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What are the parts of a plumb-bob?

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Weight

plumb bob weight plummet marking out tool wonkee donkee tools DIY guide how to use a plumb bob The weight or “bob” is the part of the plumb-bob that is suspended by the string. The weight is symmetrical for balance, and typically has a pointed end for accurate alignment. At the opposite end there is a hole for the string to be fed through and tied.

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Pointed end

Most plumb-bobs have a pointed end so as to make it easier to align the tip accurately with a marker on the ground. The finer the point on your plumb-bob, the easier it will be to mark with accuracy.

Some models of plumb-bob come with a cap to protect the tip of the weight when the tool is not in use.

String

plumb bob string line plumb bobs wonkee donkee tools DIY guide how to use a plumb bob The string is a simple piece of thin cord which is attached to a stationary object or construction and from which the plumb-bob weight is suspended. The laws of gravity will ensure that the string is vertical (plumb) and perpendicular to the level (horizontal) ground.

Hole for string

plumb bob marking out tool plumb bobs wonkee donkee tools DIY guide how to use a plumb bob The hole in a plumb-bob for the string to be fed through and tied may just be a simple hole, it may have a ring attachment, or a removable threaded cap which allows the string to protrude directly from the centre of the weight for greater accuracy and balance.
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Simple holes

Many plumb-bobs will simply have a hole in the top of the weight through which the string is looped and tied.

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Threaded caps

Some plumb-bobs have a threaded cap that can be unscrewed from the body and through which you feed the string, knot it and then reattach the cap. This set-up allows the string to protrude directly from the centre of the weight, helping with balance and accuracy.

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Ring attachments

Some models of plumb-bob have a ring attachment to which the string is tied.

Reels

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Traditional reels

Some plumb-bobs are supplied with a reel so that you can wind the string up when you’re finished with it. A traditional reel is often just a simple spool.

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Built-in reels

Some plumb-bobs have a reel built-in to the body of the plumb bob for ease of use.

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Box reels

Many modern plumb-bobs have a reel contained inside a box that has extra functions like a magnetic strip and pin to make your job easier.

For more information, see the page: What additional features do plumb-bobs have?