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Using lasers for precision

From: Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs

Video: Using lasers for precision

Our challenge here is to mount a photograph in this space that will exactly mirror the photograph we have already hung on the other side. It's made more difficult by the fact that in this old house the floor and the ceilings aren't always level, and the art needs to be. So I don't have a reference point to work from. That brings us to one of our most helpful tools, the laser level. You have seen me use this tool before, most particularly as we were hanging the exhibition at Quartz Mountain. It was what enabled me to go down my whole length of that wall covering about 30 feet with the exhibit, and have everything exactly even along both the top and the bottom rows.

Using lasers for precision

Our challenge here is to mount a photograph in this space that will exactly mirror the photograph we have already hung on the other side. It's made more difficult by the fact that in this old house the floor and the ceilings aren't always level, and the art needs to be. So I don't have a reference point to work from. That brings us to one of our most helpful tools, the laser level. You have seen me use this tool before, most particularly as we were hanging the exhibition at Quartz Mountain. It was what enabled me to go down my whole length of that wall covering about 30 feet with the exhibit, and have everything exactly even along both the top and the bottom rows.

I wanted to take a minute to tell you a little bit more about exactly what this tool does and how much of a help it can be for you. This particular one has two functions, it works as a stud finder and a laser level. The stud finding feature may be handy if you're ever hanging something extremely heavy. You make a selection as to whether you're working for wood or metal studs, and then you hold it against the wall and press this button on the right, and you'll get a test tone while it sort of establishes what's there, and then you just slide it until you come across a stud.

And it gives you that big bright indicator, and a beep to let you know you found a stud. That function could be handy if you need to find studs. The one I use this the most for is actually finding a level line along the wall. And the way that works, place it against the wall and flip the switch, and you can see this laser projects down the wall. It swings a little bit when you first turn it on because the laser is very precisely weighted on gimbals, so it will find a precise level. You can see when you move it, it starts shaking again.

But once again, once it settles, it becomes level. The kit also comes with this tool steel pin. And the tool steel pin can be used to affix the level in place while you're making marks. This allows you to find a position for the laser level, and then free your hands to do other tasks. So, what I want to do is slide this level up, and you can see the laser beam projects behind the break front, and so I can see the laser actually striking the picture frame on the other side of the break front.

So I'm just going to raise this level until it precisely lines up with the very top of that frame. And then, I'm going to insert my pin to this hole in the center, and then I can release the level, and I will get my pencil and use the pencil to make the mark that will be my starting point for the vertical positioning of the photograph. Once I have made my mark, I can turn the level off, pull the pin, and bring it back down.

These are available with lots of different bells and whistles, but the level part is really all you need, and you should be able to find one at a hardware store in the $50 price range. The amount of time it can save you when you're hanging work is priceless. So, I strongly recommend adding this to your toolkit for hanging your work.

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This video is part of

Image for Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs
Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs

38 video lessons · 7575 viewers

Konrad Eek
Author

 
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  1. 5m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 46s
    2. Using this course
      1m 19s
    3. Understanding why we frame
      2m 54s
  2. 25m 31s
    1. Visiting a professional framing studio
      6m 22s
    2. Working with a framer's vocabulary
      4m 16s
    3. Conversing with a framer
      14m 53s
  3. 50m 36s
    1. Selecting a mat
      5m 13s
    2. Deciding on the window size
      9m 27s
    3. Understanding standard vs. custom mats
      1m 46s
    4. Using a handheld mat cutter
      4m 11s
    5. Using a production mat cutter
      8m 37s
    6. Assembling the mat
      2m 5s
    7. Mounting art in a mat
      3m 25s
    8. Mounting the art with photo corners
      4m 51s
    9. Mounting the art with repositionable mounting adhesive (RPMA)
      6m 52s
    10. Exploring troubleshooting techniques
      4m 9s
  4. 32m 11s
    1. Selecting a frame
      5m 15s
    2. Understanding the kinds of glazing
      4m 14s
    3. Cutting glass
      7m 15s
    4. Scoring acrylic
      3m 52s
    5. Sawing acrylic
      4m 42s
    6. Keeping the glass clean
      6m 53s
  5. 46m 10s
    1. Assembling an easel back frame
      6m 21s
    2. Assembling a metal frame
      8m 33s
    3. Using a V-nailer to assemble a chopped frame
      7m 49s
    4. Putting the frame, glazing, mat, and art together
      12m 4s
    5. Using a band clamp for assembly
      6m 10s
    6. Reviewing alternative hanging devices
      5m 13s
  6. 13m 21s
    1. Prepping the show
      2m 26s
    2. Using a wall as a canvas
      6m 46s
    3. Hanging the show
      4m 9s
  7. 36m 2s
    1. Introduction to hanging tools
      8m 2s
    2. Using lasers for precision
      3m 18s
    3. Hanging on plaster and lath
      6m 42s
    4. Hanging on either drywall or panelling
      6m 56s
    5. Hanging on brick, stone, or steel
      7m 35s
    6. Lighting your work
      3m 29s
  8. 54s
    1. Goodbye
      54s

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