Graphical Construction Glossary >> General construction, Woodwork. >> Hand Tools >> Plumb Bob

Plumb Bob
A weight suspended on a string line, cord or wire to find true vertical. The main metal used for this was lead, from the Latin for lead Plumbum. Also called a plummet.
Exactly vertical. If a member is vertical it is said to be "plumb". If not it is said to be "out of plumb".
String line.
A line usually out of string, but also used is wire, cord, nylon fishing line etc. When stretched tight it is used as an aid to creating straight lines.
Plumb Rule
A length of wood from which a plummet can be conveniently strung to find vertical.

A Roman plumb bob

a plumb rule

Above is a two thousand years old Roman plumb-bob in the British Museum.

Alongside is sketch of a plumb rule.

The plummet needs a line that it is suspended from and it creates a true vertical reference line. It can also be used to find a point directly below the point that it is suspended from.
A string line on it's own is also a very useful tool. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so by stretching a line between two points we create something to measure off to straighten building members.

See here for more on using plummets and string lines.

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
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