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Old 11-05-2018, 05:07 PM
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Default Bad tool day

We are in the process of building a new barn for our "boys" (our dairy goat bucks). It will be 24x48. We screwed around all summer and now we've gotten a late start on it. A couple weeks ago we started putting the posts in the ground. Considering it is just me, Monica, and the kids, this is going to be a slow process. We got 12 of 22 in the ground two weeks ago. It rained all last weekend so no work. This past weekend we managed to get the rest of the poles in, but not without a bit of adventure with tools.

Saturday everything went well, except I ran out of stakes and braces. Off to Menards to buy some more cheap 2x4s and 2x2s. Come back and manage to get 7 of the posts in.

Thinking Sunday would be uneventful, we would get the last 3 poles in and start some purlins. We've been using my old Porter Cable FC350 framing nailer that I bought back in 2003 when I started our first garage. It has been working fine. I connect it to the air hose, I hear a slight air leak. I tell them, that isn't good. Then as we are positioning the pole, POP!. Big air leak. Try to shoot a nail, no go. I look up a rebuild kit. $50 and 2 days to get here. Wanting to get work done, we say. I'll order the kit later, but we'll go get a new gun. Off to Menards we go. This time I wanted a round head. They only had one round head, a Passload. Only nails they had were $100 for 2000 nails vs. $50 for 2500 for the Hitachi Clipped head nailer that used the same nails as the PC nailer. So I get the Hitachi. Back home we go. We get the last 3 poles set.

I then say, OK, we need to get a mark on all of the poles. I pull out my electronic water level. Set it up, first few poles appear to go OK, go to the next one. I set the level. It is a good 6" lower than the post next to it. I reset it, re-do the last two poles, get the same uneven results on both poles. So now I'm pissed and confused, how could I screw up nature? I tell Monica I'm going back to Menards and getting a laser level. They have a Johnson level that does 360" self-leveling for $200. So I get that and a detector for another $90. So about $300 total. I get back home. They aren't compatible with each other. I get out my laser level glasses, I can see the line on like 4 posts. So at this point, I'm really pissed. Finally about sun down, I was able to use the glasses and see the line on all of the poles. So now tonight, I'm taking the laser and the detector back. I'm not spending $300 on incompatible tools and a laser I can't use outside. I'll save a few more pennies and get a rotating one. I know $300 isn't high end, but it certainly wasn't one of the cheap Chinese cheapies either.

So instead of getting a lot of the purlins up, we got 3 poles in the ground and a mark on each of the poles. One more disappointment, it looks like I'm going to need about 18" of fill in the front of the barn.
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Old 11-05-2018, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Bad tool day

use the old method, hose and water, cheap but works around corners.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Bad tool day

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVT View Post
use the old method, hose and water, cheap but works around corners.
Essentially, that is what the electronic one that I have is. It beeps when the water is at the same level, some how I managed to screw that up.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Bad tool day

Wow Jim that was a bad day. Hope things go in your favor soon.
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Bad tool day

I have a 1 gal galv bucket with a 3/8" hose barb brazed in it and 40' of clear plastic hose attached to it. The other end is taped to a 4' graduated alum straight edge. Has served me well for about 30 yrs.
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: Bad tool day

You guys are old school. We all know that a water hose level can "getter done" but a bright red, 360 rotating laser is just sexy.

I don't miss those major projects at all. These days I'm more than happy to write a check and have somebody else do all the work and cussing for me.
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