Composite Decking / Laser Level / Lighting

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Glynne

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Not sure whether this should be under General Woodworking (as the sub base will be wood), Buying Advice or General Chat?
Having built several wooden decks over the years, all of them built on posts and all needing annual cleaning and maintenance, I'm now starting to plan a deck to replace a ropey old pation at the back of my house.
Having persuaded herself that we don't want replacement paving flags nor outdoor tiles as there is a huge uneven concrete plinth which would take a huge effort to shift and would remain an eyesore, I can easily cover this with a deck.
The deck will be 2 levels (both low so no PP needed), one ~ 7m x 3m and the other ~ 2m x 3m.
The questions I have are: -
Can anyone recommend a make of composite decking boards as a Google search this morning threw up loads?
I will be covering up what was a flagstone patio so should I lift some of the flags to help with drainage (although I'm on solid clay)?
I do plan to run a drain along the edge of the deck where it will meet the lawn.
I'm planning to put the base on some of the existing flags to avoid the need for posts and again any thoughts on risers to use?

Also can anyone recommend a budget priced laser level (I wrecked my last one years ago when I built my workshop) as this is probably one of the last bigger projects I need to do (he says fingers crossed)? And, as I talked the boss out of new flagstones & tiles, guess who now wants some lighting? Any suiggestions please?"

Thank you in anticipation. I'll probably look to start this as soon as the weather picks up a bit so if anyone is interested in WIP I'll post idc.
 

Cabinetman

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No need to lift some of the flags, it drained away before? so it should do now. Where you are putting the base on top of the flags I would just spread the load a little, but I think that’s what I’d do as well. Ian
 

TomTheToolMan

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Laser levels tend to not work very well outdoors. I have a dewalt green laser (supposed to be good for visibility) and it is almost invisible outdoors in the daylight.
 

Jones

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I've used Dura deck boards on a few jobs,they do a double width board which I particularly like. Good laser levels are fairly cheap nowadays. I got a DeWalt green one a few years ago for around £100. Wait till the evening to see the laser outdoors.
 

johna.clements

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Laser levels tend to not work very well outdoors. I have a dewalt green laser (supposed to be good for visibility) and it is almost invisible outdoors in the daylight.
Lasers work perfectly good outside. In construction we normally use them with a detector then there is no problem with bright sunlight. Otherwise you will have to use it at dawn or dusk.
 

Sandyn

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I got this laser level, £109!!!! Bosch Pro range. I paid the higher price! This price is VERY good. I looked at lots of different lasers, red, green from different manufacturers. This is a red one with 50m range, but it comes with the LR6 receiver, which allows better use in daylight. The reviews I red on green lasers often suggested the beam was so wide, it was difficult to get good accuracy. My first use was for setting pictures on the wall, inside. No need for the receiver there. I also got a Laser Measure, It is one of my most used tools for setting things out and general measuring. It also has a very useful level indicator, so could be used as a laser spot level, but accuracy not as good as a laser level. It has more functions than you can shake a stick at. A very useful tool. It doesn't have an attachment for measuring from corners, so that is a disadvantage compared to many.
I decided on Bosch, because of quality. I also looked at the Leica L2 laser level. Was very tempted, but went for the Bosch, because it came with the electronic indicator and the laser locks for angle marking. .
Disadvantages of the Bosch. When using the laser level, it takes time to settle, so for picture hanging, it makes it a slower process to get accurate levels, but not a great issue and many suffer from that. It is red, so more difficult to see outside. The indicator works very well, an accurate green one would be more convenient. My main use is indoors. Battery life in both tools is OK, I use rechargeable
 

Misterdog

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I bought one of these laser levels.


143 4.5star reviews, the negative reviews are from people too dumb to read the instructions as to how to switch it off.

My gain as I paid £ 30 for a customer return from Ebay.

If you are only going to use it once or twice per year why spend £100's.
If you use one every day then maybe it is worth the extra, though mine is as 'level' as my mates Stanley one.
 

Sideways

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I got this laser level, £109!!!! Bosch Pro range. I paid the higher price! This price is VERY good. I looked at lots of different lasers, red, green from different manufacturers. This is a red one with 50m range, but it comes with the LR6 receiver, which allows better use in daylight.
This is a good recommendation. Thanks !
I have had really cheap line lasers before and found them little use but the cross line, self levelling and a generous kit of accessories at the price sold me.
First impressions out of the box are very good. It may be red but it's bright indoors and the range is all I'll need for house or garden.
Delivered in under 48 hours too :)
 

Misterdog

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Sideways

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My gain as I paid £ 30 for a customer return from Ebay.

If you are only going to use it once or twice per year why spend £100's.
:)
Reminds me of "Stinky" the mattress that I bought from Simba.
£1100 !
Couldn't handle the reek but after I sent it back I noticed that they flog off customer returns on ebay for about £300.
(y)
 

Sandyn

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First impressions out of the box are very good. It may be red but it's bright indoors and the range is all I'll need for house or garden.
That is an excellent price. When I tried my laser detector. I thought it was faulty, but there's a setting on the laser for using the receiver. I suppose I should have read the instructions first 😁
 

Misterdog

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:)
Reminds me of "Stinky" the mattress that I bought from Simba.
£1100 !
Couldn't handle the reek but after I sent it back I noticed that they flog off customer returns on ebay for about £300.
(y)

Most new mattresses advise opening and leaving in a spare room to vent for a few days before use.
To allow the glues and foam to out gas.

Mine had a bad smell for several days, when new and sealed in a plastic bag.

Tell me how the Stanley dedicated laser level tripod for £ 50 is any different to the £ 20 camera one I bought (check the reviews !)



Or the Bosch one. £ 52 on clearance - 'deal'


They are all the same Chinese camera tripods with a new label applied and 2.5 x price increase.

It's your money.
 
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Sideways

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:)
That Bosch one absolutely is a camera tripod.
The Stanley one very obviously isn't. It's a cheap site tripod. Much lower build quality but maybe heavier and a little more durable if rolling about in the back of a truck.
Seriously, I bought a site tripod for a job, £100 typical retail price point and was rather disappointed in it, crude, but it does have a 5/8" fitting vs the 1/4" and 3/8" threads used on camera tripods.
Chinese camera tripods - quality varies, lots of tat out there but some are good brands, good value and quality can be excellent.
 

johna.clements

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The trouble with camera tripods is that they are light. For a camera that is not such a problem as you are normally stood behind the camera so can grab it if there is a gust of wind.

I have only set up lasers on heavy wooden tripods, a lot less chance of blowing over in the wind. They are also a bit more forgiving when you pile concrete slabs on the bottom of the legs when it is windy.

I have only used metal tripods for automatic levels (site level) as you normally stand next to it and it is no problem to set up again if you need to leave it.
 

Sideways

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Camera tripod usually have a hook on the bottom of the rising column. Hang your toolbag from it and it will steady it enormously. Or screw in a small ground screw and attach with a good bungee.
I'm sure that proper surveyors tripods are in a whole other league but the thing I bought had so much flex in the leg locks and pivots plus the fit of the centre column in the top casting is so sloppy that it just wobbles. Frankly a £50 camera tripod would be way better.

Thinking about it, maybe I'll redesign it and get the best of both. It's has nice castings on the top and the feet if I just sleeve it to take out the wobble and replace the leg locks. A project for a rainy day :) Cheers.
 

Misterdog

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The trouble with camera tripods is that they are light. For a camera that is not such a problem as you are normally stood behind the camera so can grab it if there is a gust of wind.

I have only set up lasers on heavy wooden tripods, a lot less chance of blowing over in the wind. They are also a bit more forgiving when you pile concrete slabs on the bottom of the legs when it is windy.

I have only used metal tripods for automatic levels (site level) as you normally stand next to it and it is no problem to set up again if you need to leave it.
 

Misterdog

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For a camera that is not such a problem as you are normally stood behind the camera so can grab it if there is a gust of wind.

:oops:


Both the DeWalt and the Bosch are identical, read the spec they both have 1/4" fittings.
The Bosch one is anodised black and the DeWalt has some of the plastic in yellow to identify the corporate brand.

The difference in quoted height is with/without the vertical adjuster raised /at rest.

Gusts of wind blowing over a tripod - do you live in the outer Hebredes with 70 mph gusts -I've never heard such nonsense.
 
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