Professional Builder’s Tibby Singh Chodha finds his level with Stabila
Preparation is the key to success. So, the most important procedure when working on site is the marking and setting out stage. It is essential that this is done correctly and accurately, because failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Good things come in threes, they say, and this Stabila LAX300 Cross Line Laser Level, has three functions. A horizontal line, a vertical line and a plumb-line point upwards and downwards. So, Stabila have certainly got this right in every direction. Most lasers have the standard horizontal and vertical laser line, but with its extra function of plumb-line points upwards and downwards it allows you to transfer points quickly and accurately from floor to ceiling. The extendable foot makes it easy to see the down beam over tracks and plates. There’s no more plumb lines swinging in the wind.
This Stabila has a pendulum self-levelling device, designed so the pendulum freezes when it’s turned off and swings into action once it’s turned on. This means there is less chance of the level getting damaged in transport due to constant vibrations and, as a result, it will stay calibrated for longer. With other laser levels, the pendulum inside keeps swinging, even when it’s turned off, meaning they wouldn’t remain calibrated for as long.
The LAX300 has a clear, bright, narrow laser line, making it easy to precisely mark a point. This is better than those lasers that have a thick line and make it difficult to decide on which side of the line you’re supposed to mark.
Other bright ideas include its 360o rotation in its U shaped housing. When closed, this shock-absorbent soft grip casing also acts as a protection to the screen against dust and scratches. The second layer of protection comes in the form of its heavy-duty carry canvas case, which can also be attached to your belt.
Its flexibility is on another level, as it can be stood on the floor, sat on a tripod or even attached to metallic objects by its rare earth magnet. The wall bracket allows you to fasten it to non-metallic surfaces too and its ‘V groove’ lets you fix it to circular objects.
The level has a long life and can run for a remarkable 20 hours on just 3 x AA batteries. Without any visible aids, it has a visible range of 20 metres. However, I was really impressed with range of accessories available that make it easier for use over long distance, or for outdoor use in daylight. For example, the laser goggles can improve the visibility by up to 50% and the ‘target plate’ is also great. It has an easy read scale with centre zero and is useful with its hinged rear support and powerful magnetic fixing.
Stabila has also produced a Receiver (REC210 Line), which substantially increases the range of up to 250 metres in a straight line, or 35 metres at an angle of 45o to the instrument’s axis. This device simply bleeps and indicates on the screen, telling you whether to go up or down. Then it sounds a continuous bleeping noise to indicate you are level. This is perfect when bedding wall plates on to a building.
For more information on the Stabila range visit www.brianhyde.co.uk
You can keep in touch with all of what Tirbhavan “TIBBY” Singh Chodha – the BBC’s Carpenter of the Year – is doing via his Facebook page at facebook.com/tibby.singh