Laser Level Help

I feel kinda of stupid asking this. I received a laser level as a gift. I've used a normal level successfully in the past, but I've never used a laser level. This one seems handy and its mounted on a tripod. I can't seem to project a level line though and I am hoping I am missing something or not understanding.
I turn it on and get a horizontal line on the wall. The line is obviously not straight though. However, the device doesn't have a leveling bulb in the horizontal position. In this position only verticle leveling is allowed. Some on the flip side - if I project a verticle line, the device allows only horizontal leveling in that position. Am I totally missing something?
It is not the specific one in this link although it looks similar - http://www.kimcousa.com/HM06015.html I just want to know how to project a level horizontal line on the wall. I promise not to use any power tools, ever if you can fill me in :)
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Do this little experiment:
put it in the center of the room. level it as good as you can by the bubble. go to the wall and put a pencil dot there.
go back and make it unlevel again. now, relevel it. do not look at the dot on the wall. go see how close it is to the dot.
a bubble is hard thing to get just right. it can look right, and be off, and if you multiply that out 20 or 50 feet, it grows.
you can swing it around on the tripod, but the chances of getting it level in every direction are small.
in a room, the best level is one that has a diffuser. a laser beam is projected. mirrors scatter it around the room to make a line, either horizontal or perpendicular. a weight makes it true plumb. if you smoke, blow smoke into the laser light to help understand what the laser is doing. if you need a line high or low on the wall, shoot anywhere on the wall, put a pencil mark at each corner, then measure up the same distance from the mark to where you want to be and pop lines.
diffusers are better to use when you need a line around a room. the torpedo type you have is better when you need a straight line. I have found that they work great on some things, but not all things, because they go off on a timer, and you have to keep turning them on, and the slightest bump, and they are out of whack from where you want to be.
they do have their uses and areas where they shine, but it takes a while to get the hang of them and how they work. sometimes by the time you get through fooling with them, you could have done it the old way.
Steve
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Thanks for the info. I get it now - as you said, this particular level seems to do well at projecting a straight line.
What I was not understanding was how to get a level line around a room when the device only had a indicator of level in a single direction. The real answer is not to use this level for such a purpose or that I would need another level to make sure its level in the other direction too.

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Have you ever tried to level a transit? They have to be level in all directions for some measurements. It's a booger, and I could never do it accurately. That is why you don't see them any more, but the lasers.
The lasers have a weight in them that hangs perfectly plumb no matter what the tripod does. Oh, they try to get the tripod halfway level, but when they put the laser mechanism on top, it's level, and will throw a level line or plane 360 degrees.
Yes, what you want is one that throws a level plane (thin sheet of light) all around the room. Not that expensive. You get what you pay for. If you are going to use it a lot, or depend on it for accuracy, spend a few extra bucks and get the best you can afford.
On most things, a little bit out of whack doesn't make a lot of difference. But it is sure nice to have things come together at the end of a run.
Steve
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On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 12:07:30 -0700, "SteveB"

You're kidding, right?
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No, I couldn't level one when I tried. And I don't believe I have seen one in a while on a construction or highway job. I always see the laser ones. Doesn't mean they aren't there, and in use, just that I haven't seen one lately.
I could be wrong, though.
It IS possible!
I was once before, you know. ;-)
Steve
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wrote:


Oh, boy! One more thing SteveB can't do!
rusty redcloud
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Steve wrote:

Hi, No manual to read? Tony
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No there was no manual. There was a pretty picture about the size of a postage stamp showing the level projecting a dot on the wall, a line on the wall, and in a corner. Frankly, its my own personal assumption that is what these pictures were of, I'm sure there was a tripod in the picture but whether the actual illustration was supposed to be the level or a can of paint is arguable.

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Perhaps you mean straight but not level?

Can you rotate the linemaker grating 90 degrees?

You might measure to make each end of the line the same distance down from the ceiling, or use a water level, eg 10' of 1/2" clear tubing...
Nick
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