• laser levels

    Posted by Gary Davis on August 30, 2004 at 5:17 pm

    hi i think this has been discussed before but i cant find the post! Have seen a rotating laser level for 35 quid and wondered if anyone on here uses them for for getting a true line on vans, i thought it maybe of use on the amazingly straight astra vans and merc vitos!!, if it were levelled on the plastic trim then move the line up and down as needed?

    maybe a waste of time but would appreciate comments from anyone who uses these or has tryed it?


    Gary Davis replied 19 years, 9 months ago 9 Members · 13 Replies
  • 13 Replies
  • John & Dawn Roddick

    August 30, 2004 at 5:50 pm

    We bought one while on holiday in America which has a magnetic base and so is deal for doing vans – come a long way from a ball of string and 2 lumps of Blu tac!!

  • Robert Lambie

    August 30, 2004 at 7:04 pm

    i have thought about buying one of these myself but find you only really need it with a few vans. if like the astra i need a straight line i just come up from the plastic or door sill like you said, say 8 inch and run a 1 inch masking tape right through to front from back. and take all my other size from that.
    the method which you speak sounds like it would work just as good though..

  • Bill Dewison

    August 30, 2004 at 7:09 pm
    quote John Roddick:

    – come a long way from a ball of string and 2 lumps of Blu tac!!

    Now there’s a technological break through just made for me! Where do I buy one of those? 😉

    Cheers, Dewi

  • Paul Goodwin

    August 30, 2004 at 8:57 pm

    I use one but mainly when i want to angle something, just set the angle on the lazer and slide the graphic down till it sits on the light, i do find in the workshop the lazer light hard to see even with the gogles on , so i don’t use it that much. but it has come in handy.

  • Robert Lambie

    August 30, 2004 at 9:16 pm

    do you actualy need the goggles for the light to be seen then mort or does it just help?

    whats the goggles like? hope its not like welders goggles or a blast sheild from starwars :lol1: :lol1:

  • Paul Goodwin

    August 31, 2004 at 7:52 am

    If the room is darkish Rob i can see the light without the gogles, if it’s bright (which it normaly is i have to wwear them, and even then it’s tough seeing the beem sometimes, they are just liek saftey gogles but red, look naff realy but hey it’s not a fasion show is it 😳

    It maybe as i have a lower end £35 laser that it’s hard to see maybee the more profesional ones are easier, not sure realy i’ll have to find someone with an expensive one and find out.

  • Dave Bruce

    August 31, 2004 at 9:19 pm

    I am using a mid price laser level for building my house and it is very difficult to see the dot across the house (12m) even with the glasses on in the sun. In the evening (dull) you can see it 100s of metres away.

    There is a wide variation in the accuracy of these lasers the cheap ones would have given me some 2.5cm difference across my house, not acceptable to me. Mine gives 2.5mm difference.

    Can’t imagine using one on a vehicle.



  • Gordon Forbes

    August 31, 2004 at 11:52 pm

    I bought a straight line thingy from B & Q or maybe Travis Perkins I think it was looks like an 8 mtere tape measure housing if you understand what I’m saying I bought it for getting a straight line while putting up a lot of shelves.
    Magic it is can go over uneven surfaces and is very very bright goes from the shed to me other shed no probs (10, 15 yards) Im sure I could make up a little bracket to lie it onto so it would be of use for this feel a project comin on.


  • Chris Louth

    September 1, 2004 at 11:21 am

    Hi everyone

    Here’s my first post on the site – I’m actually an electrician but have hung many signs in the past – Mainly High Street stuff like Debenhams, Burtons & Dorothy Perkins etc. We once misplaced the D, o, r , k and y out of a Dorothy Perkins sign, but figured that something’s wrong when all we could make out of the remaining letters was “hot Penis”

    Anyway back to the thread – from a ‘shopfitting’ perspective – finding ‘level’ is an everyday task and one that presents itself on a scale of varying difficulty.

    When its not practical to set up a laser-rig – like the traffic cops don’t share your enthusiasm for setting the laser up in the middle of the high street – or in cases where the setting up time is just not justified or practical or where you can’t even see the line – I have on occasions found the solution in using a simple ‘water-level’.

    This is by no means a new idea – nor is it my idea – I just copied it from a ‘hairy-a$$ builder’. Also if the subject has been covered previously then please accept my apologies for the repetition.

    A water-level works on the principle that water always finds its own level. Like when holding a beer – irrespective to the angle of the glass – the surface of the brew inside (movements ignored) will always default to ‘level’ – so if you ever get caught drinking on the job you have a valid and genuine excuse – how else am I supposed to find level ? Whisky, Brandy etc is more believable simply because its nothing other than a form of “Spirit- Level”.

    This is what I do to find level in awkward situations – its still a two-man task however:

    The main component of the ‘Water-Level’is a length (50Mtr in my case) of +/- 20mm diameter translucent hollow plastic hosepipe.

    Unroll the hosepipe as to roll the kinks and twists out – don’t pull it out like a giant spring – unroll it hand over hand – then you’ll have a flat un-spriralled hose and no kinks. ( unrolling just makes it easier to work with) To fill it I simply bring the two ends together in one hand and start to fill the hosepipe with water – water goes in one end and air is expelled out of the other.

    Keeping the two ends of the hose together allow the water to fill the hose to within about 1500mm or 5 foot of each end. Then I just loosely put a piece of tissue / scrap of paper or whatever I can find – I say loosely into each end of the hose pipe – this prevents major leaks (just to prevent having to refill it) – I’m not worried about loosing a few drops – What I’m trying to achieve here is a NON-airtight seal to allow any air-bubbles to escape & thus allow the water to run freely within the pipe.

    That’s it the water level is complete.

    Now to use it – you and your workmate separate away from each other – each with one end of the hose – Man No1 holds the water (in his end of the hose) on the reference point – whilst Man No2 takes his end of the hose to where the 2nd reference point is required – ( you’ll need to do some ‘up a bit’ & ‘down a bit’ communication here, but once the water in the pipe has settled where guy No1 wants it (on his mark) – then Guy No 2 can make his mark (level with his water line), and hey-presto you have identical levels.

    Thus ‘translusent’ pipe is essential – just so you can see the water inside.

    This method works around corners, between different rooms, between different buildings, across roads – its perfect for finding level in cases where everything else around is ‘cock-eyed’ – and a sure fire way to hang signs that hang level first time and every time. Its only limitation really is the length of the pipe.

    The whole set up should take no more than about 10 minutes.

    I wasn’t on a bargain-hunt when i made mine and i think it cost about £8 -and its saved me countless hours over the years – in fact a great investment.

    I have two rubber corks – so that I can get it out the van pre-filled and ready for use – you still have to take the corks out to use it and thus release the vacuum.

    Also I have taped wire loops on each end of the hose, so I’ve got something to hang it with – like hang it on the ladder to free up both hands.

    Hopefully – one or two of you find this tip useful.

    Cheers and congratulations on a great site and friendly atmosphere.


  • Paul Goodwin

    September 1, 2004 at 11:41 am

    Chris what a great tip, thanks for sharing that, and what a wonderfull colourful explination, it made fun reading 🙂

    Thanks again.

  • Chris Louth

    September 1, 2004 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Mort,

    I see you can get a water level ready made from http://www.screwfix.co.uk at £15.99 inclusive of VAT – but its only a 10mtr version.

    You can use the following link and go directly to the picture and item description:

    http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro … 6&id=18133

    All the best

  • Carrie Brown

    September 1, 2004 at 3:21 pm

    I dont really have a comment on the level issue … sorry 😛 Steve now refuses to talk about levels with me since our lengthy discussion with him trying to explain the answer to: “how do you know the level is level in the first place?” :lol1: Ok I ask the odd silly question.

    Just wanted to say hello to Chris ……. Hello Chris, you need to put a post in the Hello section so we can all give you a big welcome 😀

    Carrie 😛

  • Gary Davis

    September 1, 2004 at 3:36 pm

    thanks for all the comments, and the water tube idea for levelling signs sounds good. Think i will give the laser level a go on a van, and will report back!
    I find 9 times out of 10 as soon as i go to fit vinyl outside black clouds descend and it P*sses it down, so no worries about it being to bright!!! :lol1:

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