When it comes to ensuring that an installation of any kind is perfectly vertical, it’s aplumb bobthat you would usually use. They are very useful tools for hanging pictures, building walls, installing wallpaper, transferring a point from a ceiling to a floor, and much more.
Not only do they help keep everything vertically aligned for structural purposes, but it helps construction jobs look pleasing to the eyes as well. That said, what if you don’t have a plumb bob on hand? What are some alternatives that you could possibly use?
1. Plumb Rod
A plumb rod is a tool that is very similar to a plumb bob, and for this reason, they are often referred to as plumb bob levels. These tools have been around for many centuries. They are in fact some of the most accurate and simplest of tools for measuringplumbness.
A plumb rod features an F-shaped frame with a plumb bob being directly attached to the top of the frame. The line or string of the plumb bob hangs through a hole in the top portion of the frame, and the upper horizontal line of the F (on the top and outermost point of the F). The plumb bob is suspended from this hole and allowed to hang freely.
When a vertical surface is 100% plumb, the line of the plumb bob will hang completely in line with the lower of the two horizontal beams. If the wall or installation is not perfectly plumb, the line will curve towards the plumb rod or away from it. It’s an easy and accurate tool, albeit a bit large and cumbersome, plus hard to find as well.
All of that said, plumb rods are very similar to spirit or bubble levels, which brings us to our next alternative.
2. Spirit Level
Perhaps one of the best alternatives to using a plumb bob is to use a spirit level. Many people think that spirit levels can only be used to level horizontal surfaces, but this is not the case. Spirit levels usually always contain three separate bubbles, one for horizontal leveling, one for vertical leveling or plumbing, and one for 45-degree angle leveling.
You can hold a bubble level against a vertical surface and keep an eye on the bubble to see if it is plumb or not. If the surface is perfectly plumb, the bubble should line up perfectly in the center of the two lines within the bubble vial. However, if the surface is not perfectly plumb then the bubble will not be in the center of those two lines in the vial.
說一個鉛錘仍然是更好的選擇or checking plumb over a long distance. The drawback with the spirit level is that it’s only going to be accurate over its own length. Trying to plumb something that is much longer than the spirit level, will not work very well.
3. Laser Level
Yet another viable alternative to a plumb bob is to use a laser level. Laser levels are extremely useful tools, and they have come a very long way in the last few years. If you need very quickly level or plumb any kind of surface or installation, then a laser level is definitely the fastest method.
Laser levelsare of course extremely advanced, as they feature one continuous laser line, and the most advanced options can simultaneously level and plumb a surface. If you are a professional who needs to level and plumb surfaces on a daily basis, then a laser level is a good investment to make.
That said, due to their high-tech nature, laser levels do take some practice to use, especially when it comes to setting them up in the first place. Moreover, laser levels also tend to be extremely expensive, so it’s really only worth investing in one if you are going to be using it on a regular basis.
Speaking of high-tech devices, your smartphone also serves as a plumb bob, or at least it can. The vast majority of smartphones have special pieces of technology on the inside that allow them to judge both vertical plumbness and horizontal levelness.
All you have to do is to download and install a corresponding application on your smartphone to turn it into a functional plumb bob. With that being said, the issue with using your smartphone as a plumb bob is that it is only accurate over the distance or length of the phone itself. You cannot really level extremely long surfaces with a smartphone application.
5. Chalk Line
Chalk line devices usually feature a weighted end. This means that a simple chalk line device can be used as a plumb bob if need be. All you have to do is to extend the string and let the end hang down to see how plumb or vertical a surface is.
The issue is that chalk lines aren’t always going to be totally symmetrical, and this can at times cause issues.
6. Anything Weighted on a String
If you are going to go the DIY route, then it is as simple as using anything fairly heavy and tying it to a string.
All you have to do is to attach a string to the surface being plumbed and tie something relatively heavy to the other end so that it will hang down straight. This could be as simple as tying a heavy screw to a piece of string.
You can also read abouthow to make a plumb bobby yourself.
As you can see, there are many alternatives to using a plumb bob to plumb a vertical surface.