When I set posts, I used to find it awkward first to plumb one face, then the one next to it. One side was always getting a little out of adjustment. Now I use two levels strapped to adjacent faces of the same post, as shown. For a 4×4 post, a 20-in. tarp strap is the right length to secure my two levels. Now I have enough hands to set the post, and my level isn’t on the ground when I need it.
—Patrick Lawson, Sooke, None
Edited and illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #41
Or for $6.95, you could buy a post level, which would come with its own rubber band to hold it in place.
This would have been a good hint 20 years ago, but it's kind of dated now, like too many of these hints.
BobboMax I guess you believe those little 4 inch levels are adequate on rough lumber. Sure, why waste money on a 4 ft or 6 ft level.
Ditto on BobboMax, I've been using one piece post levels for at least 10-15 yrs. They also make it easy to "wrap around mark" the posts by running a marker around the top or bottom of the post level or any other situation you want to do a 'wrap around" mark on a square or rectangular post or other wood from 1x1's to 8x8's. You don't have to juggle two levels and a bungee; you can also just hold the post level up to the post for a quick check for plumb check in two directions instantly. If you want to check plumb over longer lengths you can even screw mount the post level to a couple of lengths of straight guide strips to each face of the post level. So Patrick, welcome back to planet Earth, we have had these post levels for a few years while you have been gone. We have all sorts of new gadgets, power tools (cordless!), laser levels/guides, eyeglasses and other cool things like wheels etc.
Guys, your comments are a couple of years old now. However, before you rag on someone you should check when the original post was made. This one was back in issue 41. The latest issue is number 289. When you guys posted your comments you were approx 227 issues after the original.
Suburbanguy, BobboMax didn't say anything against 4 or 6 ft levels, very poor argument on your part.
I agree that $6.95 is a bargain if you are putting in 20 posts on a project or fairly regularly set a few posts. I for one probably set one or two posts a year. Something that I use that seldom won't earn a place in my day to day tools. If I have one, it probably gets stored in my attic or my shop at work where chances are it will be across town from where I am when I need it. If I remember this trick, I likely have two levels available and there are always bungee cords in my truck. Bingo, I made the project a little easier.
Many of these improvised tips are not what I would want to use day to day, but when a need comes up and I don't have the right tool handy, taking 15 minutes to do something that could be done with the right tool in 2 minutes is a winner if the other option is spending an hour to go across town to get the right tool I own, or an hour to go to the store to get a new one.
I have to agree with Kurt99. Somebody described being at a job with a tube of caulk, but no gun. His solution was his hammer handle in the tube, with the head pressed against his shoulder like a shotgun. I laughed until the day I found myself in the same situation.
BTW, those post levels are $10 now.