Machinist Level

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Starrett Machinists Level 98-4 Machine Shop Tools precision measuring

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Machinist Level

Frequently Asked Questions...

procedure on how to read precision machinist level?


Best Answer...

Answer:

There are several brands and lengths and accuracies of precision machinist levels available.

I own a Starrett No. 98
It is 12 inches long.
The accuracy is 0.005" per graduation mark.
The graduation marks represent 0.005 inches per mark, over the 12 inch length of the level.

There are six short graduated marks on each side of center on the level vial.
There is one longer mark centered between the six shorter marks.

If the end of the bubble is on the long mark, the level is level.

If the right end of the bubble is on the first short mark, to the right side of level, the level is
0.005 inches higher on the right hand end of the level.

If the right end of the bubble is on the second short mark, to the right of level, the level is 0.010 inches higher on the right hand end of the level.
And so on.

Starrett makes a more accurate and more expensive level that has an accuracy of 0.001 inches per graduation.

There should be information on the accuracy and graduations for your level, in the box the level is stored in.

If that information is not there, you can do a bench test using shim stock.
You will need shim stock sizes:
0.001"
0.005"

A level granite plate would be best to do this test on, but any work bench will do.
The bench will not be level.
Place your level on the work surface, orientated left to right.
Observe the bubble position.
If the bubble is to the right of center, place a 0.001" shim under the right end of the level.
Keep adding shims until the level reads level.

Reverse this process if the bubble is to the left of center.

Once you have the level leveled, add one 0.001" shim under one end of the level.
If the bubble moves to the first graduated mark, the level has an accuracy of 0.001" per the level length.

If you have to add 0.005" of shims to move the end of the bubble to the first graduated mark, your level has an accuracy od 0.005" per the level length.

As an example, using my level, I place it on the bed of a Mill.
The Mill bed is five feet long.
The right end of my bubble is in the first graduated mark past level.
That means the the bed is 0.005" out of level, in the length of the level.
The mill bed is high on the right end.
The level is 12"/ 1' long, the mill bed is 5' long.
5 times 0.005" = the mill bed is 0.025" out of level, high on the right end.

If you need more help, click my Avatar, go to my Activity Page and email me.
Open your email option on your Activity Page, you need to be able to communicate with people.

Ben