# When laying block, better than string for straightness

I am building my own concrete block garage. And when it came time to lay the first course I did not like the string method for it depends too
much on eye judgement. So what I did was haul out two very long and stout plumbing pipes. Very long stiff and firm and layed the block loosely for the first row and then instead of string and eyeball I simple rolled the two pipes, one on the inside of the row and one on the outside of the row to make a "perfect line".
That method is great for the first course because the pipes are on the concrete slab.
Now, I am trying to figure a way to use the pipe method going up the wall so that I never have to use the time wasting and imprecise string method.
Thought I might share that with you so that we do replace the old string method with something easier, faster and better. A method where the test uses the material instead of a "eyeball judgement call"
Archimedes Plutonium, a snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com whole entire Universe is just one big atom where dots of the electron-dot-cloud are galaxies
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Seems like alot of work would it not be easier to buy two cheap laser pointers mount two to form a 90 deg angle, one pointing down one pointing in the direction of the row of bricks. Mark the ground so the pointers are in the same location on the first brick and line the bricks up against the lightr pointing down the row you could even mount a bubble level on them to make sure it's level

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tfagan wrote:

Actually long 2 X 4 works even better than steel pipes.
No, what I am trying to achieve is a quick way to know that all the block or brick in a row are in a perfect line. And where the string method relies on eyeball judgement is bad. And so will the laser.
A long straight wood board down the line of a row of block where you touch the block to the board and you know you are on that perfect line.
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Arch, If you're actually doing the block work yourself, 'buttering` the block, dropping it in place, tapping it level and plumb with your trowel, you know that your mortar joint should be between 3, and 5 sixteenths of an inch thick. With an eighth of an inch to play with, 'Perfect` is a big waist of your time and effort, and any solid batterboard you try to use will just get in your way and slow you down even more. This is demonstrated by the fact that you've apparently laid only one course of block in a day. If you're an amateur, merely staying within tolerances will be hard enough. Just use the proven method and get on with it. More than one project has been 're-thought` to death. Best of luck - Pragmatist -"Use a bigger hammer"
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someone wrote:
whole entire Universe is just one big atom where dots of the electron-dot-cloud are galaxies
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In the old method, mortar had to be a mix of lime for consistency in order to make the mix pliable to use a troweling method. So that a standard mortal mix would be something like 1 part mortar-cement which is 50-50 portlandcement and lime and then 2 to 3 parts sand.
In my method we dispense with ever using any lime. We go straight with a concrete type mix without aggregates because we simply use latex gloves finger in the mortar into the joints.
In the future as oil prices become very high, and cement becomes very high, the luxury of using lime and wasting alot of mortar is a luxury not in the future.
Archimedes Plutonium, a snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com whole entire Universe is just one big atom where dots of the electron-dot-cloud are galaxies
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The string method is the absolute best way to make garages. Since that's the way you make garages that aren't made out of concrete blocks.
If you building a prison, the pipe method is preferred.
So what I did was haul out two very long and stout

Sorry you can't do it. To get perfect vertical lines, you need a plumb bob, which use strings.

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ZZBunker wrote: (snipped)

That is a very silly and stupid device to be using for concrete and brick wall building. I say that because a fixed stick or rod is a faster means of telling the accuracy of vertical lines than a plumb bob setup. Just picture the time wasted in setting up that plumb bob when a fixed stick or rod and determine the vertical accuracy in a split second.
My method does use a level to check upon things. But other than a level, the accuracy of vertical lines and horizontal lines should always be that of *fixed sticks or rods* that are straight. And never on string things which rely upon a eyeball judgement.
Obviously the above has never done hands on building, just mouth chatter.
Archimedes Plutonium, a snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com whole entire Universe is just one big atom where dots of the electron-dot-cloud are galaxies
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