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Strait-Line X3 Professional Laser Level - what am I doing wrong

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Forum topic by jgt1942 posted 07-12-2016 08:45 AM 1718 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jgt1942

137 posts in 1354 days


07-12-2016 08:45 AM

OK what the heck am I doing wrong. I have the Strait-Line X3 Professional Laser Level for several years but never used it. I’m about to hang a curtain support for my lathe and thought using the laser would help. I measured between my door and sink (this is where the curtain must hang on one side of my lathe) about 14 cm and made a mark at 7 cm. I then used my 6’ level and drew a line along the level from my mark to the ceiling. I then put the laser on the line (using a push pin to hold it in place) and where the beam hits the ceiling it is off about 3/8”, I expected the laser to be right on the mark. I double checked with my 6’ level and it is right on. I double checked to ensure the bubble in the laser was right in the middle but still the beam on ceiling is off about 3/8”.

Is there some internal adjustment I need to make in the laser?

-- JohnT


15 replies so far

View ohtimberwolf's profile

ohtimberwolf

634 posts in 1818 days


#1 posted 07-12-2016 11:54 AM

I have not watched this but it may help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIN94kKHtko

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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jgt1942

137 posts in 1354 days


#2 posted 07-12-2016 06:31 PM



I have not watched this but it may help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIN94kKHtko
- ohtimberwolf


Thanks, I did see this but it did not help me. I’m sure that I’m doing something wrong but so far I have not discovered what it is.

-- JohnT

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ohtimberwolf

634 posts in 1818 days


#3 posted 07-12-2016 11:20 PM

Then try here.

http://www.ehow.com/how_8621592_use-straitline-x3-laser-level.html

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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jgt1942

137 posts in 1354 days


#4 posted 07-13-2016 06:26 AM



Then try here.

http://www.ehow.com/how_8621592_use-straitline-x3-laser-level.html
- ohtimberwolf


Thanks that was a bit more helpful but I still don’t understand when I place the X3 on my line and level the unit (using the level in the unit) why it does not hit the mark I made with my level.

For now I’m giving up on using it this way. What I did was to align the x3 beam with my first mark (on the vertical wall) and line made with the level (forget the level in the X3) and then it hit my mark on the ceiling. Using this procedure I was able to throw the laser line on the floor as well.

Later, not sure when, I think I will open the X3 and see if there is an internal adjustment where I can tweak the laser beam such that it will allow me to use the level in the X3 and throw the laser beam accurately. I’m assuming I did everything correctly with my first attempt.

-- JohnT

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ohtimberwolf

634 posts in 1818 days


#5 posted 07-13-2016 12:24 PM

John, have you checked the bubble on your 6’ level with another level? If so, it doesn’t take much of an angle (off from true vertical to lose 3/8 of an inch from floor to ceiling with your laser.

Is there a way to check to see if you are perfectly adjusted in your placement of the laser with another level for plumb? I know, you probably have already done these but I don’t know what else you can check before trying to get inside your laser level.

larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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jgt1942

137 posts in 1354 days


#6 posted 07-13-2016 06:15 PM

Good point, I will be checking it out today. I do have several other shorter levels plus I can go by friends shop and get a 2nd opinion. Per the MFG the 6’ level should be within .001 however that being said I never checked it.

-- JohnT

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cebfish

129 posts in 2154 days


#7 posted 07-13-2016 06:23 PM

plum bob better than a level

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jgt1942

137 posts in 1354 days


#8 posted 07-13-2016 07:58 PM



plum bob better than a level

- cebfish


Excellent suggestion. I have a SUPER plum bob that my father gave me YEARS ago, he installed pipe in huge buildings. His favorite job was installing instrument panels and at that time it required miles of copper pipe and 1,000’s of bends. Today most of the pipe is replaced with electrical wires. This will verify.

-- JohnT

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jgt1942

137 posts in 1354 days


#9 posted 07-13-2016 09:48 PM

OK the test has been completed and the X3 laser is off.
I have some 8’ cabinets, at the top I made a mark, using the 6’ level I drew a line from the top of the cabinet to the bottom (obviously I had to move the 6’ level).

Very near the top of the line I drilled and inserted a screw. From the screw I hung my plum bob. This is the plum bob used by a master construction pipe fitter. The plum bob did not touch the cabinet, the string end of the plum bob has a loop thus the string line will hang exactly in the center. BTW the string is actually very light fishing line. After the plum bob stopped moving I checked with a machinist square and noted that the plum bob was dead on. Thus the level is accurate assuming it is used correctly. :)

I then used a 1” brad nail to mount the X3 near the top of the line. The brad nail was driven directly into the line. I then turned on the X3 and leveled it per the level in the X3. Then I moved to the bottom of the cabinet and noted that the light was off the line almost 1/4” (5-6 mm).

Thus if I expect to use the level in the X3 I need to adjust it internally. Currently I don’t know if this is possible and there is the possibility that I will make it worse. I could just not use the level in the X3 and just rely on the laser, e.g. ensure it is on the line for the first 1-2’ and hope that I got it close enough and then the other end should be on the line. However this is not the way it was intended to be used. I “should” be able to make a mark on a vertical wall, level the X3 and the light on the other end should be right on the mark, not 1/4” off.

Another option is use the plum bob but sometimes this is either too difficult or due to the irregularities of the wall or if it juts out on one end or other reasons the laser is the better option. Most likely I will be using it for something less than 30’ thus at 30’ I might be off as much as 1” (I did not do the math).

As I see it I’m left with two options.
1) Try and align the X3
2) Throw away the X3 and get an accurate unit.

-- JohnT

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jgt1942

137 posts in 1354 days


#10 posted 07-14-2016 07:44 AM

Today I went by a fellow friend house who is also a woodworker. During the visit I mentioned my X3 issue so he pulled out his Black & Decker BDL190S BullsEye Auto-Leveling Interior Line Laser with Stud Sensor and Craftsman 4-in-1 Laser Trac Level with Carrying Case and Laser Enhancing Glasses.

We made a mark on the wall with each, turned the unit on, the B&D self leveled (the Craftsman required turning three knobs to level the bubble), marked a spot on the laser beam about 3’ away, then used a level to check.

The B&D was right on but the Craftsman was about 1/4” off.

In summary if you are going to purchase one of these units, you MUST check and ensure it is accurate. If you already have a unit then you MUST check and ensure it is accurate.

I’ve not had time to open my X3 to see if there is an internal adjustment and so far I’ve not heard from Irwin who now owns the Straight-Line company.

-- JohnT

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ohtimberwolf

634 posts in 1818 days


#11 posted 07-14-2016 12:21 PM

One other option to using it is to set the line it projects to level (or plumb) at a good distance and make a small narrow etch on the glass at each end of where the bubble is now. This could be done with a small diamond file and fill that etch with a red sharpie pen leaving ink only in the etch.

I would use a color other than black so as not to get easily confused when using it. Just offering another thought before tossing it.

Note:
Hydrofluoric acid will also work but see this link before using it. I have used it in stained glass work but be very careful if you choose this method.

https://thechronicleflask.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/the-acid-that-really-does-eat-through-everything/

larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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jgt1942

137 posts in 1354 days


#12 posted 07-15-2016 07:06 AM

ohtimberwolf – excellent suggestion! This will be MUCH easier than trying to open the X3 and possibly really screwing it up. WOW such a simple great idea!

I think I will skip the acid. Sometimes I’m too much of a goof and with acid I would really be inviting the goof in me to take charge.

-- JohnT

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ohtimberwolf

634 posts in 1818 days


#13 posted 07-15-2016 12:28 PM

John, really any sort of mark on that glass will work. You could use a glass paint or tape or perhaps other ways of just marking the glass so that all that shows is the bubble area or how ever you want it marked.

Sounds like you have a good imagination so I’ll leave it with you. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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jgt1942

137 posts in 1354 days


#14 posted 07-15-2016 03:45 PM

ohtimberwolf – I agree, I was just going to place a small piece of tape from my Brother label printer. The label material sticks to just about anything and I don’t need to see the bubble if it is under the label all I care about is if the bubble is between the new label marks.

-- JohnT

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joebix

1 post in 1 day


#15 posted 12-08-2016 09:20 AM

hello guys,

i recently developed a special measuring tool for a complicated architectural project i was involved in.
the project was a huge success .
Now , i found my self using this TOOL all the time.

So i started to wonder if it warth taking it top the next level and make it a product, areal workTool.

it measure ditstance from 2 planes in any angle between 0-180 degrees and also leveling to any plane so that you do not need gravity as a referance.
it displays evrething on asmall OLED screen/
\ it as two laser dots for guidance , its foldable and lightwieght.

I realy like to hear what you think.

thank you

Josef

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