A new box-beam level
Longer level makes it easier to plumb a door
I recently had a chance to try out a pair of very well-constructed box-beam levels made by Irwin, which had some features I hadn’t seen in spirit levels I’ve used in the past.
The first and most noticeable difference about the pair of levels (sold together as the Magnetic Door Jamb Level Kit) is their size: one is 32″ and one is 78″. The most common levels you’re likely to find carpenters using are 24″ and 48″, along with the occasional torpedo level. I found the 78″ level was extremely handy for plumbing up door jambs, given that in the past, in order to get a true vertical jamb, I usually used the edge of a long board ripped down from a sheet of plywood, and then used my 48″ level over top of it. This is not necessary with the longer level, since it spans almost the entire length of a standard door jamb. The 32″ level comes in handy when hanging doors larger than 32″ wide, but for anything narrower, you’ll have to go back to a two-foot level.
The levels also come with a calibration system, so if they become inaccurate, you’re able to correct them by using a hex-head key to adjust the vials. The vials themselves are impressive, since they are acrylic instead of the more common glass. This means that they won’t break and leak.
The level’s rubber end caps are a nice feature—they absorb most of the shock if you drop the level. They also come equipped with magnets on one side, which are very handy when working with steel studs as well as steel posts and I-beams. Overall, they’re a great pair of levels.
The Magnetic Door Jamb Level Kit sells for $300. For more information, call 800-464-7946 or go to www.irwin.com.