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Tools for installing multiple posts on eneven ground

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Forum topic by pdxrealtor posted 02-01-2015 03:23 AM 1168 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pdxrealtor

104 posts in 687 days


02-01-2015 03:23 AM

What is the best tool to use for setting multiple posts at the same height on uneven ground?


24 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7172 posts in 2040 days


#1 posted 02-01-2015 03:24 AM

Water level

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pdxrealtor

104 posts in 687 days


#2 posted 02-01-2015 03:26 AM

If I measure down from the top and sink a temp. nail into the side of the post at all the same distances to hold the level will that work? I’m a dumby when it comes to math and learning without doing.,

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4220 posts in 1662 days


#3 posted 02-01-2015 03:38 AM

Water level works if you have a tube that will span the distance.. otherwise, a string level can be used.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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patron

13535 posts in 2804 days


#4 posted 02-01-2015 03:54 AM

rent a revolving laser from HD
set it up where it can see all the postt places
use a stick to mark each numbered place
and where the laser hits the stick

you kan figure where you want the post tops to be
and cut of the difference on the stick
use the stick to mark each post and number them

done right
they should all be level to each other

if the posts are already set in the ground
just mark each one where the laser hits it
and then any offset for finished height to each one
cut them all there

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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restored

33 posts in 1555 days


#5 posted 02-01-2015 04:50 AM

Basic’s in all building, Plumb , Level and yo a Line. Sounds like you have lots of post and a long run. Using a hose in instance isn’t going to help you. Brad has the easiest way. You may not even need the level. Your eye sees to a line. The 2 most important post are the ones on the very ends. You didn’t say how long the fence is, but it is real easy to gain or loose a couple of feet in elevation. With that being said the type of fence is a factor. Let’s say your putting up a stockade fence with 6’ high panels. If your a couple ft. off in elevation, your fence may look a little odd if it’s 6ft. tall on one end and 4ft tall on the other. Using a line level . will help you determine this. As Dan told you if you have a laser level that’s ideal. these are not always as accurate as they claim to be. So if you have one set up in the middle of the post. If your fence is 100’ long set your laser up at 50’ doesn’t need to be exact. Back off the fence about 10’ and set it up there. All you need to shoot and mark are the very end post. Very much lije using your line level. you would place the level on the line in the middle and make sure the line is being pulled fairly tight. This will be a 3 person job unless you determine rhe height of the fence at on end. You can then pull the line level and have th person in the middle tell you when it’s level. Both ways will tell you the difference if any in the land elevation. To deal with this, is what we refer to as splitting the difference. This would be done if you want to have the fence panels more of the same size. You do so by picking up one end and dropping the other of equal distance.
You should determine both ends of the fence right off and put those post in plumb. Also secure because you should then tie a nylon string to both post as tight as you can. Remember I said plum level and to a line. you don’t want your fence in and out. If your end post are plumb perpendicular to the fence, this will help you keep the post level in this direction. These are the 2 directions yours and everyone else’s eye will see. you will need a level to set the post plumb, back and forth in the same direction the fence is running. After you set your end post it wouldnt be a bad idea if you braced them off plumb in both directions. If you wondering about level . Level runs horizontal. This is where Dan mentioned where the lazer hits each post, that’s level. Not criticizing Dan , he may ver well have a 1000.00 lazer level, but it’s always a smart idea to mark the end post and then pull a nice tight tight caulk line. If the tops pf the post will be tucked behind a stockade fence, not a big deal. The shorter they are to the ground and if they will all be trimmed out and capped off, it is more critical if you are concerned about quality. Hope this has helped and any other questions just ask. Good luck.

-- KRT

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REO

889 posts in 1537 days


#6 posted 02-01-2015 05:43 AM

Pdxrealtor. I am assuming you want a straight top line on your posts and not the same height from the ground. A tight line will sag over a distance but it is close. The lazer is hard to see and the electronic targets for many don’t respond well during the day. If you can set them at night or a cloudy day it can be helpful. The water level over long distances will actually form a curve opposite to the sag of the tight line because it is actually giving you equal distances from the center of the earth. “Line” of sight will give you a straight line over a distance. It is the way early surveyors would gage a line. “level” is actually only “level” at one spot along the line being described by the level not at all points. Plumb also is a relative term referring to all the points on a line radiating from the center of the earth. I’m just sayin’ (chuckle)

Any of the suggestions mentioned will work.

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1772 days


#7 posted 02-01-2015 06:22 AM

Anybody here really know what he’s building??

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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pdxrealtor

104 posts in 687 days


#8 posted 02-01-2015 06:49 PM

I have three upcoming projects -

a fence, posts for a shed, and posts for a patio cover.

I like the string or water level method. With the shed, there will be posts completely out of line with the others.

Yes, I do need them a constant level at the top, not the same height from the ground. Well the first post, for example on the fence, will be 6’ above ground. All the other posts will need to be level at the top.

If using a water level or string, is it correct to measure down from the top of the post and make my mark – then align that mark with the water level or string? Of course after setting the first post.

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MrUnix

4220 posts in 1662 days


#9 posted 02-01-2015 07:01 PM

Depends on the terrain and height you want. Typically, you set the posts so they are a bit higher than your desired final height and then cut the tops off so they are all level. Measuring from the top doesn’t accomplish much since there is a lot of variation as to how deep you set the posts.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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pdxrealtor

104 posts in 687 days


#10 posted 02-01-2015 07:14 PM

Right, but if you mark an 8 ft post 3 ft. down from the top there shouldn’t be a problem with that 3ft mark going under ground. Correct?

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waho6o9

7172 posts in 2040 days


#11 posted 02-01-2015 07:39 PM



Right, but if you mark an 8 ft post 3 ft. down from the top there shouldn t be a problem with that 3ft mark going under ground. Correct?

- pdxrealtor

In relation to what?

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pdxrealtor

104 posts in 687 days


#12 posted 02-01-2015 07:46 PM

If I set post one in the ground, let’s say 6’ above ground, then measure 3’ down from the top and mark it I should be able to set a line at the first posts 3’ mark and stretch 10’ or 1 mile long…...and…. as long as the line is level and all other posts are marked 3’ from the top and sunk in the ground so the 3’ mark lines up with my level line all the posts will be level across the top span.

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MrUnix

4220 posts in 1662 days


#13 posted 02-01-2015 07:53 PM

Yup, that would work in theory.. but in practice, it is much more difficult to do.. trying to get the depth of the hole just right can be a nightmare depending on how varied your terrain is in height. It is so much easier to just dig the holes to roughly the same depth (and depending on your local building codes, to the specified minimum depth), plop a post in and then come back later and lop the tops off to your desired height.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View dawsonbob's profile

dawsonbob

1914 posts in 1218 days


#14 posted 02-01-2015 08:03 PM

A buddy of mine had a fence company, and I helped him a couple of times. He just set the posts and used a string level to mark where they needed to be cut. A Skilsaw was then used to whack off the tops at the marks.

Quick, simple and did the job.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

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pdxrealtor

104 posts in 687 days


#15 posted 02-01-2015 08:11 PM

I see what you are saying. Makes sense.

Cutting the tops to the desired height would still require a level string line though, correct?

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