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How do you know your level is true?

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How do you know your level is true?

Old 01-21-2006, 09:02 AM
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Default How do you know your level is true?

Here I've been knocking myself out trying to do things right in my bathroom with what I thought was a good level. Well I just pulled out my plumb boob to check things because something wasn't right........P. of S. level, and it's an expensive one to boot.

So how do you know your level is accurate?

Has anyone ever sent a level in to be recalibrated?

Are the new fancy dangle digital levels worth the money?
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Old 01-21-2006, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

I know that I will sometimes use a round object like a marble, ball or something smooth.. It will roll towards the lowest point!

Another way, altough a little more messy is water..

I suggest you take the one you have over to HD or Lowes and calibrate it to one there.. Or just buy a decent cheap one - that's what I have and I have beaten the hell out of it and it still performs perfectly!
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Old 01-21-2006, 09:17 AM
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Default RE: How do you know your level is true?

It seems to me the level could be tested against anything that had a waterline....or.....put it on a flat surface and eyeball the bubble, now reverse the level 180 degrees and the bubble should be in the exact same place or the same distance from the middle of the tube. I am certain there are more refined methods to calibrate the level but these were the first ideas I had.
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Old 01-21-2006, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

saw a New Yankee workshop once where Norm said he had to search through up to 10 levels to find a true one. I believe he did what tireless said.

I bought an electronic one that set itself to level based on the above, and use it to spot check my other ones. The only drawback to the electronic one - it's only 12" long. I have taped it to my 6 footer before.

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Old 01-21-2006, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

The procedure described above is the correct way to check a level. Put it on a straight surface, note the position of the bubble and reverse it. If it isn't the same it isn't reading true. Some of the more expensive levels have adjustable vials. Others are guaranteed for life and can be replaced by the factory. Stabila is guaranteed and will replace for you. Johnson and postman (I think) is the adjustable brand.
I personally won't buy a non adjustable level any more.
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

I like the Sands brand. They say on them "tell the truth". They are adjustable and very nice especially the old vintage cast aluminum ones. You can still get them:

http://www.sandslevel.com/

Tireless is right on.
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

Try using a water level. Get a clear lengthof plastic hose, at least 6' long. Fill it with water making sure there are no air bubbles. You can add a little food dye to make seeing the water easier. Hold one end to you desired mark and watch the other end. Mark the other end where the bubble is and mark it. "Snap" a chalkline or use a straight edge on the 2 marks and there it is. A dead level mark. You can check your level against this line.
We use water levels in the carpentry trade. They are more accurate than a laser level and much cheaper.
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Old 01-21-2006, 07:28 PM
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Default RE: How do you know your level is true?

Set it against a wall(flat not on edge). Draw a line along one side when the level shows plumb. Turn the level end for end and recheck. Turn the level so the oppisite face is against the wall etc., it should always read plumb whenever it is placed against the original line regardless of what end is up or what side is out.

Stabila makes a quality product. Mayes, and Johnson, are a couple of other brands. I've had a 4 ft Mayes($25-$30) wood level for 15 years and its still accurate, but the Stabila's I own get the most use.

Look for a level that has minimal excess room between the lines and the edge of the bubble when reading plumb or level. I've seen some levels that could be as much as 1/4" in 4 ' out of plumb and still read between the lines because of the extra room.
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

Boatommy has it. Place the level on the wall, draw a line, reverse it (don't flip it), draw another line. Halfway between the lines is dead nuts level. Up and down is plumb. So where did "plumb" come from? From Plumbus, latin for lead. Same for plumber.
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

Hhhmmm....use a laser level?


Or better yet - hire a professional~?













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Old 01-22-2006, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

farmerjane - 1/22/2006 9:10 AM

Hhhmmm....use a laser level?


Or better yet - hire a professional~?





If you have a choice between a skinny carpenter, and a fat one, which one do you hire????????
























The fat one. You can tell hes on the level because the bubbles in the middle.
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

Actually Boatommy and Capt Thunder have it correct. The only difference is I reverse Capt. Thunders procedure - I draw a level mark using the level and then use a water level to determine its accuracy.
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

Throw it away and buy a Stabila! They are the only levels my men are allowed to use.
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

I use sands and stabilia The sands is a 28" and I have 4' n 6' stabilia I prefer the sands but are hard to find in the longer level sizes It is cast then machined The stabilia tend to bend on our crews
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:14 PM
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Default RE: How do you know your level is true?

katkt - 1/21/2006 7:28 PM

Set it against a wall(flat not on edge). Draw a line along one side when the level shows plumb. Turn the level end for end and recheck. Turn the level so the oppisite face is against the wall etc., it should always read plumb whenever it is placed against the original line regardless of what end is up or what side is out.
different tool, but you can do the same with your framing square
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Old 01-22-2006, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

I know it's a typo but I am curious about the "Plumb boob",what type of pointer does it use and where can I get one? (yes my mind was just in the sand bar).
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Old 01-22-2006, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

ESVAAngler - 1/22/2006 4:01 PM

I know it's a typo but I am curious about the "Plumb boob",what type of pointer does it use and where can I get one? (yes my mind was just in the sand bar).
It's funny you said the Sand Bar, cause that's where I was just prior typing that thread out. I guess we know where my mind was.
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Old 01-22-2006, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

ubettcha13 - 1/22/2006 11:06 AM I use sands and stabilia The sands is a 28" and I have 4' n 6' stabilia I prefer the sands but are hard to find in the longer level sizes It is cast then machined The stabilia tend to bend on our crews


Are they using them as pry bars?
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

My mind can't even grasp this one.
I do a level line on the wall, then I flip the level over with the left end still being the left end and take a reading, then I flip the level end for end and do the same thing...so the level tells me I've got one of the four readings that are out. Ok so I run down to the lumber yard and buy another 4'er. There were several 6'ers and I think it was 7 4'ers. I stacked them all on top of each other checking each one against the others....I bought a Stanley in a pinch because they didn't have what I was after.
I get home with the new level and guess what.....the same darn thing....WTF?????????? So I stack my old 990IB-48 Empire level on top of the new Stanley....same darn thing....WTF?????? Now get this, I take both levels out to the shop, pull out a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood and repeat the test....it's beyond belief, both levels are prefect regardless of what way I put the levels to the sheet of plywood....WTF?????? So I go back in the house again and recheck things, then back out to the shop.........HELP.....does anyone know an Exorcist?
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: How do you know your level is true?

Garett,
you need to


























































MOVE




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