Thursday, January 24, 2013

Level Headed

Application of the old adage "Water seeks its own level"!
Getting a straight horizontal line all the way around the bathroom has been a head-scratcher. Before I can hang the wallpaper on the upper wall, I have to determine the height and placement of the Craftsman wainscoting cap. I don't want wallpaper peaking down below or riding up too high. But the new addition is not level, plumb, or square (partly due to our framers, partly due to being tacked on to an old house)! Our laser level is having problems shooting over the obstacles of doors, window casings, shower tile, etc., and it doesn't turn corners very well either. So I went in search of a solution.

I could rent a rotary laser level for a day, but that's a lot of money and hassle. So we put the laws of physics to use and employed a twenty foot length of tubing. I siphoned water into it, leaving about a foot and half empty at each end. Then we just held one end of the tubing next to the desired starting point and walked the other end around to different points in the room, waited for the water line to level out each time before making pencil marks on the wall. No need to pull it taut; the tubing can lay on the floor, coil up, run over obstacles, etc. (just no kinks). You can buy or make devices with a water reservoir that are more accurate, but this served our purposes. It does take two people, but that just gave Jeff and me some more togetherness!


  1. I am sure your professor did not mind using Physics!

  2. He was all for it! We also have an old fashioned brass plumb bob my dad made for us when we bought our first old house. That, of course, functions based on the principle of gravity, and Jeff used it just the other week when constructing the closet knee wall. Very authentic tools for old house restoration ;-)