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Finding Contour Lines -- DIY tool  RSS feed

 
Gary Park
Posts: 146
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Did another DIY permie project today.  I did multiple searches of plans for a contour line tool with no luck, so I just hunkered down and started pieceing it together.  I used old wall lathe for the wood, screwed and taped into a solid triangle.  Then I wrapped a plumb-bob string around a screw at the top so it would hang just above the horizontal wood piece.  Then I used a 24" level to find a level spot on the floor in my house--took me 4 tries!  Placing the triangle contour line finding tool on that level spot, I marked a black line where the plumb bob dangled.  Now I can find contour lines.  The lengths of the legs or cross brace do not matter, or where the plumb bob is attached doesn't matter, but having a level surface when you mark your level line on the cross brace is important.  The second pic shows 4 points plotted, marking the edge of where I intend to install a retaining wall, below which will be a natural pond.  Tons of clay abound that low in the ground, so I will be harvesting for making a rocket mass stove later this year.

You can tell the floor is not level here, even with the angle of the shot.


More pics of contour finder tool to be added later.  For now, here's a small example;
 
Pat Black
Posts: 123
Location: Northern New Mexico, USA
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You can make an A-frame level without the bubble level. The two sides of the A can be any length. Mark two spots that the A-frame rests on. Mark on the cross piece where the plum bob falls. Reverse the A-frame so the legs are on the opposite spot. Mark again on the cross piece where the plumb bob falls. Halfway between the two marks is level.
 
Gary Park
Posts: 146
Location: St. Louis, MO
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NM Grower wrote:
You can make an A-frame level without the bubble level. The two sides of the A can be any length. Mark two spots that the A-frame rests on. Mark on the cross piece where the plum bob falls. Reverse the A-frame so the legs are on the opposite spot. Mark again on the cross piece where the plumb bob falls. Halfway between the two marks is level.



That's usin' your noggin!  Nice tip.  I may check mine like that to be sure it's correct.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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i make mine out of bamboo and hand chipped rocks for the weight. to make it easy on yourself, be sure to include some small sticks to mark each leg point as you go along. this way when you come back to dig it up you have a really nice guide for you.

NM grower has the right method for finding level on the go.
 
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