot of tension to keep the say out of a line 27' long, plan on several snaps.
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Use a water level . It is easy to use and is available at any tool supply store.
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On Jun 16, 8:41am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Herb Eneva) wrote:

Yes and can be made up (and/or lengthened) by yourself using a hose pipe and two pieces of clear hose. Tint the water with food colouring if you wish. The techie modern way of course is to use a laser-level; a tool which may very useful later on inside and outside a building!
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Don't know if this helps but kids bought me a laser Straightline. Laser light puts out a straight line and the small unit has leveling bubbles. Don't think they are expensive.
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Unless they've improved the Straightline product line recently, they are not much help.
The bubble is so much smaller than the space between the 2 lines that you have to eyeball it to choose your own center. Over 27' any eyeballing of a crappy bubble level just isn't going to be accurate.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

You're probably right. I've never used it. The plastic tubing or hose method would be the best to use.
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That's what's always bothered me about the design of some laser levels.
It's not that they aren't usable due to the small bubble that bothers me the most (yes, that sucks) but it's more the fact that the manufacturers actually produce them like that.
Who were the test users? Anybody who has actually used a level would have picked up on the problem the first time they tried to use the device. Sure, it shoots a nice straight line, but if the user has to guess as to whether the unit itself is level or not, what good is it?
The few times I've used mine, other than to have fun with the cat, I've laid it on top of a torpedo level with a decent sized bubble.
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what about a self-leveling laser level like the Stanley CL2 cross- line? reviewers say it works ok outdoors as long as it's in shade.
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Frank wrote:

Recommending a product that you've never used? Genius.
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With a water level.
If the line needs to be 27' long, then get about 30' - 35' of clear vinyl tubing, and an assistant. Fill the tubing with water (stick one end in a bucket of water and suck on it til you get a mouthful), then let a little bit run out. You want a few inches of air space at each end. Make a pencil mark at one side of the shed where you want the cut line to start. Hold one end of the tube against the shed, and adjust it until the water level lines up with the pencil mark. Have your assistant take the pencil and the other end of the tube to the other side of the shed. Double-check to make sure the water level at your end is still aligned with the pencil mark, and readjust as needed. When the water level is stable, have the assistant mark the water level at that side of the shed. Pull a chalk line across the two marks, and make it tight -- it's going to sag some over 27 feet -- then snap it. Done.
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On Jun 16, 4:30am, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Water levels are a great tool and is the only way I know of to level around a corner but need some care.
1. The entire line must be in the same condition, i.e., all in sun or all in shade. 2. There can be no air bubbles in the line.
Personally, I would use a laser for the OP's use. They are not expensive and will be used many times if the OP does much carpentry over the years.
Harry K
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Utter nonsense.

If you fill it the way I described, there won't be.

Phooey. Even the "cheap" ones are an order of magnitude more expensive than 35 feet of vinyl tubing, and they're MUCH less accurate. With a steady hand and a sharp eye -- and a sharp pencil -- it's easy to get +/- 1/32" with a water level. Ever look at the specs on the consumer-grade laser levels they sell at home centers? Typical is +/- 1/4" at 25 or 30 feet; I saw one at Sears a few years ago labelled as "accurate within 1/2%". That doesn't sound too bad until you do the math: that's an error of an INCH AND A HALF at 25 feet. To get the kind of accuracy with a laser level that can be easily achieved with a water level, you need to go beyond consumer-grade units to professional gear costing many hundreds of dollars.
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On 6/16/2009 8:19 AM Doug Miller spake thus:

Amen. This ain't the Hubble Telescope.

Yep. I second that emotion.
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On Tue, 16 Jun 2009 15:19:31 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

That's dang close! "Looks good from my house!" <g>
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