keeping it level

I am planning to build a retaining wall that will be around 50' in length, using concrete blocks from HD like this http://tinyurl.com/cafa5te . There seems to be a ton of laser levelers @ amazon and I am looking for one under $100 that will emit a strong enough beam that can be easily seen from one end to the other. Any input/recommendations would be appreciated.
thanks,CJ
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They built the pyramids with string. It still works just fine. Maybe a water level (hose with water in it) would be handy tho to get the ends level, then use a string line.
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On May 13, 8:13 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

With those blocks, why the string? Aren't they "self-leveling" once the foundation is level?
As for water levels there are a couple things that will throw them off: 1. Air bubble in line - I've never figured out why it throws it off but it can. 2. Part of tube in shade, other in sun.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

No, they're not.
Here's how the Egyptians got each concourse of blocks level:
After laying a layer of blocks, the engineers constructed a copper cofferdam around the perimeter. Into this they poured water. As the water evaporated, bits of stone would protrude from the water. Whenever a bit of stone appeared, some workers would scamper over to the high spot and shave it down to the level of the liquid.
After a few (two? three?) sandings, they'd have a dog-gone smooth, level, surface, ready for the next layer.
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dam

d,

own

What does handmade stone blocks have to do with factory manufactured standard size blocks?
No, after the foundation is level there is no need for a string. Those blocks are laid dry with no mortar to level them.
Harry K
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Do you _really_ think that I and the others in this forum don't know about a string level?
The "level" and "plumb" are built into the blocks. Unless you start adding mortar or sand while laying them, there is no adjustment you can make. Get your foundation level and go.
Harry K
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wrote:

Certainly you want to be level on the top of the first course (with CMUs) I understand this guy is doing rubble stone so I think plumb is all that is relatively important until you get close to the top. Again, a string line is all you need..
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On May 14, 11:13 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

pg>

Per the picture , he is using the cast concrete decorator blocks. Those have a lip that gives an offest on each course to slope the retaining wall back.
Harry K
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pg>

What "conclusion" would that be? It was a question, not a statement. I just thought it odd that that you bothered to post a picture of something everyone knew.
A string level is just about the most inaccurate of leveling instruments around. Too short and unless it is in the exact middle of the run it lies a bit.

And I pointed out that, except for leveling the foundation, it is not needed.
Harry K
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Buy a 100' of clear plastic tubing for about $25. And a couple of buckets from the dollar store.
Much more accurate, versatile, and longer lasting than the electronic gadget. [I've got both-- used the laser a few times, and checked it with the water/tubing.] Want to buy a slightly used laser level?
The tubing works day or night; you can leave it out in the rain- drop a brick on it- works around corners. . .
You'll use the 50 feet just to set things up--- a decent 4' bubble level will keep you honest after the initial layout.
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht;3061379 Wrote: >

> buckets from the dollar store.

What do you need the buckets for?
--
nestork


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On Tue, 14 May 2013 02:41:05 +0200, nestork

What do you need any of this for, Just use your garden hose. Set one end at the desired height (tape it to a stick) and get the other end close. Add water if the water is low. The far end is self regulating and when you get the end even with the other one the water will be even with the top of the hose.
You only have to do this once to mark your grade stakes so it doesn't matter if it takes a few minutes and a few tries. Once you get your first course laid and level build up from that. Build the corners with stair steps toward the center, set the line with line blocks and lay the CMUs to the line.
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On Tue, 14 May 2013 02:41:05 +0200, nestork

I fill them with water & tape the tubing to them and use them to hold 'stale' water for filling the tube. I get less air bubbles that way.
Jim
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Any laser should be seen at 50ft. Even those $5 laser pointers go further than that. Buy what is affordable. Then dont leave the batteries in them. They corrode and destroy the tool, just like a flashlight.
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On Mon, 13 May 2013 17:04:12 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@workshop.com wrote:

I have several laser tools that can't be seen at 50ft during when it's bright sunlight. They really should use green lasers for these tools; much more visible.
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Before you buy the block, check other sources. We have three in our small town. You may find styles you like better at about the same price, delivered to the job. You don't want to have to load and unload that stuff if you don't have to.
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+1 on that--- Not to mention, the advice I got from my local block supplier [and maker] was worth more than the $1500 worth of block I bought there.
Patio and wall looking just fine a decade after-
Jim
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