Shop made torpedo level

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Project by oi2342001 posted 12-25-2011 09:09 AM 1782 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently misplaced (lost) my 7” torpedo level and wanted to make some sort of tool for a while now. I figured I’d give it shot and make one. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out since I mostly made this up as I went along but I’m pleased with the results.

I used some scraps I had of bloodwood, white oak and I think mahogany. I bought a cheap $4 plastic level took it apart and got the 3 glass bubble tubes from it.

I used Karis level build ( as inspiration as well as her method of leveling the level by simply putting it on another level that I shimmed level. I set the tube with plaster of paris. I got a little plaster on the wood inside the side views and didn’t get all of it off so you can see a little if you look close. For the top piece I used a thin piece of bloodwood I had laying around, chiseled out a place for it sit in and cut out a little window.

I wanted to make this a special piece because I feel that it is really the beginning of me really getting into woodworking. The way I did this was by using all hand tools (except for the wood that was planned down already). I ripped the oak by with a handsaw, planed it smooth and shaped the level all by hand. When shaping it I drew out the general shape I wanted, trimmed off the excess with a saw then gave it its final shape with my hand plane. I sanded it all smooth then finished it off with tung oil.

A few things I would do differently on the next one will be:

1)shaping the viewing holes in the sides wider and better
2)use a different color tube, maybe blue
3)put in rare earth magnets on the bottom
4)probably use a different finish, I would like more of a shine but wanted to try using tung oil

Thanks for looking and happy holidays everyone,

-- If your not having fun you're doing it wrong.

4 comments so far

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2778 days

#1 posted 12-25-2011 12:51 PM

Nice work Mike !
And happy holidays to you and yours as well.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View waho6o9's profile


8190 posts in 2575 days

#2 posted 12-25-2011 04:54 PM

Nothing like making your own tools. Good job Mike.

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3462 days

#3 posted 12-27-2011 05:49 AM

Cool project, I love shop made tools.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Bob's profile


98 posts in 3765 days

#4 posted 12-28-2011 06:50 AM


-- Bob, So. Cal

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