Many DIY projects require leveling. For example, I recently blogged about installing a prehung door
. This just required using a 4' level to get the door jamb plumb (and the header level). Hanging pictures? Use that same level to get two adjacent pictures aligned. But what if you need you need to transfer a benchmark around a corner or from one room to another?
Enter the water level! It's not only the most accurate; it's cheap, and you can make one in less than a minute. Sound impossible? Not so! All you need is a length of clear surgical tubing. The i.d. (inside dimension) should be 3/8" or 1/2". Then all you have to do is fill it with water with the exception of a foot or so on either end. Then work all the air bubbles out. One person holds the waterline on a mark in one room and the other person marks the wall in the other room. Just move the tube up and down to tweak it. It works because water seeks its own level
Can anything go wrong? Yes, as I found out the hard way. We were remodeling an office building in the wintertime. We got out of our heated truck, went up to the 15th floor, and discovered that we needed to add a little water to the tube; just a quart or so. So we shot a benchmark on a column and transfered it to every corner of every wall and column. Every mark was wrong. The warm water on one end had a different density than the cold water added to the other end. Live and learn.