Stanley level

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Forum topic by JFred posted 08-14-2014 07:48 PM 972 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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210 posts in 1719 days

08-14-2014 07:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

OK LJ Family,

Needing some help on a stanley level SW. Is it possible to remove the bubble vial. Or is there an easy way to polish the brass around the bubble vial. I do not want to throw this level out of wack as to being level. I want to still use the level everyday in my shop. Would to like to restore one, I have a few that are old and still use them, but would just like to restore one.
Any help or advice is greatly Appreciated, Thanks JEFF

4 replies so far

View bold1's profile


305 posts in 2021 days

#1 posted 08-14-2014 09:16 PM

Hi Jeff. Easiest way I know to set a level(you need to do this if you take one apart) is to use a solid wall. I have a small section of my basement shop wall. Take a plumb bob and fasten it so it hangs free of the wall. Mark this vertical line on the wall and then square a line (90 degrees) to your bob line, at a easy to see height. Attach a shelf at this horizontal line. Now when you wish to check a level, all you need to do is set the level on the shelf. If it’s off simply adjust till the bubble reads true. You can use this for putty set levels too.

View divingfe's profile


14 posts in 2356 days

#2 posted 08-14-2014 09:43 PM

Might I suggest using a Wixey Digital Gauge. For the $35-$45 they cost, I find them incredibly useful for TS blade angles, etc. For your use; after removing & cleaning your vial (sorry, can’t help you out with that :-(( ), then lay the level on a ‘reasonably’ flat surface, put the Wixey on top of it, and then shim the level until the Wixey shows 0ยบ. Then, rotate the bubble vial in place until the bubble is dead-centered. That should do the trick, and will avoid any other steps that will inevitably introduce cumulative error[s]. Another similar method might include sighting along a laser level such as sold in BigBox stores. For polishing, try a GENTLY applied Dremel or similar polishing tool, or, for really intricate corners, a sharp cotton bud and Brasso, or similar. There may be a ‘hidden’ set-screw holding the vial assembly in place, but that’s not in my knowledge pay grade. I applaud your refinishing, rebuilding of older tools. Regards.

-- Shortest distance between two points - a straight line. Longest distance - a shortcut.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3533 days

#3 posted 08-14-2014 11:02 PM

If I read your post correctly, it sounds like the level is level and you just want to polish the brass around the vial. If that’s correct, get some Brasso and some Q-tips and have at it. That’s how I do mine. One other thing, if you’re at all sensitive to odors, take it outside. Brasso stinks.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Don W's profile

Don W

18989 posts in 2741 days

#4 posted 08-14-2014 11:35 PM

What Dave said. If its real bad I’ve been known to cover it with duct tape, cut out the circle and gently hit it with a fine wire wheel first.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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