Land leveling
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Thread: Land leveling

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    Land leveling

    I'm a novice at leveling land, which I will have to do for my pole barn. I've seen references on here to levels (I assume laser) used for this purpose, but I would like to know which ones you use and recommend.

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    I’ve always used Topcon Rotary Laser levels for grading roads and building prep. They are very easy to use, and about as accurate as you can get. Probably will cost about $700 for a new one with tripod, receiver and grade stick. If you have any contractor friends, they might let you borrow one. I don’t think I’d buy one for one personal project though.
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    I bought one from Harbor Freight for 60 bucks thinking that I'm only going to use it once so it wasn't too much to gamble. Worked great for me.
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    Cheap way to get pretty good grade sitting on the tractor:

    https://www.amazon.com/Johnson-Level...ords=eye+level
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    You should be able to rent one at your local tool rental. Either a builders level or a laser level will work. Setting one up that's not auto level is a little hard but can be done with a little patience. I have a Johnson that has all the stuff needed and auto level but is pricey for a one time use at 500.00.
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    Great question, I was contemplating trying to level a space also. I think I will stop at clearing tbe sod, and let a pro bring in tve right stuff to compoact.

    My level project is dealing with long runs of drainage hose. I think I need something more than a line level and stakes but will start with those.

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    I made a water level about 35 years ago when I put in my septic system. Garden hose long enough to go corner to corner on the area you want to level. Add connectors on each end to adapt garden hose to NPT and then compression fittings to attach about 3 foot of 1/2" or bigger clear rigid acrylic tube. Drive a stake in the ground and tape/tie/secure on end of the "level asm.". Make a base with a vertical pole and attach other end of "level"...this end needs to be movable, so a clamp would be good. Fill hose with water until visible in both sight tubes. Move base with level to place you want to check. Measure from water level to ground at stake end and then to water level to ground at base end. Water will seek its own level. Let's say you're 36" at stake and 26" at base end...you're 10" to high at base end. Crude, but cheap and accurate!
    Last edited by rwmeyer; 02-13-2018 at 02:01 PM.
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    I have made a similar water level and it works very well for certain jobs. Typically I use a transit and it is what I would recommend for putting in a shed base. I usually use bricks that I dig to the height I want to end up at. They provide a good point of reference. Pins work as well but are harder to see and hard on tires. I would not get too concerned if it is +-2” before they come in because by the time they dig the holes and build the building you will get to redo some work. One word of caution. Dig down only, do not backfill if you gouge the dirt. You do not want uncompacted dirt under the fill you add.

    Another trick for leveling inside an existing building was to use a similar laser level with a magnet I picked up at at menards. I set it on the flat fender of the bobcat and just gauged where it was hitting the walls as the stringers are level.

    I have done things like this for years, it is always intimidating at first but after you get a start it gets easy and is a great source of pride.

    Good Luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herminator View Post
    I have made a similar water level and it works very well for certain jobs. Typically I use a transit and it is what I would recommend for putting in a shed base. I usually use bricks that I dig to the height I want to end up at. They provide a good point of reference. Pins work as well but are harder to see and hard on tires. I would not get too concerned if it is +-2” before they come in because by the time they dig the holes and build the building you will get to redo some work. One word of caution. Dig down only, do not backfill if you gouge the dirt. You do not want uncompacted dirt under the fill you add.

    Another trick for leveling inside an existing building was to use a similar laser level with a magnet I picked up at at menards. I set it on the flat fender of the bobcat and just gauged where it was hitting the walls as the stringers are level.

    I have done things like this for years, it is always intimidating at first but after you get a start it gets easy and is a great source of pride.

    Good Luck.
    Nice looking work! I need to learn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herminator View Post
    I have made a similar water level and it works very well for certain jobs. Typically I use a transit and it is what I would recommend for putting in a shed base. I usually use bricks that I dig to the height I want to end up at. They provide a good point of reference. Pins work as well but are harder to see and hard on tires. I would not get too concerned if it is +-2” before they come in because by the time they dig the holes and build the building you will get to redo some work. One word of caution. Dig down only, do not backfill if you gouge the dirt. You do not want uncompacted dirt under the fill you add.

    Another trick for leveling inside an existing building was to use a similar laser level with a magnet I picked up at at menards. I set it on the flat fender of the bobcat and just gauged where it was hitting the walls as the stringers are level.

    I have done things like this for years, it is always intimidating at first but after you get a start it gets easy and is a great source of pride.

    Good Luck.
    Nice looking work! I need to learn.
    Robnik and Herminator like this.
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