How to make a lot level

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I am wanting to have built or to build a pole barn garage about 30x30. I have been working the ground with a power tiller and a tractor. It is alot more level than it was but still has some low spots. Is there a good way to ensure this is level?
Is there anything out there not too expensive that I could make or buy that would help me get this as level as possible? (Short of buying a 200 buck transit). WOuld a laser level on a pole work?
Also, would it be good to put down gravel before poles or anything go up? (Not sure if I can afford concrete or not yet. Looks like the gravel first would provide some protection for the poles when they go up if it rained on the bare dirt which would cause mud splashing up on them.
Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Use a garden hose or tow or three coupled together, then put a couple foot of clear poly tubing on both ends. Suspend the ends a couple foot up, fill it with enough water to level off a few inches into the clear tube. What you have now is a level line and a pretty in-expensive device. I have used it many times for fences and such, works great!!
Roger in Abilene.

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A floodlight, on a small pole can be handy in revealing low-spots. Best results at night. Laser level can also be useful for fine-tuning.
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TO LEVEL--Get 50 ft of 1/2" clear plastic tubing--Fill tubing with water--NO AIR BUBBLES !! attach one end to a post or stake so that the top is 5 or 6 ft high let out about a foot of water from each end of hose--It's easier with a friend to help, but you can place the ends of the tubing along side each other and mark each one where the water level is--also mark post for reference--need to check back to post occasionally as water/hose expands with temperature rise--may have to slide your reference end to line up with original mark .. Don wrote:

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jerry Wass wrote:

windshield washer fluid instead of water. It's a lot easier to spot, and air bubbles are more obvious.
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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!: remove ns from my header address to reply via email
Years ago I actually made and used a "water level" It used plastic tube, on a piece of aluminium square about a meter long. The tube stood up at both ends and was filled with water with ink on it. I had it on a tripod. You could sight along the water levels and get surprisingly accurate results. Sort of a bubble level in reverse! <G>

**************************************************** I went on a guided tour not long ago.The guide got us lost. He was a non-compass mentor.........sorry ........no I'm not.
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Don, I like to use a box blade and a drag. The drag can be a simple "I" beam a few feet wider than the box blade. As you drive around in circles and figure 8's, set the box blade to just cut off the tops of any mounds. Attach the "I" beam to the back of the box blade with 2 pieces of chain so the it rides with two edges down. This will smooth out any gouges made by the box blade. As you notice a high or low spot, drive across the high spot towards the low. This should scrap some dirt from the mound and drop it into the low spot. May have to play with the height of the box blade at this point. This should get you pretty flat. For level, the cheapest thing would be a water level. Two, one foot pieces of clear tubing attached to the ends of a garden hose. Inconvenient, but accurate Or you could do what the Egyptians did, dig a shallow ditch around and across your lot. Then fill it with water.

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Go down to Home Depot and get yourself a $1.98 string level. Stretch string tight across your pad. Hang level on string per instructions and adjust string accordingly.
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On Mon, 19 Apr 2004 15:41:30 -0400, "C.M.German"

Agreed except maybe two of them. I'd run at least two strings perpendicular to each other ie- north/south and east/west such that they intersect in the middle of the pad site -or- perhaps to get more accurate run 6 strings such that you could run say 2 north/south along the edges of the pad site and one in the middle and then do the same thing in the east/west direction.
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Good idea except for one thing ............. A string line with a level on it sags after a short distance ..................
Steve
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Nothing you'll ever notice in a 30' pad with a 6 foot rule......... and a tightly stretched line. How many houses do you suppose are set out this way?
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that were set with a line level could be shot with a transit and you would see the error. They will get you "kinda close" but every time I ever had to use a string level, I would always take several readings, sliding the level back and forth to the same position, re-read, etc. Most line levels are only about 2 or 3 inches long, and most are made cheaply, and they are surely not something I would set a house with. If a good transit is not available - the water hose would work, although cumbersome. Ken.
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Always place a line level in the MIDDLE of a string. That way the slope is the same on both ends.
SteveB wrote:

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I'm building a 45' cutter in strip/composite. Watch my progress (or lack
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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!: remove ns from my header address to reply via email

Agreed, and important, but oft forgot (DAMHIKT!)
But the _height_ is not necessarily there if you then take another "level" from the middle of the string. **************************************************** I went on a guided tour not long ago.The guide got us lost. He was a non-compass mentor.........sorry ........no I'm not.
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the laser levels are really cheap these days. Prices start ar $4 on sale.
This one is $25, comes with a nice tripod and will give you accruacy in the 1/4" range for your project. Use a yard stick or just a story pole with a mark on it. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber693
Don wrote:

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Don wrote:

You can rent a laser level from Home Depot for a reasonable sum. I always found water levels to be a pain in the ass.
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Two words ......... water level .................
Easy
Cheap
VERY accurate, even at long distances.
Steve
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I've been checking this thread watching for another warning in addition to the bubble problem. ALL parts of the water level must be at the same temperature. Half in shade and half in sun can also throw your marks off. At the cheap price of lazer levels today, I would spring for one if I didn't already have one for this project. A lot less dick around. One set-up and a marked stage pole is all it takes. I use water levels myself expecially when going around corners but...
Harry K
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Please explain why.

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Warm water is less dense and sits higher than the cold end.
Brian W
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