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What’s a wood magnet? It’s a level that press-fits onto a 2×4 to make one hell of a long beam level.  Assuming you can find an un-bowed and un-warped 2×4, it sounds like a decent idea.  Of course, that’s a pretty big if.

The simple horseshoe design sports three bubble vials each measuring on a separate axis. 

I can’t imagine that this thing is going to be the most accurate instrument on the jobsite, but consider this: it’ll cost you about a quarter what a standard 4’ beam level would, even with the cost of an 8’ 2×4 thrown in.  And you’re also quite a bit less likely to break the part that matters.  So if you can live with the accuracy, it might be useful.

Wood Magnet [Swanson Levels]
Street Pricing [Google Product Search]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

4 Responses to Swanson Wood Magnet + 2×4 = Cheap-Ass Beam Level

  1. Russell says:

    I think I’ll agree that this can’t be too useful (at least for 2×4’s)

    I’ve seen something similiar used for leveling posts :

    http://www.amazon.com/Great-Neck-Saw-11060-Fence/dp/B00004YZOP/ref=pd_bbs_3/103-6830410-8406224?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1182881671&sr=8-3

    I have one made by Stanley, but I can’t find it online.

    They’re nice when you’re sinking a 4″x4″ post into the ground.

  2. Dan Lyke says:

    If you’ve got a way to rip a straight edge (ie: I’ve got a Festool saw and rails), it might be worth starting with a 2×8 or larger and ripping 3/4″ bits off either side to let the internal stresses settle ’til you’ve got a straight edged 2×4.

    I’d just spend the few extra dollars for a real level, but there’s always a new way to use a tool…

  3. SlowJoeCrow says:

    I could see this working well on a metal concrete screed, but a Goldblatt magnesium 8 footer is around $80.

  4. Jay Pyatt says:

    Why not use this with a Steel 2×4? Those are straight light and fairly cheap.

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