level vs plumb bob
Photo: Keller and Keller
Q: I once saw a This Old House episode where the door jambs were set with a plumb bob. Can you tell me why this tool was used instead of a level?

A: Tom Silva replies: Holding a level vertically against a jamb is a fine way to check for plumb, until its vials get out of whack. I never question a plumb bob's accuracy, and it's a lot easier to carry around. Plus, I can hang doors faster with a bob and string. I just measure horizontally from the taut string to the jamb, and shim the jamb until it's the same distance from the string from top to bottom. Using a plumb bob takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, you'll see why it's the method I prefer.
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