To set, use, and compute grade stake measure-
ments, you must be able to measure the vertical
distance from one point to another. This process is
called leveling and is accomplished by using leveling
A level is an instrument used for measuring
vertical distances. All levels have a line of sight with
a bubble device for maintaining the instrument in a
Levels vary in their accuracy
Figure 15-36.Finish grade stake.
according to the quality and magnification power of
Vertical distances are actually measured by
sighting on a graduated rod, called a level rod. Like
other surveying equipment used for measuring
distances, level rods usually are graduated in feet,
tenths, and hundredths.
The hand level is generally a round metal tube
about 6 inches long with an eyepiece at one end, a
cross hair at the other end, and a level vial on top (fig.
15-37). Part of the cross-hair end is covered with a
mirror that reflects the image of the bubble to the
To use the hand level, look through the eyepiece
end at the rod with the level vial on top. Tilt the entire
hand level until the bubble is centered on the cross hair
while looking through the eyepiece. It is sometimes
necessary to know the height of the level above the
ground where you are standing. This may be
accomplished by resting the level on a stick of known
Figure 15-7.Hand level.