A number of leveling devices are available in hardware stores. As a rule, the longer the level, the more accurate the reading will be. A combination square with a bubble vial will do for small jobs. To level a picture frame, for example, place the square’s flat face on top of the frame and shift the frame until the bubble is centered. To check for plumb (vertical), hold the square’s ruler against the frame’s side and, once again, center the bubble.
Use a carpenter’s level for jobs requiring greater accuracy, such as installing shelves. Carpenter’s levels are available from 11/2 to 4 feet long and have bubble vials for level, plumb, and 45 degrees. For extralong jobs, such as leveling a floor, use a perfectly straight board as an extension. Place the board on edge and set the level at its center. In aligning anywork, check the ends as well as the middle. When dealing with a wide surface, such as a countertop, test for horizontal invarious directions.
For long horizontal runs, such as a masonry wall or a fence, use a line level-a small bubble tube with hooks that can be hung on a line stretched taut between the ends. For a long vertical line, such as a wallpaper joint, use a plumb bob-a pointed weight hung on a string.