Are you in need of a level, but don’t have the money to buy one? Well, never fear! With a few simple supplies and a bit of elbow grease, you can make your own homemade DIY level. Read on to find out how.
Leveling is the process of creating a flat surface. A level is an instrument used to determine whether a surface is horizontal (level) or vertical (not level). The position of the bubble in the vial indicates whether the surface is level.
- Straw and Water Level
- Cup and Water Level
- Water Level with Tubing
- Water Level with Clear Pipe
Most levels have one or more vials, each containing a coloured liquid and a air bubble. The aim is to place the level so that the air bubble is in the centre of the vial. If the bubble is to the left of centre, then the surface is not level; if it is to the right, then it is level. Depending on how far away from centre the bubble is will give you an indication of how severe the error is.
The traditional way to check if a surface was level was using a spirit level or water level. A spirit level (or bubble level) uses liquid in a completely sealed vial that doesn’t interact with its surroundings, whereas a water level uses any container partially filled with water.
With recent advancements in technology, there are now electronic levels available which use sensors and digital displays instead of liquid-filled vials. These devices are often more accurate than their older counterparts and can be easier to read under low-light conditions.
Straw and Water Level
Creating a level using a straw, pushpins, and water is a simple and effective method. Follow these steps:
- Cap one end of the straw with a pushpin.
- Add water to the straw, leaving some air at the top, to achieve the desired bubble size.
- Cap the other end of the straw with another pushpin.
Cup and Water Level
If you have a measuring cup, water, and a pencil, you can easily level a shelf. Here’s what you need to do:
- Brace the shelf against the wall a few inches below the desired position.
- Take a measuring cup and fill it halfway with water. Place it in the middle of the shelf.
- When the water aligns with the marked line on the cup, use a pencil to lightly draw lines on the wall on either side of the cup at the water level.
Water Level with Tubing
Another method involves using a length of flexible, plastic tubing, water, and stakes or dowels. Follow these steps:
- Drive a stake or dowel into the ground near the center of the foundation.
- Attach one end of the flexible tubing to the stake, ensuring the open end of the tube is higher than the desired top of the foundation blocks.
- Add a small amount of red food coloring to tap water in a container to enhance the visibility of the water level.
- Hold the other end of the tube at the same height as the attached end and fill the tube with water until it is a few inches below the ends of the tube. Make sure there are no air bubbles.
- Mark the height of the water level in the tube on the stake or dowel.
Water Level with Clear Pipe
For this method, you will need a length of clear pipe and water. Here’s how it’s done:
- Ensure that the length of the pipe is sufficient to reach all the locations you want to mark.
- Fill the pipe with water, ensuring there are no air bubbles.
- Mark the height of the water level in the pipe at each location you want to mark.
These homemade level methods are simple yet effective ways to ensure your projects are properly aligned without the need for expensive tools. Now you can achieve professional results with materials readily available in your home.
Creating a homemade DIY level doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With just a few simple materials and a little creativity, you can achieve accurate results without spending a fortune. By following the methods outlined in this article, you’ll be able to ensure your projects are level and well-aligned, giving you the confidence to tackle a variety of DIY tasks. So, next time you find yourself in need of a level, remember these cost-effective solutions that are within your reach.
Can I use any type of straw for the straw and water level method?
Yes, you can use any straw as long as it is long enough and has a small diameter to allow for precise leveling.
Do I need to use red food coloring for the water level with tubing method?
Using red food coloring is optional but recommended as it helps improve the visibility of the water level, making it easier to mark.
How accurate are these homemade level methods?
While these methods provide a good level of accuracy for most DIY projects, it’s important to note that they may not be as precise as professional tools. However, they are suitable for general household tasks.
Can I reuse the materials for other projects?
Absolutely! The materials used in these homemade level methods are reusable, allowing you to utilize them for future projects.
Are these methods suitable for outdoor projects?
Yes, these methods can be applied both indoors and outdoors, making them versatile options for a wide range of projects.