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Thread: How can I use a rotary laser level with a building in the way?

  1. #1
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    Oct 2006
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    How can I use a rotary laser level with a building in the way?

    I am looking at possibly building a much larger garage over top of my existing garage. The current garage has eight foot ceilings and the new garage will have 16 foot ceilings. I think the new garage would go over the ridge of my current garage. I want to do this so I don't have to find storage for the stuff in my current garage.

    Anyhow, how would I use a rotary laser level to level the new footings with a building in the way? I am told it can be done, but my Google searches have failed me so far.

  2. #2
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    Layoff the elevation of the existing footing to "line of sight" stakes. Use as many as required to circumvent obstructions.

  3. #3
    Use a water level.

  4. #4
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Any windows?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    Any windows?
    +1 on water level more accurate then laser

  6. #6
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    You'll need to establish more than one reference point since you can only use line-of sight with a rotary laser. Set one and then set one or two more based on that initial reference.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    Use one laser, make a mark on the corner of the building...move the laser around the corner and align it to the original mark. Now you can project the same level line around a corner.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2018
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    It sounds to me like the easiest way would be to get a really long grade pole and put the level on the peak of the roof. You'd also need a stepladder that was tall enough for someone to climb up to the line and read it.

  9. #9
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    That might sound a little goofy but it's very similar to shooting a DIY topo, once it's set you're pretty much good to go. I've used a 16' 2x4....probably looked a bit stupid walking around in the middle of a pasture with a 2x sticking up in the air though.

    ......You might give it a go and try to put on like you couldn't find a shorter 2x





  10. #10
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    Using super long grade poles and so forth sounds kewel, but just transfering the reference as both Dick and I have suggested is easy, accurate and stays at ground level.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    I thought a rotary laser level is the way construction is done these days. I bought a good one (At 50% off it was still around $400.) from Amazon Warehouse Deals about two years anticipating my garage project. I didn't do any research into alternatives like the water level.

    A water level might still be an alternative and just sell the laser level. It looks like brand new. The included batteries are unopened. I have no idea why it was returned to Amazon.

  12. #12
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    If you use a really long grade pole make sure it’s vertical. If it is tilted either away or towards the laser it can throw you off by inches.
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  13. #13
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    Jan 2004
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    Lewiston, Idaho
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    Brian,

    Before retiring, the way we leveled MR scanners, CT scanners and x-ray equipment was using a water level. I helped a guy side his house and we used a water level. At the same time, I have a Bosch non-rotating laser level I use here at home. Water levels work easier if there is more than one person working, using it at the time.
    Ken

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    I thought a rotary laser level is the way construction is done these days. I bought a good one (At 50% off it was still around $400.) from Amazon Warehouse Deals about two years anticipating my garage project. I didn't do any research into alternatives like the water level.

    A water level might still be an alternative and just sell the laser level. It looks like brand new. The included batteries are unopened. I have no idea why it was returned to Amazon.
    Brian, I also bought a rotary laser for my shop project. For me, I feel it's going to be a lot more useful and less cumbersome than a water level. I know a lot of folks prefer a water level and I respect that; I prefer the tech.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
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    Mar 2009
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    Sterling, Virginia
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    About the grade pole. Lean it forward and backward, the shortest measurement is plumb. Way back in the dark ages when we used a transit or builder's level that is how we did it.

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