a homemade plumb bob
Photo: Lisa Charles Watson
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Plumb Bob

Tie a length of string to a lump of metal and you have a plumb bob, a gravity-powered tool so simple and so accurate that it's survived virtually unchanged since the Egyptians were building pyramids. Use it to transfer marks from ceiling to floor (and vice versa). Or measure how far the string is from a vertical surface: If the measurements are equal top and bottom, the surface is plumb, Bob.
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