- Hybrid bubble level and laser pointer
- Suspended laser level
- A full level from the remains of a laser printer and pointer
During repair or construction, one cannot do without transferring marks along the walls in a strictly horizontal plane. The most convenient way for this is to use a laser level or a level that will build the desired plane. Consider three options for making such a device using a laser pointer.
Hybrid bubble level and laser pointer
The idea is to improve on a simple bubble level. A laser pointer rigidly fixed to the body of the level will be an extension of the instrument and will allow you to distribute marks to distant surfaces. If you set the level on a tripod and a turntable, you get a very effective tool for transferring marks in one plane..
What you need:
- Bubble level (40-80 cm).
- Laser pointer.
- A piece of rubber, a piece of hard foam rubber or foam plastic 4-5 mm thick, 40 mm long and 15 mm wide.
- Fasteners. Worm clamp or nylon ties 2.5×150 mm, 2-3 pieces.
It is better to modernize the level with the handles in the form of oblong holes in the middle of the side edge. It is easier to attach the laser pointer to them using a clamp or zip ties.
Choosing a laser pointer. The simplest pointer will do, the main thing is that the point from the pointer does not spread out as a cloudy spot, but gives a clear round point at a sufficient distance. The button should be two-position so that you don’t have to keep it pressed all the time.
Focusing may be required before using the laser pointer. To do this, unscrew the cap on the laser side. Under it will be the body of the focusing lens. If you carefully scroll it by a third or a quarter turn with pliers, you will notice how the shape of the spot from the pointer changes. Adjust so that the point is as small and correct in shape at different distances.
Attach the pointer to the edge where the main bubble insert is. First, lay a backing made of rubber, dense foam, or a sheet of foam. Above it is a laser pointer, and tighten with a worm clamp or nylon ties.
1 – laser pointer; 2 – rubber; 3 – nylon clamps
The beam should be set strictly parallel to the edge of the level. To do this, place the instrument on an extended flat surface, the end of a flat floorboard, or the tabletop of a table against a wall. The height of the pointer outlet must be equal to the height of the point above the support surface.
If there are no handles or other suitable holes at the level, carefully drill with a 3 mm drill two holes under the installation site and fasten the two worm-gear clamps with 6×25 mm galvanized screws. Next, insert a pad and a pointer into them..
If you put the level on a strictly horizontal or vertical surface, then when you rotate the level around the axis, you will be able to transfer the marks along the walls or ceiling and floor.
To further improve the design, attach a board, plastic or metal plate to the tripod so that it can rotate on the tripod.
Suspended laser level
If you hang any massive object by one attachment point on a rope or thread, then it will rotate freely only around one axis directed straight down. A laser pointer fixed strictly perpendicularly will outline the required horizontal plane on all boundary surfaces.
A wooden block is suitable as a base. Screw one screw into the ends closer to the same face, leaving about 1 cm sticking out. Tie a thick thread to the screws, preferably a boot thread, which is weakly stretched. Thin copper wire will also work. The thread or wire should be slack and, if you take it by the center, from the top point to the bar should be about 10 cm or more. Tie a string or another piece of thread to the center of the thread, which will be fastened, for example, to the chandelier hook in the center of the ceiling.
Now it remains to fix the laser pointer with glue or nylon ties to the upper edge of the beam so that the beam leaves it strictly perpendicularly, which is checked using a bubble level.
Now with the length of the thread on which the whole structure is attached, make sure that the point from the pointer points to the first mark on the wall. If you twist the beam in one direction and, together with it, the suspension thread, then during the reverse untwisting, the pointer will draw a line along the walls strictly in the horizontal plane with a take-off of about 1–2 mm, which is quite enough.
Also, such a builder can be made from a bubble level “modified” by a laser pointer. Just screw one screw into the plastic plugs at the ends of the tool, closer to the top edge. tie a rope to them and, moving the suspension point along the rope, achieve a horizontal level.
A full level from the remains of a laser printer and pointer
For those who are not looking for easy ways, you will need:
- laser unit from a non-working printer;
- laser pointer;
- a motor from any children’s toy or from a broken CD drive;
- rubber belt;
- button and 9 V battery (crown);
- hot glue gun;
- slotted and Phillips screwdrivers;
- soldering iron.
Remove the cover of the laser unit. Under it you will find a hexagon or a square, fixed on a stepper drive, a curved lens and a mirror, as well as a native laser. However, the latter produces an invisible color, so it can be replaced with a laser pointer. The beam from the laser, hitting the lateral faces of the hexagon at an angle, is reflected into the lens, and then through the mirror into the exit slit. The hexagon is constantly rotating and the point from the laser very quickly draws a line, the flicker of which is not even striking.
It is very difficult to control the drive driver for the mirror hexagon. It is much easier to fix a third-party drive and connect its shaft with a hexagon using a belt.
Measure the distance from the hexagon axis at which the motor can be installed so that the belt is slightly taut. You get a sector that runs along the circumference of the body. Choose a place where the motor will not interfere with the laser beam and can be easily secured with glue. If necessary, drill a hole and install the motor, connect its shaft to the hexagon axis.
Dismantle the native heatsink with the laser and its driver board. Attach the laser ruler so that it shines in the same direction.
It remains to power the motor. Connect in series a motor, a button and a crown battery. If desired, the laser pointer is also connected to the same battery, and parallel to the motor.
On the sides of the exit slit, two screws or pins made of 2.5 mm or more wire are fixed on the laser unit housing. A thread is tied to them, and then the laser level can be used, as in the previous version.
In the video, a version of a homemade level using a mirror
A bubble level is used to set the line horizontally. It is quite possible that you will have to adjust the focus of the pointer, so it is better to remove the upper decorative cap immediately and use pliers to correct the shape of the beam so that it is at the exit of the whole structure that you get a thin line.