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Flat Bob

Although plumb bobs have been in use for thousands of years, Lee Valley thinks they can make this old standard a little better with their patented Veritas Flat Bob. Is it any better, or are they blowing smoke up your ass to try to get you to part with some more of your hard-earned money? Read on, and decide for yourself.

When you first look at the flat bob, it doesn’t look like most plumb bobs. Lee Valley manufactures the 3-3/4″ plummet from precision-molded nylon and adds a brass weight, tip, and string holder. They designed the flat weight to slide against a wall instead of rolling like a normal plummet, so it stabilizes quickly. The marking slot in the plummet serves two purposes: it’s directly in line with the string, so your lines are dead-on plumb; and the cord windlass snaps into the slot for storage.

The flat bob comes with a protective tip cover, 8′ of braided nylon cord wrapped around the windlass, and the 70g plummet. If you inhaled the smoke, you’ll be happy to find out it only runs $19 at Lee Valley.

Flat Bob [Veritas]
Flat Bob [Lee Valley Tools]


5 Responses to The Flat Bob

  1. Mike S. says:

    Love it! I’ve had one for years and except for the cord holder being a bit prone to unwind dramatically if you don’t keep a grip on it, the thing works as advertised. the slot for marking works really well when you trying to say, plumb a shelf bracket to the ones above it.

  2. Frank Townend says:

    Not sure where “or are they blowing smoke up your ass to try to get you to part with some more of your hard-earned money” came from. I have found Lee Valley Tools to be a fair trader with good quality at an OK price.

  3. Lew says:

    With the frequent use of laser levels and laser pointers, I believe that Plumb bobs are obsolete.

    Do I own one? Sure, it was given to me a l-o-n-g time ago. Do I use a plumb bob over a laser level to measure plumb? No, never.

    Personally, I have had great service from Lee Valley and have purchased many tools and items from them.

  4. Fred says:

    Call me obsolete – but we still use transits for line and grade work – and use a plumb bob to set the tripod on the benchmark.

    Indoors, however – we do love the convenience of a rotating laser.

  5. Teacher says:

    I teach my physics students to use plumb bobs and transits. They also learn how to use a plumb bob and triangle as a level. Lasers are nice until they get dropped or the batteries go dead.

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