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The use of a Plumb Bob?!

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  • The use of a Plumb Bob?!

    Hey guys, I haven't been on much lately cause I've been studying for and also just took my GED tests. I feel I did well on them, and now I must wait 4-6 weeks to hear what my results are.

    My question to you guys is I believe Dog recently made a thread about everyones favorite/most used tools. I saw some people brought up a Plumb Bob, so I just went out and bought one, I know how/why it's used, I'm not asking that. What I'm asking is, in a residential environment, when would I use one? Also, how about in a commerical environment?

    Thanks.
    Proud To Be Union!!

  • #2
    Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

    Congrats on the GED, I'm sure you did well. I use a plumb bob any time I deal with vertical applications longer than 4'. For example if my layout marks are on the floor and I need to drill holes in the ceiling. Same thing applies in commercial work. It's easier to do you layout on the floor then on a ladder looking up at the ceiling.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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    • #3
      Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

      If you have a pipe coming through the floor and it has to tie into one going to the upstairs that is already coming through the ceiling...
      Plumb from the top one to the bottom one and measure for the offset....
      For undergrounds, after you run your stringlines, you use your tape to find your critical distance and plumb to the bottom of the trench at that point... Place your fitting on the plumb's mark and measure your cut piece...
      Bang on the mark every time...

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      • #4
        Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

        Thanks Ben.

        Mark, could you please elaborate more on the trench work example you gave? I just can't understand it how you described it.
        Proud To Be Union!!

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        • #5
          Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

          how you use it on undergrounds. you pull stringlines for you walls. next you can lay your fittings in ditch and plumb bob down the center of wall and set your fitting accordingly

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          • #6
            Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

            plumb bobs are nice in wide open ceilings where theres nothing to measure off of. you can plumb up from center of pipe mark ceiling and put your hangers up

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            • #7
              Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

              Now why is it everytime I get a guy to help me out they call themselves a plumber and don't know how to use them.Is it something like when the government finds out your intelligent enough to figure out how it makes you more efficient they snatch you up and put you in the NSA or some other cover black intelegence branch.I cannot find anyone who uses them out here.

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              • #8
                Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

                Originally posted by kleinfelterj View Post
                plumb bobs are nice in wide open ceilings where theres nothing to measure off of. you can plumb up from center of pipe mark ceiling and put your hangers up
                Try snapping out your systems on the slab and then go through with the self leveling laser,waaayy faster,especially when your in existing congested areas and a uniform layout is a pain,just work your way up or down the line on the floor until you get red dot on clear lid.Sure beats up and down the ladder only to find out the hanger is off layout.

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                • #9
                  Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

                  Originally posted by Aaron91 View Post
                  Thanks Ben.

                  Mark, could you please elaborate more on the trench work example you gave? I just can't understand it how you described it.
                  A lot of times you are going to try to get a fitting up in the center of the wall that is given a dimension off the plans.the stringlines represent the walls the framer is going to put up exactly per plan.You want your pipe to come up perfectly the at the bottom of the ditch through the concrete and in the wall.So plumbob down to grade and measure for your fitting to end up dead center of you fitting.The way I like to do it is set a pin(16penny nail) measure distance from end of pipe/fitting to pin and takeoff for fitting.It sounds much more complicated than it is once you actually do it once.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

                    How about this? It's a house example, but works as well in commercial work:

                    You're digging a trench in the basement for a bathroom and you have stacks that will come through the floor above. You want the stacks to be straight. You drill the holes for the stack in the wall above, hand a plumb bob from the hole to the ground below, and that's where the other end of your stack will be.

                    BTW - "Plumber," I'm told, does not specifically originate from the use of a plumb bob, but from the use of lead - the Latin word for lead is "plumbum." I suppose plumb bobs could have been made of lead, but lead was used in piping in ancient Rome.

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                    • #11
                      Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

                      I thought it was the plumbers that went through the house and "PLUMBED" all the walls for the framers for perfect vertical before beams,cieling or floor joists

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                      • #12
                        Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

                        I use them for layouts like placing hangers,Core drilling,Drilling shields
                        How many guys use a wood stick rule?

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                        • #13
                          Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

                          Originally posted by JRM638fitter View Post
                          I use them for layouts like placing hangers,Core drilling,Drilling shields
                          How many guys use a wood stick rule?
                          I am seriously interested in learning the advatages and techniques of the folding rule.A senior tradesman told me to get one.
                          Oh ****,I just thought of one after you got me using my head after all these years of not having one.

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                          • #14
                            Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

                            True story,
                            I worked with a old guy when I was 16, a general contractor, who did his own plumbing and electrical, and he was working on one house and the owner came in and asked how he was going to get the plumbing all in line, and my boss started to explain on the use of a plumb bob, and so on, and he said I have a easier way to get it all lined up and ran and got a shot gun put a slug in it, and he said you get your levels and we will plumb it up and when it was pronounced plumb the trigger was pulled and all three levels of the building, including the roof was now marked as to a straight line from the basement clear through the roof, with a 3/4 inch hole.

                            so who needs a string and a weight? when you have a shot gun.
                            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                            • #15
                              Re: The use of a Plumb Bob?!

                              They have a plumber rule for doing 45 offsets. We use 6ft folding rules there good for layouts as we do alot of welding,hangers,laying out back to backs.

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