Making a Plumb Bob

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  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 1-2
What You'll Need
Wooden childrens spinning top or oval fishing weight
Nylon string or fishing line
Metal washers
S-hook (optional)

There are times when objects need to be vertically straight, making a plumb bob the ideal tool to use in such an endeavor. A typical plumb bob is composed of a pointed metal weight that is fastened in the center of the cap with a string or nylon cord. Early civilization made use of the plumb bob as an ideal construction technique to ensure a straight vertical line for all sorts of infrastructures. It is easy to make your own plumb bob when the need suddenly arises. It should be remembered that the metal weight must be replaced in the event of damage or cracks. This will ensure a more accurate vertical measurement at all times.

Step 1 – Inspect the Spinning Top or Fishing Weight

Inspect the toy spinning top or fishing weight for any visible damage or cracks on the surface to ensure an accurate measurement. Minor damage to the top or fishing weight will produce discrepancies in terms of measurement.

Step 2 – Secure the Top with Nylon String

Choose a nylon string that is both durable and visible at the same time. You may not need a thick cord to do the job right, but it helps to have a string or fishing line that is strong enough to hold at least 8 to 10 pounds of weight. It is also best to use a nylon-string that is colored or visible from any angle, preferably in contrast to the color of the surrounding area. This will make it easy to judge the vertical integrity of the line created. Save yourself the hassles of squinting back and forth by using a colored string. Use a string of adequate length, depending on the desired application.

Tie one end of the string to the weight. Secure the string on the top handle. You may drill a small hole on the top to accommodate the string.

Step 3 – Add Metal Washers

Grab a couple of metal washers and thread through the string. This will help add weight to the improvised plumb bob. It will also enable the plumb bob to produce a more accurate straight line.

Step 4 – Secure Using an S Hook

Tie the end of the cord to an S-hook to minimize wear on the cord as you use it from one job to the next. This will make it easier to hang freely, as well.

Your plumb bob can now be used for vertical measurements. Making a plumb bob is easy and requires only basic tools and materials. Remember that a homemade plumb bob may not be as accurate as most commercially available plumb bobs in the market, but it is usually enough to get the job done.