Laser Level

What's that Lidl toy like; anyone bother to find out?
Or should I get the four quid one with all those daft angles?
OT: Anyone know where I can get my hands on 40 million quid? Now that's what I call doing it one's self!
Not a funny story really but how the hell can a depot be so wide open? http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-britain-robbery,1,6254059.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines&ctrack=1&cset=true
And I thought British Gas had it all: http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2006/2/emw348241.htm Now I know why Sid was so elusive: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid 39395467468&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
And here's me struggling to find a real spirit level that won't break me.
Mussengrumble:~)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Weatherlawyer wrote:

Assuming it's the same one that started out at 30+ and is gradually sinking to the bottom of the market...
Starting from the top and working downwards, the laser/level unit itself is OK. It throws horizontal and/or vertical lines that are good enough for most indoor uses, and I've used the spot for outdoor layout work at ranges up to about 20m in sunlight.
On mine, the accuracy of the crossing laser lines on the wall is at least as good as a plumb-line and a mid-price bubble level.
The laser/level bar clamps into a flat-bottomed slot on a metal table that can itself be levelled on three screw feet. Unfortunately the bullseye levelling bubble is rubbish, so you have to use the bubble in the laser/level bar, and keep turning it through 90deg to make sure the table is levelled both ways. There is the usual problem about interacting adjustments of the three feet.
The table rotates on a strong plastic base, with a nice big 360deg scale that can be set within a quarter-degree. The rotation ring benefits from a strip-down and lubrication with *light* silicone grease.
But the tripod lets the whole thing down. It feels like you could crumple it up with your bare hands - and believe me, you'll want to. To be able to move the crossed horizontal and vertical lines accurately over a wall, you must be able to rely on the axis of the tripod being exactly vertical. And that's where the whole thing fails, because the levelling bubble on the tripod head is even worse than the one on the table, and the rise/fall mechanism is weak and wobbly. Also the tripod twists when rotating the table, and may unscrew.
Because of the tripod, you end up having to nurse the whole thing along very carefully - the slightest problem, and you have to re-level the whole thing from the ground up. OTOH if you already have a strong and accurate rise/fall tripod, and can graft the rotating table onto that, it's a bargain.
As usual with cheap tools, it makes me covet a proper pendulum level that doesn't need all these bubble rituals... but that is a very different price point.
--
Ian White

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ian White wrote:

I use a large piece of reflective sheeting to shine the spot on. It is visible in bright sunlight for 30 metres, which is as far as I've needed to measure.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ian White wrote:

Ian,
I bought the Screwfix laser about two years ago. It is brilliant for lining up sockets around a room. It was worth buying just for that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Timegoesby wrote:

Agreed - and it's equally good for fixing uprights for spur shelving around a room. But first I had to use a post level to plumb the stem of the tripod, and then had to hold it very carefully when swivelling the head unit around.
As I said, it's only the tripod that lets it down.
--
Ian White

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd say most would measure from the top of the skirting board? Having all the sockets at a *true* level might look rather strange in the average house.
--
*Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ian White wrote:

I think thats the one I have, except from Makro.

I've not had that problem, so maybe mine is a different make. I have had a problem with the tripod in as much as it's just not tall enough. Typical job - hanging two corner cupboards - dead easy to find the levels, if you can find something the right height to stand the tripod on.
I do have a decent camera tripod though and it fits the base.
Saved me ages getting the levels on my driveway sorted, although I waited till late afternoon to do the job, so the dot was easy to see.

I know exactly what you mean!
--
Dave
The Medway Handyman
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Medway Handyman wrote:

On mine, the rise-and-fall stem can tilt inside the tube in a very uncertain way, and it moves again when the clamp is tightened. That means the bubble level on the tripod head is fairly meaningless.
Which reminds me...
We see a lot of built-in spirit levels of the single-vial, double-vial ("T") and bullseye varieties; but are there any sources of these as separate components that can be bolted on to existing equipment? The only one I remember seeing was a bullseye type in the CPC catalogue (IIRC) and that was too big for many uses.
--
Ian White

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 17:00:55 +0000, Ian White wrote:

I've been looking for a decent self levelling laser level for a while. I've also got one of those tripod levels which I found a waste of money. The height adjustment is too limited to be of any use to me.
I almost bought a stanley CL90 laser level last year from my local builders merchant for 250. Im glad I didnt! I happened to call in Homebase this week and they had three of the CL90 units for a clearance offer of 74.99! It is one of these http://tinyurl.com/zb5hd
I have tried it briefly and it is great! The laser sits on a bracket which itself slides up and down a floor to ceiling pole. The laser unit has 3 modes. Modes 1&2 are self levelling. The bracket also has two keyhole screws holes for wall mounting.
Mode 1 is a cross pattern. So, for example you can set your tiles level or set up a row of horizontal pipe clips. Mode 2 is cross pattern and vertical pattern at a 90 degrees offset. Mode 3 allows you to project a cross pattern offset from true vertical. This would be handy if you wanted to run a waste pipe with a set fall.
All in all definetly worth the money. I got mine from the Homebase in Newmarket so it may be worth calling a store before you travel. The barcode on the box is 3253561771552.
Martyn
--
Geosolar, Cambridge. Gas central heating installations.
High quality ATAG boilers www.geosolar.co.uk
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ian White wrote:

For further distances, try a black target.

This is used only to get a rough idea of level for the tripod. It is used in conjunction with the legs of the tripod. Once it is set to somewhere close to level, just ignore it.

To remove the problem of three feet and the interaction of them when making adjustments, position your self so that the feet are in the formation of an aircraft's landing gear. One leg furthest away from you and the other two reaching out to either side of you. Without moving your feet, put the laser level so that it goes over the front adjuster and you can now set pitch (forwards to backwards) by moving the front adjuster. Rotate the level 90 degrees and adjust in roll the same way. When you are happy with that, turn the level 180 degrees and check again. Any error tells you that the level bubble is out. For this, there is an answer that involved a piece of wood and a hammer.

Why? The leveling of the rotatable clamp for the laser will cater for this.

I bought one of these some years ago. I took a few hours to ensure that there was no backlash in whole system and that the laser could be rotated by a finger's touch and it has covered its costs many time over.
The only other thing to check is that the vertical line generator does just that. Take a plumb bob and see if the laser line agrees with it. Mine didn't and I had to put some marks on the laser bubble to correct this. This meant that when I wanted a vertical line, I hade to change the laser level setting so that the adaptor would make the line vertical. It was not out by much, but it would have been visually visible.
One final word on this. Do you know that the laser is pointing in a level way. Does it point up or down?
To check, measure the laser output relevent to the face it normally sits on, turn it upside down and calculate again. This will give you the differnce that the spot will shine at. Now put the laser on a flat, stable surface and point it at the farthest point that you can. Turn the leser upside down and measure the differnce, in the vertical, of the spot. This should be the same as the calculated difference you worked out earlier. If not, then this will have to be factored in. However, if you take off the plastic front of the laser, you should see a triangle of adjustement screws. Good luck with these.
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave wrote:

Ah, you must have seen me out there, watching the red dot on my black jeans as I walked backwards into the hole.

Different bubble. I was still talking about the bubble on the rotating clamp for the laser, not the one on the head of the tripod (we get to that one later).

I do that, but it's still a pest because of the problems with rotation.

Sorry, you're right about that - the levelling of the tripod head doesn't matter. But what *does* matter is the wobble in the tripod stem when it's cranked up and down...

I don't want a light action, because I also use it outdoors, but I do need a smooth action that allows accurate setting of angles with no snatch. The first thing I tried was Kilopoise grease, which is designed specifically for applications like these. It gives a beautifully smooth motion, but the tripod had nowhere near enough resistance to the twisting force.
At the moment I've had to compromise with a light grease which still leaves some snatch, so would be very interested in more details of how you improved it, Dave.

Same here. Hate the tripod, but love the level.

Mine is OK. When the clamping table is accurately levelled, the lines on the wall are vertical and horizontal, as accurately as I can measure them by more traditional methods.

Good point - I haven't tried it for projecting a dado all around a large room. However, it's good enough to lay out a wall of uprights and shelving.

Thanks for all that information, Dave - definitely a keeper!
--
Ian White

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ian White wrote:

For some reason, a black target shows up the red laser dot more than almost any other colour.

All I did was to improve it mechanically.
You do raise a point about the wind shifting the laser and I have not looked at this. Though the rotatable top does have a lock screw, I have not looked at the consequences of using it. Does it lock without rotation/lift/shift? Does it lock without rotation, but rotate when un-locked etc. I will have to look at this, along with any backlash that may be caused by winding up/down
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ian White formulated the question :

I described an el cheapo pendulum laser level a while back in the group - that I am still very pleased with. The pendulum mounting of the laser completely does away with the need to worry about setting the base with any great accuracy, just set it roughly level then accurately at the height you want. Mine cost just 20 - is as accurate H/V as I have been able to check it with my extremely precise level and plumbob.
--

Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Weatherlawyer wrote:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-britain-robbery,1 ,6254059.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines&ctrack=1&cset=true
Try the BBC for the facts next time. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/kent/4742064.stm
-- Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.