Machinist's Level help

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seal killer
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by seal killer » Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:28 pm

Harold--

My level says it is good for half a thousandth (0.0005") over 10".

--Bill
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by Harold_V » Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:49 am

Good choice, Bill. Not all of them are. Carpenter's levels may not be any better than 1/8" over three feet. All depends on the original quality and what it's been through.

While I now own a Starrett 199, I used to use a Starrett 98 for leveling. It was good enough to detect the slight twist in the bed of my Graziano, a twist that I can't remove because the base is more rigid than the bed. Only shimming will do what is necessary, or hand scraping, a task beyond my ability. I simply don't have the necessary equipment. Luckily, the twist is not extreme.

H
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by Harold_V » Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:52 am

BadDog wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:32 pm
From what I've read, and what I think I understand, the 98 is generally considered plenty accurate for leveling machines.
Depends on the machine. High precision machines may demand greater ability. That said, a 98 certainly doesn't provide the needed precision for scraping, where a 199 or similar is pretty much mandatory. I own both.

H
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BadDog
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by BadDog » Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:14 am

I don't have expert knowledge, but for what little I posses, I agree completely. I suppose the 98 may not be sufficient for some very high precision machines, but for lathe setup, I've never heard a case for it not being up to the task. I also have a 199 just because I ran across one for less than a 98 typically brings, but it's never been out of it's fitted mahogany case. Of course one reason for that is that could be that it needs the vial rebedded and calibrated. :wink: I think it would be exceedingly rare for even a very involved homeshop to ever approach any real need for the 199, but that may be just my ignorance...
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Harold_V
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by Harold_V » Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:23 am

There are machines that demand a high level of precision in installation. As an example, when I worked at Sperry, they purchased a new Fosdick jig borer. The machine required its own foundation, which turned out to be a block of concrete that was independent of the structure, and was nine feet in depth. There are occasions where the 98 simply can't resolve the required degree of precision.

The beauty of the scraping of the Fosdick was hard to describe. It doesn't really show here, but the photo gives you an idea of the size of the machine. I'm sorry to say, I was never offered the opportunity to run it. Like in grinding, select individuals were assigned, and usually were not moved around.

Fosdick Jig Borer.jpg

I purchased my 98 new. It has been lapped once, to remove bowing of the base. It needs it again. If nothing else, they aren't born with the same degree of precision found in the 199, and are certainly not as stable.

But, in the end, if a guy has a 98, the common shop is unlikely to require a greater degree of resolution.
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by spro » Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:16 pm

This is so cool. I bought exactly One # 199 . It is sweet enough that I never bought another. Sort of like "last Word" but so true.
The level across the ways - at the top, is not what the saddle sees. It has to be register of level and the worn bed ... You tell me.
I just think that lathe, La Lindra or something (of course I know) I love Poland. The power it is capable of, probably could yeh right.
I guess I Have nothing to say except You are the only one on this site to have this machinery.
It has been a good ride. If you machine another tailstock, It may be that a tailstock barrel presents itself. #3 Morse.

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ctwo
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by ctwo » Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:40 pm

For a cheap solution, I made my own level: https://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/vi ... 4&t=106820

Vials linked there are still ~$12
Standards are so important that everyone must have their own...
To measure is to know - Lord Kelvin
Disclaimer: I'm just a guy with a few machines...

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seal killer
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by seal killer » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:56 pm

Harold--

Springfield, Missouri is only 85 miles or so from us. We make the trip now and then. Grizzly is there. I'm going to take my level to them and see if they know how to adjust it. The level gets great reviews. Maybe others have instructions written by native English speakers or the level was good out of the box.

If Grizzly can't help, I'll get a Starrett 98 8" level off Amazon. $138.50.

--Bill
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by Harold_V » Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:59 am

Bill,
Can you tell us more about your level? I was under the impression it was fully functional and could be used for leveling your machines. The specs were impressive.

Adjusting one like the 98 is dead easy, assuming you have a reliable surface from which to work. A leveled surface plate, as an example. The one you have may not offer an adjustment, but a picture might go a long way towards making a determination.

H
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by John Hasler » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:06 am

A flat surface plate, yes, but the reversing test won't work if the plate is truly level.

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Bill Shields
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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by Bill Shields » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:31 am

sure it will...if the plate is truly level...then the level will show 'level' in both directions....

first $50 + shipping from 19734 takes it.
98 level.jpg
been in the box for 40 years....and I have 3!

which is a good thing since my 4th got broken in shipping 35 years ago.
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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Re: Machinist's Level help

Post by John Hasler » Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:28 am

If the surface plate is truly level and the level is already correctly adjusted it will show zero in all directions. If it is not correctly adjusted it will show the same error in all directions. Thus the reversing test won't work. You are just comparing this level to the one used to level the plate. The reversing test compares it to itself.

Nulling is always more sensitive than zeroing and relies on no reference standard.

Calibrating a level is a different procedure entirely, of course.

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