Author Topic: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!  (Read 14913 times)

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Offline howfaroutmike

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I've invented a new product for trim carpenters, cabinetmakers, remodelers, installers, glaziers, designers --- for any serious craftsman who needs to fit his work to real world out-of-level, out-of-plumb conditions...

The HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge and Positioning Device mounts quickly to the end of almost any premium level to turn it into a precision survey instrument. The gauge provides a level adjustment screw so you can dial the level into perfect position and an integrated scale so you can read the distance out-of-level or plumb instantly. The Magnetic Quick-Coupler design enables one gauge to be used with multiple levels.
 
I originally prototyped the HOW FAR OUT gauge as a Stabila 96/196 accessory. Now with the Quick-Coupler, the universal model is capable of retrofit to R-beam and most other brands as well.

You can check it out at www.howfarout.com.
 
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.
 
Mike Schuler
mike@howfarout.com
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 08:48 PM by howfaroutmike »

Offline Shane Holland

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Re: NEW! HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 10:05 AM »
Nice product, Mark. We are carrying them.  [thumbs up]
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Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 10:20 AM »
Shane,

Thanks for helping us get the How Far Out gauge out there!

We'll be at Booth #2 at the JLC Live Show in Providence this month. If you'll be there, I'd love to meet up.

Mike

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2016, 03:41 PM »
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Offline ali

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2016, 03:49 PM »
Hi mike

I would be interested in buying one, please can you tell me if you ship to the uk and secondly do you have a metric version, or a metric work around?

Offline copcarcollector

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Re: NEW! HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 03:54 PM »
Nice product, Mark. We are carrying them.  [thumbs up]

@Shane Holland

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Offline Shane Holland

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Offline copcarcollector

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 03:59 PM »
 [smile]

Offline Shane Holland

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2016, 07:27 PM »
Here's a video showing more about this product.

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Offline Kev

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2016, 02:13 AM »
Seems to be calibrated in some ancient language. Will there be a modern version of this gizmo calibrated in metric - that the rest of the planet may show an interest in? (i.e. .. potential customer base 7 billion)

... or even a dual scale for the NA residents that plan to evolve. [wink]

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2016, 07:57 AM »
Kev,

For our first small production run, we thought it prudent to test response in a tiny underdeveloped market, as you so rightly identify it, before reaching out to the entire planet... ;)

And so far, so good.

We look forward to following up with the evolved metric version you call for within the next 4-6 months. I'd greatly appreciate knowing your personal preference (and those of any other interested non-NA customers), if given the choice between a straight metric version and a dual scale. We have prototyped both, and as inventor and main field tester, my own feeling is that two single scale versions are preferable and offer less chance for inadvertent confusion when reading the scale.

We definitely want to offer what craftsmen want. Please let us know. Your wish will be our command.


Offline Kev

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2016, 08:47 AM »
Kev,

For our first small production run, we thought it prudent to test response in a tiny underdeveloped market, as you so rightly identify it, before reaching out to the entire planet... ;)

And so far, so good.

We look forward to following up with the evolved metric version you call for within the next 4-6 months. I'd greatly appreciate knowing your personal preference (and those of any other interested non-NA customers), if given the choice between a straight metric version and a dual scale. We have prototyped both, and as inventor and main field tester, my own feeling is that two single scale versions are preferable and offer less chance for inadvertent confusion when reading the scale.

We definitely want to offer what craftsmen want. Please let us know. Your wish will be our command.

Cool [big grin]

Would a flippable calibration plate be too complex or prone to error (metric on the revise face with screws to retain) ?

For me - straight metric is all I need, but dual scale wouldn't bother me either ... you'd soon resolve whether you're looking at the inner or outer calibration.


Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2016, 09:24 AM »
Kev,

Your preference message seems a bit mixed, but I interpret your gut vote to be the same as mine: we really only need (and will use) the scale prevalent in use where we operate. Other than cabinetmakers who work with 32mm system, I don't work with any construction tradesmen on this side of the pond who switch back and forth between metric and Imperial in the situations where a level is involved. Would that be your experience down under as well? Are there countries where dual scale would be a necessity?

The ideal size of the gauge is necessarily quite compact. While I have worked with and remain open to the possibility of a dual scale model, I have found that in actual use it is easier to read the location of the little cursor line when the scale lines (of a single scale model) extend all the way across the gauge face.

I think that reversible or applied scales would undercut the elegance, accuracy, and/or durability of the product. Things I particularly like about the current design are its foolproof precision, ruggedness, and simplicity.

Offline Mr_Mod

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2016, 09:51 AM »
I would buy, but as has been mentioned metric would be ideal. Havent used that ancient measurment since leaving the mother land

Offline Kev

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2016, 10:19 AM »
Kev,

Your preference message seems a bit mixed, but I interpret your gut vote to be the same as mine: we really only need (and will use) the scale prevalent in use where we operate. Other than cabinetmakers who work with 32mm system, I don't work with any construction tradesmen on this side of the pond who switch back and forth between metric and Imperial in the situations where a level is involved. Would that be your experience down under as well? Are there countries where dual scale would be a necessity?

The ideal size of the gauge is necessarily quite compact. While I have worked with and remain open to the possibility of a dual scale model, I have found that in actual use it is easier to read the location of the little cursor line when the scale lines (of a single scale model) extend all the way across the gauge face.

I think that reversible or applied scales would undercut the elegance, accuracy, and/or durability of the product. Things I particularly like about the current design are its foolproof precision, ruggedness, and simplicity.

We still have a few local fossils that use imperial measurement, but they're rare and approaching extinction here. Yes .. I'd be happy with metric only and agree on readability and simplicity.

Offline neeleman

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2016, 11:05 AM »
I use one of these Stabila's: 196-2 Electronic 80 cm.
It's an absolute joy to use, it's magnetic too and IP65 waterproof!
No need for a HFO but I can understand the need for it.
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Offline joiner1970

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2016, 12:59 PM »
Good idea :)

Offline SouthRider

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2016, 01:04 PM »
Does this fit the new Stabila extendable plate levels?
"We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do almost anything, with nothing at all."

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2016, 01:39 PM »
Absolutely yes --- you can make the standard universal mount (per the generic method shown on the Order page of my howfarout.com website).

I myself have done this long ago, and new customers are doing it already too. I can report that this combination of the telescopic functionality with gauging creates the most awesome survey level on the planet! You get truly point-to-point survey capability. (Of course in most situations, you can get very good results by using a fixed length level close to the length of the opening you're surveying: for example, when you use the gauge on the two levels of the Stabila jamber set when fitting doors to existing frames.)

If you own both the 24" and 48" XTL models, you can buy one How Far Out gauge and one additional Level End Adapter. I myself also installed an adapter on my 6'-10' plate level.

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2016, 02:03 PM »
I use one of these Stabila's: 196-2 Electronic 80 cm.
It's an absolute joy to use, it's magnetic too and IP65 waterproof!
No need for a HFO but I can understand the need for it.


I too use and love the Stabila electronic models. However, despite their accuracy, ability to report in various modes and to set non-level slopes as reference, etc.,  these levels do not provide the same particular bit of information that the How Far Out gauge does.

As a practical example: when you install a pre-hung door, you need to check the floor for level in order to know how much to trim off one of the side jambs. The HFO gauge gives this measurement directly and without calculation. In practice, the use of these two tools together is especially convenient. If you use the electronic level's audio signal, you can dial and read the HFO gauge without even having to look at the bubble or digital display. This is particularly handy, for example, if you are using your 6-footer to set a pair of French doors.

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2016, 04:34 PM »
...As a practical example: when you install a pre-hung door, you need to check the floor for level in order to know how much to trim off one of the side jambs. The HFO gauge gives this measurement directly and without calculation. In practice, the use of these two tools together is especially convenient. If you use the electronic level's audio signal, you can dial and read the HFO gauge without even having to look at the bubble or digital display. This is particularly handy, for example, if you are using your 6-footer to set a pair of French doors.

The HFO only works if your level is the exact width of the door opening.  You aren't going to have a level for more than one (or maybe two) door widths.     
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Offline rst

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2016, 04:59 PM »
A little math  [scared] will give the accurate run out...ratios.  I do dozens of commercial entrance installations a year with a 32" and 72" levels.  That being said, I have a two 21', automatic sliding entrances to install next week...thank god for lasers.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2016, 05:02 PM by rst »

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2016, 05:14 PM »
Brice,

I agree with you 100% in theory. In practice, if the length of level (plus HFO gauge) is fairly close to the width of the opening and the floor is not wildly out of level, the error introduced over the last couple inches becomes pretty small.

Offline deepcreek

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2016, 07:27 PM »
As a practical example: when you install a pre-hung door, you need to check the floor for level in order to know how much to trim off one of the side jambs. The HFO gauge gives this measurement directly and without calculation.

This is an interesting add-on device but there's already a time tested solution for this problem.

On single interior doors, you take a 48 inch level and place it across the opening.  Once it is level, make a mark on each side of the opening.  A couple of quick measurements up from the floor and simple mental math shows how much to cut off the jamb leg on the high side.  Yes, there is a calculation involved but you don't have to get down on your knees and tinker with a thumbscrew device.
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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2016, 07:40 PM »
As a practical example: when you install a pre-hung door, you need to check the floor for level in order to know how much to trim off one of the side jambs. The HFO gauge gives this measurement directly and without calculation.

This is an interesting add-on device but there's already a time tested solution for this problem.

On single interior doors, you take a 48 inch level and place it across the opening.  Once it is level, make a mark on each side of the opening.  A couple of quick measurements up from the floor and simple mental math shows how much to cut off the jamb leg on the high side.  Yes, there is a calculation involved but you don't have to get down on your knees and tinker with a thumbscrew device.

Amen!   [thumbs up] [doh]
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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2016, 09:57 PM »
As a practical example: when you install a pre-hung door, you need to check the floor for level in order to know how much to trim off one of the side jambs. The HFO gauge gives this measurement directly and without calculation.

This is an interesting add-on device but there's already a time tested solution for this problem.

On single interior doors, you take a 48 inch level and place it across the opening.  Once it is level, make a mark on each side of the opening.  A couple of quick measurements up from the floor and simple mental math shows how much to cut off the jamb leg on the high side.  Yes, there is a calculation involved but you don't have to get down on your knees and tinker with a thumbscrew device.

And as rst has mentioned laser levels can do the same thing, over any distance, with a couple of quick measurements.
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Offline deepcreek

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2016, 11:55 AM »
And as rst has mentioned laser levels can do the same thing, over any distance, with a couple of quick measurements.

I actually prefer using a laser level so that I can make sure the head casing for all the doors in a room or hallway are set exactly the same.
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Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2016, 08:50 AM »
Good points. I too make extensive use of lasers. I was an earlier adapter of PLS tools before Stabila and the others ever entered the laser market. For a myriad tasks, lasers are pure magic. And clearly there are many situations where other methods are good substitutes and/or eliminate the need for the How Far Out gauge, especially in new construction. These are facts we'd all agree upon.

But just as the soldier on the ground will always have use for an accurate side-arm, even though modern weaponry includes nukes and smart bombs, there will always be situations where we want to get the most from our hand levels. It's a matter of range, required accuracy, convenience, and circumstance.

The intended purpose of the How Far Out gauge is definitely not to supplant all other layout tools or methods. It's simply designed as a specialty installation and survey tool to enhance the use of your hand levels in any situation where you would otherwise have to space your level by hand and then try to simultaneously read the bubble while you eyeball the gap in order to know how far out things are. Depending on the type of work you do, this functionality may or may not justify a place in your toolbox for the How Far Out gauge.

Its primary reason for being is its ability to take any guesswork out of surveying the size and shape of existing small-scale finished openings, especially where direct scribing is not convenient or possible --- for new doors being fitted to old frames, wall-to-wall mirrors, shower enclosure glass, enclosed millwork installations, and the like. But if you start using one, you'll find that other handy uses come up as well. In particular, there are times when the simple ability to steadily and precisely position the level is useful independent of the use of its gauge.

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2016, 04:58 PM »
Does this fit the new Stabila extendable plate levels?



Yes, the standard universal mount is just as simple as on fixed length levels, and the combination makes for a great result.
Adding the HOW FAR OUT gauging function to the Stabila XTL telescopic provides true point-to-point survey capability.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 08:45 PM by howfaroutmike »

Offline demographic

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2016, 12:11 PM »
Bit like placky window fitters packers then.

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2016, 09:03 AM »
Seems to be calibrated in some ancient language. Will there be a modern version of this gizmo calibrated in metric - that the rest of the planet may show an interest in? (i.e. .. potential customer base 7 billion)

... or even a dual scale for the NA residents that plan to evolve. [wink]

Kev,

Evolution!
Here's the new combo inch/metric How Far Out gauge.
We're currently seeking international dealers.
Product will ship Q1, 2017.

253359-0

Mike
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 09:08 AM by howfaroutmike »

Offline jmbfestool

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2016, 10:22 AM »
Thats better!
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Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2016, 10:32 AM »
jmbfestool,

Can you refer us to any quality dealers on your side of the pond?

Mike

Offline Mort

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2016, 11:21 AM »
This looks extremely handy. At work we install septic systems and all the pipe has to be laid at a 2% grade (1/4"/ft). This looks like a better solution then tossing that $250 electronic Stabila into a ditch and having the other guy toss it in the dirt.
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Offline jmbfestool

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2016, 01:08 PM »
jmbfestool,

Can you refer us to any quality dealers on your side of the pond?

Mike

Yeah no problem
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Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2016, 01:20 PM »
Hi Mort,

Slopes for pipe and concrete are not applications I had thought of originally, being a gentlemanly finish carpenter and all... :)

But guys who do these kinds of jobs and own digital levels tell me they use the digital to establish the slope they want and then set the HFO gauge installed on a regular level to match. (The correct setting obviously pends the exact length of the level you use.)

Another application dealing with slopes that can be handy comes up when doors must be hung in old existing frames in a wall that leans out of plumb. It's hard to check if the opening is in winding. By dialing in the gauge until the level reads plumb on one side of the jamb, you can use the setting to check for parallel on the other side. It's still a hinky situation to deal with, but at least you know exactly what you're dealing with when you decide how to proceed.

Mike

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2016, 01:24 PM »
Is the black finish anodized, painted, powder coat?

How about the markings?

Seth

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2016, 01:33 PM »
Seth,

Markings are laser etched bright white onto black anodized aluminum. Reads very clearly even in less than ideal (aren't they all?) lighting conditions.

Mike

Offline Paul G

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2016, 02:20 PM »
Great concept! I'd prefer the dual scale here in the US when it becomes available.
+1

Offline joiner1970

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2016, 09:59 PM »

We're currently seeking international dealers.
Product will ship Q1, 2017.

(Attachment Link)

Mike

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Offline Pykie

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2016, 03:19 AM »
I'd absolutely love this hanging doors.

Pain in the  waiting months for it though, any chance to privately shop a few testers out Aus way?

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #41 on: November 24, 2016, 06:28 AM »
Hello Pykie,

I hang zillions of doors, sometimes surveying finished openings hundreds of miles from my shop, then pre-sizing, hinging, and installing locksets, etc. back at my shop before heading back to install all en masse. Door work was in fact what inspired me to invent the How Far Out gauge.

I have one company, Glass Haus AU, in Australia that might be able to supply you with gauges right now. Keep in mind that the only model currently available is Imperial scale only. If that will work for you, please contact Jordan Harman at glasshouseau@gmail.com. Jordan was one of the first to approach me about international distributorship. When the combo inch/metric ship after the first of the year, he will have those available as well.

Thanks for your interest.

Mike

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2017, 06:41 AM »
One year after our U.S. launch, the new combo inch/metric How Far Out gauge is now in stock and shipping around the world. Universal gauge with one adapter is still $50. Extra adapters are $10. Shipping to international destinations is $15. You can order at www.howfarout.com

Hoping to add international distributors who offer precision layout tools and sell to remodelers, renovators, installers, and glaziers. Please contact mike@howfarout.com.

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2017, 08:55 AM »
The new inch/metric How Far Out gauge is making its way around the world. C.R. Laurence, the glazing supply giant, is offering it through most international affiliates, including Australia and Germany. Hammerslaget.no carries it in Norway. And our most recent distributor sells to UK through the site, www.toolexpert.uk. British joiners can now buy directly at http://www.toolexpert.uk/how-far-out-gauge-10-c.asp.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 08:57 AM by howfaroutmike »

Offline ear3

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2017, 09:29 PM »
Just ordered one.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline howfaroutmike

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    • HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge
Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #45 on: June 25, 2017, 02:17 PM »
264808-0

Edward, thanks for your order!

We're just now introducing a new Plug-n-Play How Far Out / Stabila 96 model specifically for Stabila 96, 196, and IP 65 Electronics. It's fully assembled to its own Stabila end cap and ready to go straight from the box. $45.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 02:31 PM by howfaroutmike »

Offline Nat X

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2017, 07:02 PM »
When does that one go live?

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #47 on: June 26, 2017, 12:01 AM »
Hi Nat,

Sorry, I haven't had a moment to update the site (swamped with ongoing carpentry business schedule of late.) But the Plug-n-Play Stabila model is available and you can order it right now. Just send me an email at mike@howfarout.com telling me that's what you want. You can make the transaction on the site by ordering the currently listed Stabila model ($35) and adding an extra Level End Adapter ($10). The total you pay will equal the new price. I'll know what you want and get you the new model, good to go right out of the box. Otherwise, I'll have the site updated by mid-week.

Offline howfaroutmike

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Re: HOW FAR OUT Level Gauge makes Stabila levels even better!
« Reply #48 on: June 28, 2017, 12:05 AM »
The How Far Out level gauge makes it even easier and more accurate to calibrate your electronic Stabila.
Just set it down on any horizontal surface, then dial it into perfect position. When the bubble is absolutely centered, hit CAL.
Can't get any more precise than this!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 12:20 AM by howfaroutmike »