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Old 04-27-2011, 09:05 PM   #1
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level question


It is a puzzle to me because I have relatively little experience with levels and this is my first 6ft level.
I have a new level but if my expectations are correct I am disappointed.

-The center vial is on axis in one direction but very noticeably off axis in the other. So it is true when upright and level but when pivoted to the side the vial reads off in one direction or the other. maybe the level is bent but how am I to know?

-The above being said there is no way this level is reading anything close to true when laid flat-on its side. It is an more than an 8th of the bubble off.

-a center x-brace protrudes from the chasis enough (and unevenly so) so putting in on a wall to draw a horizontal line....well you get the picture. Every box level I have had used lays flat on all 4 sides.

-less of a problem...it is not really 72" leveling, it is 69" with 3" for the end bumpers. maybe 6 foot is the magic number for squeezing it into spots and I think I prefer bumpers than dinging the unit.

Can someone educate me a bit to validate or invalidate my concerns?

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Old 04-28-2011, 05:18 AM   #2
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Either a level reads true or it does not. You can check it easily, set the level on a surface if it reads a little out of the bubble fine. Spin the level 180 and look again. If its out of the bubble the same as before then the level is good to go. If not return it. Some levels are adjustable and can be tuned up but you shouldn’t have to do this right out of the box.

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Old 04-28-2011, 05:25 AM   #3
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Quality levels are getting hard to find. Always check then when new and recheck every now and then.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:34 AM   #4
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I think I am hearing I should return it, or keep it?
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:27 AM   #5
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Depending on when and where you bought it: Return it. Also depending on when and where you bought it will determine whether or not you will have to argue your case.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:24 AM   #6
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when i used to buy levels i would stack them three high and find two that read the same, i would then do the two vertically and hopefully they would read true. i have spent some time going thru the stacks but seem to come away with a level i feel comfortable with
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:41 AM   #7
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level question


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
Either a level reads true or it does not. You can check it easily, set the level on a surface if it reads a little out of the bubble fine. Spin the level 180 and look again. If its out of the bubble the same as before then the level is good to go. If not return it. Some levels are adjustable and can be tuned up but you shouldn’t have to do this right out of the box.
in addition to this, rotate the level to check the opposite side in the same manner. I have had levels with the two edges not parallel due to poor machining.

I do the same for all bubbles in the level. It doesn't do much good to have one good bubble and two bad bubbles. If checking a 45º bubble, just find or create a ledge with a 45º slope as determined by the level. Then spin and rotate to do the comparison checks.

If they don't all check good, on a new level, return it. If it is a level you can't return for whatever reason, be sure to mark the bad bubbles so you do not use them accidentally.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:10 PM   #8
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IMO decent 6’ levels start at about 70 bucks. What did you pay?
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:23 PM   #9
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thanks for the replies...I acted on the advice....sometimes I should just go with my gut and say "hey...this does not look right" even if I am not experienced. hopefully this will answer a few questions.

I was looking for a model from a brand of level and was offered one that was being discontinued at the discounted price of $100. Yep, that is a lot of money for level.

I called them back and they will ship me a new one but they could/would not answer the question on that center x-brace piece sticking out on one side. Who would want it protruding?

They also insisted that it was factory sealed and the manufacturer would not send anything but a new level. Either the workmanship/QC is extremely poor or this is not a brand new level.

I am thinking...forget it I do not want this level at all
It was one of these:
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

countryStyle

Last edited by countrystyle; 04-29-2011 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:19 AM   #10
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You hadn't said that it was an Empire. My experience with their levels has been less than satisfactory, and their customer service is worse. My beautiful brass bound 48" mahogany Empire level is nice to look at, but has been replaced by a Johnson box level. The Johnson isn't as pretty, but reads level and plumb consistently.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:03 PM   #11
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level question


I never had good luck with a 6' level staying true. I'm sure somebody makes one that does, but I haven't found a real need for one. You can joint a piece of lumber straight, put a small block of wood of the same size at each end and use it to extend the reach of a 4' level when doing doors, etc. If you want a good line of levels that you cannot hurt, check out Stabila. They are gauranteed to be true even after throwing them off a 55' tall roof. I haven't come across anything better.
Here's a link:
http://www.stabila.com/main.taf?p=2

Mike Hawkins
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:33 PM   #12
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I've never heard a complaint about a Stabila.
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:14 AM   #13
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Throw my .02 worth. Check it by eye for straight while one end is touching floor, flip it, sight the other edge. Check them as said and flip it up-side-down, check again. The better ones have the adjustment screws. My best= Stabila from the early '90's- a 6' with screws. $120 from mobile nail supplier at the job-site, he tossed it 30' away and checked it- good to go.....




I bought his spare one.
Same nail guy that showed my washing machine hose 4" section w. pencil/keel in it and month later yards and box stores had them for sale.....

Gary
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:34 AM   #14
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Once you go Stabila, you never go back. Johnson's not bad but can taco fairly easily. The only Empire I bought (24") had consistency problems.
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:35 AM   #15
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Actually I have two (2) Empire levels, a 24" and a 48" and have not had any problems with either. BUT I certainly doubt Empire's ad where it states that the 72" level is accurate to within 1/2000" of the 72" level. As a retired machinist this raises the hair on the back of my neck. Let the buyer beware.

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