Holding a level plumb - Fine Homebuilding
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Holding a level plumb

comments (1) January 31st, 2011 in Project Gallery
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Photo: Drawing by Chuck Miller

I use a 6-1/2-ft. spirit level to plumb and straighten interior door jambs. In order to leave both hands free to handle the shims and to drive nails, I wedge the level against one of the jambs to hold it in place. This lets me monitor the jamb continually as I make fine adjustments with the shims, rather than having to check and recheck the alignment with a hand-held level.

Once I've assembled all the jambs for the house, I cut a spacer the exact width of the door opening out of 1x6 or jamb offcuts. As shown in the drawing, the spacer rests on the floor between the jambs, maintaining the correct dimension at the bottom of the door opening.

Spacer in place, I temporarily shim the jamb in its rough opening. Then I wedge the level against one of the jambs with scrap pieces of door stop. The spaces above and below the level should be equal. Now I can plumb and straighten the jamb in the usual manner, tapping shims in and out until the jamb is straight up and down and true as an arrow. Then I nail the jamb to the jack studs with a pair of 10d finish nails through each set of shims. After double checking for alignment and making any necessary adjustments, I repeat the procedure on the opposite jamb.


D. B. Lovingood, Portsmouth, VA 

From Fine Homebuilding 39, pp. 14


posted in: Project Gallery, windows, doors

Comments (1)

stosh22 stosh22 writes: Maybe a combination of another tip (plumb bob sliver) would work equally as well here...keep you from having to "wedge" the level....could have used this tip 3-4 weeks ago!
Posted: 8:04 am on February 8th

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