A grade rod is an indoor surveying tool that has a horizontal and vertical needle that works as a level. It uses an air bubble in the tube to give you a reading. When looking to buy a grade rod, there are several things you need to consider.
Using the grade rod
When you are using a grade rod, there are two main ways to use it.
The first way is by measuring the height of the grade rod itself. This can be done using a tape measure or by using a laser level.
The second way is by placing the grade rod on its side and measuring the distance between two points on the surface where you will be installing it. This is also known as "offsetting."
Measure and Record the Distance
To use a grade rod, you first need to measure and record the distance between two points on your property. Then, you hold the rod at one end of that distance, with the other end resting on the ground. The top of the rod will have a line that indicates how much change in elevation there is from one point to another; this is your grade.
Determine the Slope Ratio
To determine the slope ratio, you'll need to use a grade rod. A grade rod is a tool that can be used to measure slopes and slopes ratios.
To use a grade rod, follow these steps:
1. Place your grade rod at the top of the slope and align it with the bottom of the slope.
2. Pull your grade rod to the bottom of the slope, keeping it aligned with the top of the slope.
3. Read off your slope ratio on your grade rod's scale!
Calculate Grade and Slope in Fractions
A grade rod is a tool that you can use to calculate slope and grade.
To use it, first lay it down on the ground with the flat side facing up. Then take measurements at various points on the ground and plot those measurements on a graph. The slope of the line that best fits your data will tell you how steeply inclined your terrain is at that point. If two lines give similar results, then they both indicate a relatively gentle slope—which could mean that you need more data points!
Calculate Grade and Slope in Decimals
When you use a grade rod, you'll want to calculate the grade and slope of the ground. First, find the difference between the elevation of your horizontal base line and your target elevation. Then, divide that number by the length of your horizontal base line to get the slope in decimal form.
Calculate Grade as a Percentage
The amount of grade is calculated by measuring the vertical rise of a slope and dividing it by the horizontal distance traveled. For example, if you have a hill that runs 100 feet in length and it rises 20 feet, then your grade is 2%.
Once you understand how these tools work, you’ll be able to measure any distance accurately and easily.
If you are unsure exactly how to use your grade rod, the main point is that it allows you to take precise measurements at a glance (and without relying on measuring tapes). You can use this information to fine-tune your framing and make sure that you nail focus, get the intended compression, and make all of your creative decisions.