Author Topic: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level  (Read 6361 times)

Offline PeterE

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PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« on: January 08, 2015, 05:05:49 PM »
Finished a small project over the Christmas. An Engineers Level I think it is called.

It started out as a 220 mm long section from a hot-rolled 100x100mm T-bar used as a fence-post for some 30 years or so. I thought that by now it should have normalized itself so there would be no built-in tensions left. Future will tell me if I am right.



Well it was too big so I had to hacksaw the size down to about 50x50 mm cross-section. A fair exercise as I did it "by hand". The cut off pieces shows that it was hard to keep a straight line using a hand saw but it went good enough.



This kind of material is hard compared with BMS, very hard and my X1 mill had a chore chewing the bar down to the measures of an engineers level. Measurements according to drawings from an early issue of model Engineers Workshop. Anyway, the main piece finally ended up to measure.



Some hand finishing and shop paint makes it look better and the main piece is done.



Then some brass work. The vial tube made from a 120mm long piece of 14mm round bar. Drilled through carefully pecking with a 5 mm drill for starters, then 8mm and finally 10mm. The hole came out in center as intended (for once). The tube was then given an opening for the vial using a 10mm mill. A couple of end pieces for mounting the tube onto the bottom piece, a couple of distance pieces and two M5 screws for holding it all together.



All as trial assembly looking like below.



... and finally with the vial added we have a complete thing. The only job left is to calibrate the level to give a proper reading.




Why do a thing like like this when there are nice small levels to buy? Well, just because I can, also for the challenge and the practice. I am pleased with the result and there is now another precision tool in my collection.

It also occurred to me that this is a good starter gadget as the precision lies in the final calibration by filing the distance pieces until a satisfactory reading is achieved. Up till this point the precision can well be within 10ths of mm and still give a super result.

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline micktoon

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2015, 05:31:05 PM »
Hi Peter , you have made a very nice job of the level, nice to own tools you have made yourself. I bet you soon warmed up even if itwas a cold day when doing the hand sawing  :thumbup:

 Cheers Mick.

Offline ian_in_the_midlands

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 01:14:17 AM »
Where did you get the vial from?

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 12:07:12 PM »
Thank you Mick! Yes, it feels good to know that Iv'e done it myself and I did get quite warm from the hacksawing - not to talk about the ache afterwards  :Doh:

Ian, I got my vial from a local supplier in Sweden, but I know that you can get one from f ex College Engineering Supplies who also provides a casting for a similar level, see: http://www.collegeengineering.co.uk/SpiritLevel.htm

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline vtsteam

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 01:30:31 PM »
That really does look nice, Peter. Congratulations on making yourself such useful and good looking piece of shop equipment, sawn by hand, from scrap! :clap: :clap: :thumbup:
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 03:45:22 PM »
Thank you very much VT!

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2015, 04:36:59 AM »
That looks, top quality, Peter!  :thumbup:

Well done, and shown......  :clap: :clap:

David D
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Online Pete W.

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2015, 05:26:58 AM »
Hi there, Pete,

Maybe I missed it but what did you use to fix the vial in the brass tube?

(The traditional thing seems to be Plaster of Paris.) 
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest design change-note!

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2015, 12:24:29 PM »
Thank you for kind comment David D!

Pete W, yes it is ordinary Plaster of Paris mixed using 2 parts plaster and 1 part water stir until even and gooey, and then fill the vial tube. When filled, press in/down the vial and set it so it is as close to level as possible and wait for the whole thing to harden.  Then clean up and by filing the distance pices finally set the level and there you are.

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Online awemawson

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2015, 12:49:11 PM »
Peter,

Nice job  :thumbup: My machinists level is adjustable by fine limits. I find this useful when working on a surface that is not 'absolute' - just set the level to suite. Remember that re-setting to zero is very easy by just turning the level 180 degrees and setting for an equal reading.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2015, 03:33:59 PM »
Andrew,

Thank you. Now that you mention the possibilities to adjust the level for different tasks I recall that GH Thomas mentioned in his Model Engineers Workshop Manual that he had made a level which was possible to adjust at any time by thumb screws, and as you say, it is easy to reset by turning it around.

Hmmm, think I have to add the adjustability feature to this one ....

I'll be back.

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Online awemawson

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2015, 03:55:43 PM »
Peter, you could just have springs or compressible pads under your assembly that are squashed by a knurled hold down screw. I'll try and photograph mine in the morning for you
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Online awemawson

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2015, 10:25:34 AM »
Pictures of my Rabone Chesterman as promised
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a small Engineers Level
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2015, 05:17:58 PM »
Thank you for the pictures Andrew, very informative!  :thumbup:

I will think a bit and evaluate some good ideas that came up here.

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)