Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Old School
Joined
·
24,027 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Some of us have a preference, but a budget could be a factor. I have a few levels...some are plastic, some aluminum, some are wood (different species), and they vary from 2" to 8'. Most are bubble in vial types. I tend to trust those when used in combination, and read the same when switched around.

I found I needed more than just a construction straight level. To my collection, a tiny line level, and a post level, which just rubber bands to a 4x4...pretty easy, and it reads in two directions.

Some years back I bought a digital level, which I found pretty cool. It's not easy to just trust the numbers. I had a specific reason for getting one. When I raced cars competitively, I used it to check the camber. It worked pretty good for that. It is also good for reading the pitch...like for roofs.

I've used a laser level at times to install ceilings and strike for crown.

And then there is the water level. It's a simple level that you can make with basically just the cost of some clear plastic tubing. What's so unique, it's about as accurate as you can get, for any length, and even around corners.
http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/WaterLevel.htm

So, what type of levels do you have/use?






.
 

·
Making sawdust in MS
Joined
·
4,000 Posts
I've got a 4 ft wood level, a couple 2 ft aluminum ones. I use the post level alot. I've got one of those spinning laser levels. But it's still in box, haven't tried it out yet. A couple string levels , I guess that's about it. I'm just a hobbyist, so don't need alot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts
Various wooden and plastic ones. Nothing special. I need a 6-8' one. I WANT a metallic turn of the century (last one, not this one) with all the fancy decoration on it. I've seen them around but I'm not dropping 80-90 bucks on a level. I just don't use them enough. That's more of a luxury to me since they are too heavy from general use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,651 Posts
Have about the same variety-line to laser. One exception- a 7' magnetic that comes in very handy.
 

·
Old School
Joined
·
24,027 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Alcohol in the vials so they don't freeze. :smile:
That's part of it.
From Wiki...Alcohols such as ethanol are often used rather than water. Alcohols have low viscosity and surface tension, which allows the bubble to travel the tube quickly and settle accurately with minimal interference with the glass surface. Alcohols also have a much wider liquid temperature range, and won't break the vial as water could due to ice expansion. A colorant such as fluorescein, typically yellow or green, may be added to increase the visibility of the bubble.




.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
7,222 Posts
I have
a) 4ft Craftsman, used for level and straight edge.
b) 2ft Stanley, used when need short level due to access.
c) 2ft Keen (UK brand) which has a dial protractor so I could read the angle. Looks more useful than it is.
d) Laser. Good for laying out lines in a room across walls.
e) Small round bubble level. Used to level my turntable (aka record player). 30+ years old. I still have the turntable, which is now 36 years old.
f) Wixey angle finder. Originally purchased to calibrate the tilt on the table saw. No longer used, consumes too many batteries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Don't mind the wooden cylinders.

These are two of my levels.
The top one is a Jennings, and the lower an L.L.Davis.
Both are well over a hundred years old, and work as good as any.

The Davis is one of my favourite things.
How can such a simple tool be made to look so beautiful!

IMG_0894.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
614 Posts
What a timely thread. I need to purchase a level as I'm going to be installing a few benches and my floor is not level :thumbdown:. My current level is 6".:boat:

Are there any brands to avoid? I was probably going to stop at lowes or home depot and pick up either a 2' or 4'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
I have a 2' Quality (USA) that is accurate and a 4' Johnson that is not accurate.
Small torpedo levels and a line level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,529 Posts
I've got a handful of them:

A big yellow 4' level (probably Stanley, I bought it at Home Depot when I needed a long level).
A roughly 2' long wooden level, made by the Stevens Level Co.: that one isn't actually much use as a level, because the wood isn't reliably straight.
A couple of small levels, around 10" long, with magnets in them for things like hanging picture frames, installing shelf standards, and the like.
The tiny levels in my two reliable combination squares. I've never actually found a use for those, but that's not to say I never will.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top