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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    screw on a piece of precision ground flat stock to the Vee bottom level. not going to take long for a couple M5 or smaller screws
    The level has a 1” wide top and a trapezoidal cross section with a base that extends another ¼” On each side. The plan is to machine the sides flat, leaving a 1” wide casting. At that point most of the base will be v-way, so the base needs to be machined too.

  2. #22
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    Default looking for small flat-bottom precision level

    Denis-If you get down to $100 or better, count me in


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by ripperj; 01-19-2020 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Clarification

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  4. #23
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    I’m thinking this is going to work out. How important is a second small cross-level vial to folks?

    Denis

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    Quote Originally Posted by rimcanyon View Post
    Add a zero to that (.0005"/12")...

    I have a couple of Goodell Pratt levels that are accurate to .005"/12", and have a flat bottom. One is 12" long, the other 3", but they made other sizes.
    Okee.... Your post has it at .005". I suspected you wanted another zero.

    You could always stick a better vial in the 98..... that has been done before...... Saves a fair bit of fab if you can get one to fit.

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    I got to doodling this morning. I see that a variety of 10 to 20 sec tubular levels are available often about 3.25 “ by .375. So I drew a possible SE to easily accommodate that size and up to a 5/8 by 6 or so. The smaller ones are around 65 dollars from reputable manufacturers. The larger ones are around 100 bucks. The pocket for the vial can be cut to the desired size by the owner. If needed, there would also be room for a cross vial at either end of the level. I also provided for a prism face as it seems that such a feature would be quite handy especially for smaller doves like those on compounds.

    I am inviting comments.

    such a casting could be made for less than 100 dollars.

    c99f4e90-a0ee-45c8-885f-b1512c75eb50.jpg


    Denis

    Added: It seems like this could be an ideal piece for scraping instruction as it could be used for flat scraping the sole, vertical surface scraping the back, parallel surface scraping the top rail and male dovetail surface scraping. I would be offering it with the 20% student discount should I cast it.

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  8. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgfoster View Post
    I’m thinking this is going to work out. How important is a second small cross-level vial to folks?

    Denis
    .
    cross vial is needed to adjust the sideways movement of level vial. when on a cylinder and you roll level if vial not parallel to Vee base the vial bubble will change a very large amount. if level on a flat surface thats not level as you turn level in azimuth you will see level bubble change often a very large amount
    .
    thats what Starrett found after the 95,96 levels they went to 97 and 98 levels with the cross vials
    .
    German and Swiss levels usually use screws to fine side ways adjust level vial as well as up and down tilt
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails levellowprofile.jpg  

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  10. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    .
    cross vial is needed to adjust the sideways movement of level vial. when on a cylinder and you roll level if vial not parallel to Vee base the vial bubble will change a very large amount. if level on a flat surface thats not level as you turn level in azimuth you will see level bubble change often a very large amount
    .
    thats what Starrett found after the 95,96 levels they went to 97 and 98 levels with the cross vials
    .
    German and Swiss levels usually use screws to fine side ways adjust level vial as well as up and down tilt
    Looks like a very nice design you cited. Not surprisingly, it looks like people have interests that are quite divergent. Off-line I have had some that wanted to keep costs to a minimum, or wanted larger levels, and then evidently some folks want the ultimate design with respect to the vial mount. So, perhaps the lesson I should take home from this is to leave enough meat so that those wanting a bulkier and more complex adjusting mechanism will have enough room to install the mount they want. And then those wanting more of a minimalist approach can mill off a 1/4" or so. Alternatively, since I cast these myself, I could offer the castings in the slim version for those wanting a simpler narrower setup and also offer on 1/4 to 3/8 wider on request. It would not be hard to temporarily add a 1/4 or 3/8" shim to the pattern I drew previously. The cost and trouble of casting would be little different.

    Do folks like the idea of the prism or think plain straight sides would be better? I, personally, like the prism idea but I am not married to it. To me it seems the prism broadens the utility of the tool.

    Denis

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    screw on a piece of precision ground flat stock to the Vee bottom level. not going to take long for a couple M5 or smaller screws
    And here I thought I was being an ignorant redneck for simply "gravity installing" one of my vee-bottom 4" block levels onto a 1-2-3 or 2-4-6- block, a parallel, or one of the many and several lenghts of "extension" standards robbed from around 90 inches worth of the guage-block accessory sets bought on the uber-cheap.. BECAUSE they can serve more than just that one original need?

    As were "inexpensive" the Chinese-made but useful-enough block levels, BTW. Have yah not seen what the Swiss or French want for their ones?

    Or a precision square with vial, which can also serve, most cases?

    The need is covered by other means. Durable ones. Any and all such can easily last and serve for more than one human lifetime.

    That's why what Dave wanted is so scarce. Slender market.

    Not because no one knows HOW.

    PS: Try leveling a round linear-bearing rail withOUT use of a vee bottom.
    Tedious.
    Very!

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    I made up a pattern for a small level which will include a prism as well. It will weigh around 3:5 pounds and this version is about 8.5” long, and 1.5 wide by 1.75” high with some added metal allowed for machining. It will accommodate almost any tubular vial on.the market and can be cross-drilled for a cross vial. I expect to pour the first tomorrow or Sunday along with two 18’s. I think it could be offered in various lengths up to 12” or so or perhaps as a 12 with the idea the user could just saw it to the desired length. Here is are a couple pics of the pattern as it looked in process before sanding and painting.

    You can see it has a step-off on the inside edge of the prism to facilitate scraping. It also has a comfortable finger recess and should be handy as heck. I think I will offer it for 60 dollars plus shipping. It will fit in a medium flat rate and maybe in an envelope as well. It will be available as a raw casting or as a machined casting if desired.

    level.jpg



    level1.jpg


    I'll post pics of the casting in a couple days.

    Denis

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    I like that a lot. I have some vials waiting to be used so maybe their opportunity is coming up soon. They were "seconds" from the manufacturer since they calibrated as 11 second vials if that's confusing enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TGTool View Post
    I like that a lot. I have some vials waiting to be used so maybe their opportunity is coming up soon. They were "seconds" from the manufacturer since they calibrated as 11 second vials if that's confusing enough.

    I have an idea you will "somehow manage" with the 11-second gradations. ;-)

    This will also be a "fine grain" cast iron as the grain size is simply dependent on cooling rate. Small castings cool fairly quickly in the sand and so grains don't have much time to grow. I have some 3-inch bars of grey iron that demonstrate this quite well. When broken, a cross section of the casting will have finer grains toward the surface and coarser ones more centrally. It's, obviously, the same alloy, only the cooling rate is different. Provided I remember when I go out to the foundry, I'll snap a couple pics to post along with the new small level casting to show you what I mean.

    Denis

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    I was out at the foundry today casting 2 eighteens and the first 8.5" level and have to wait until tomorrow to see how they turned out. I have learned that there are no guarantees in casting. Some days fate is kind, other days not so much. But I DID remember to photograph a 3x3 chunk of broken grey iron bar to try to show how grain size in that bar varies from very small in the corners (quickest to solidify) to moderate sized in the center of the bar (last to cool and solidify).

    grain-size-cast-iron.jpg


    I am sorry for the image quality---this is the best I could do with my phone. But, I think you can still see that grain size increases significantly from the corners to the center. When you can look at it in person and turn the piece to play the light on it, the differences are very apparent.

    Denis

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    That’s pretty interesting , I never thought about the grain size variation due to cooling temperatures, but then again my casting skills are pretty much non existent

    Thanks for the pic.

    I’m not near my 18, how does the profile of the small level compare(dimension wise)?


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    I decided to start a new thread reporting my new small level/parallel/prism casting in order to ensure the general population here (some of whom may not think they have much to contribute or learn from a "looking for" thread) will be apprised of the availability of this design. See the soon-to-be-opened "New Small Flat Bottom Level/Prism/Parallel Casting Design" thread.

    Ripperj, I will show side-by-side photos of the two SE's. The new casting weighs 4# 14oz as cast and probably would lose about a half pound (guess) in machining.

    Denis

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    Here are the comparison photos ripperj requested:

    level-8-i.jpg



    level-8-j.jpg


    As you can see there is still sand on the 18 as it is still warm from being cast last night---it had gotten dark when I poured the metal.

    Denis

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  21. #36
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    Cool

    I want one...

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    Thanks, shapeaholic! You betcha! I am struggling with the price question. I don’t want to be undercutting the market, though, I guess there is no casting out there that is really a direct competitor. And I don’t want to be ridiculously high priced. I’ll price it at 55 on eBay and 50 to PM members plus. shipping. (Scraping Students get an extra 5 bucks off). Does that seem fair? It will ship in a padded Priority USPS envelope for less than 8 dollars.

    I’ll be casting a few next week if the weather is not terrible. It’s been tough to find a weather window all last week and next week looks no better. That’s why I poured in the dark. The window was late in the day.

    Denis

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    Okee.... Your post has it at .005". I suspected you wanted another zero.

    You could always stick a better vial in the 98..... that has been done before...... Saves a fair bit of fab if you can get one to fit.
    I have a Model 98. Wondering if this might work: https://www.leveldevelopments.com/pr...ivity-0-01mmm/

    15mm dia. is about what the original glass tube is. A tad over $50. If I did the math right, that would be about a ten thousandth of an inch over 12". Just wondering, 1: if that level of accuracy is really necessary in most shops and 2: would simply walking around on the concrete floor would effect it, and finally 3: how long would it take for that bubble to settle down.

    Do you recall where you read about the conversion?

  24. #39
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    Forrest,

    Interesting approach. So in a way a person is getting differential screw fine adjustment using a gradually tapered point of the fine-threaded longitudinal screw. I like it! Thank you!

    I would be nice if a person could get away with a single axial screw using this general principle. I am thinking axial screw pushing on a shallowly inclined plane to raise lower one end of the vial or pushing on a pin that can rock on a cross axis (no slewing). Once I have fleshed out the idea a bit better, I'll post it up. For instance, one end of the vial could be supported by a 1/4 dia shaft that is cross-pinned near one end into the 21/64 plug and can rock on that cross-pin on its long axis. An axial screw in the plug rocks the 1/4 shaft but because the 1/4 shaft is cross-pinned far off (10:1) its lengthwise center a lot of movement on the outboard end only moves the support end 1/10th the movement of the outboard end. e adjustment might be possible.

    I am awaiting delivery of the vials, a 21/32 reamer for the full-length hole, and just purchased a good-quality long reach 5/8" drill.

    Denis


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