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A question about a pocket transit

1297 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bigben
First of all, I'm aware that a transit isn't a woodworking tool. However, I couldn't find a surveying tool forum so thought I'd ask here.

I just bought this pocket transit at an auction:


I've been looking for information about it online but can only seem to find the type of transit that looks like a compass. If anyone knows anything about this tool, particularly its age, I'd be interested to hear about it. Thanks!
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It's a sight level. Normally you hold it on a stick. You should be able to see the bubble level as you sight through, try to hold the bubble in the center as you sight. They are for determining an approximation of differences in elevation, such as on a house lot, farm field, road, ditch, etc. Only as precise as the hand and eye of the user but quite usable for simple cut and fill and grading.
Also called Locke levels, I used a similar one as an inspector on highway construction jobs. The job is staked out along a baseline off the road and profile grade marked on the stake. As the contractor grades the road you can quickly shoot a level from the stakes out of the way and see how close they are. Quite accurate in the right hands over a short shot, very handy tool in heavy highway construction.

Don't know anything about yours but here's a modern version:

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