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View Full Version : What type of level to use for my table?



James B
02-04-2003, 02:30 PM
Should I use a mechanics level when leveling my table and if so where can I find one and info on how to use it?

Paul_Mon
02-04-2003, 03:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote James B:</font><hr> Should I use a mechanics level when leveling my table and if so where can I find one and info on how to use it? <hr /></blockquote>


James,

Starrett is a company that makes and sell measuring tools for the machining industry. From simple rulers to optical comparitors. For about $50 you can purchase a machinist level that is accurate to within .002" per foot. Try a google search for finding one.

Paul Mon

NBC-BOB
02-05-2003, 10:34 AM
I've done a few tables over the years and always just used a long 3 ft level without any problems.Of cause if the table is on carpet, there may be some settling.I know a few people that went crazy with this.If you want to drive yourself crazy do this! Take a small piece of glass and lay it on the table anyplace you like, then take one of the balls and steady it on the glass!Move the glass and ball around the table and see if the ball rolls off the glass.

02-05-2003, 12:30 PM
Funny you mention this. Just yesterday I had the mechanics from the dealer where I bought my Brunswick Avalon come by to take care of some minor fit-and-finish bugs and also to relevel since a definite drift toward one corner had developed. This drift had been annoying me and a buddy to no end and was very noticeable to us.

When the mechanics got there they started rolling balls around, but claimed they couldn't see the drift, even when I pointed it out! So they pull out their standard carpenter's levels, and sure enough the bubble is dead center between the lines. Well, they went ahead and did the other work, and when they had finished and replaced the rails, one guy picked up a cue and tapped a ball down table. The drift was pretty severe this time, so they finally noticed it. Their level still read "level." They went ahead and shimmed, and the drift was fixed. Put their level back on the table, and it STILL read level!

It just goes to show you that a standard carpenter's level doesn't have enough sensitivity to measure the very slight out-of-level needed for a ball to drift on slate. I agree that a high-precision machinists level is probably the way to go.

I like the glass idea too, that never occurred to me before!

David

Troy
02-05-2003, 04:09 PM
A Machinists Level is the ONLY way to go. It will reflect a bubble deflection for the thickness of a dollar bill. I don't know if you can find one for $50 bucks though. I think new they're about $150.

Troy

Popcorn
02-05-2003, 05:15 PM
I can't believe what I am going to say is so different from what the others I have read said. Assuming your slates are correct in relation to each other, I used to use a common level to do a rough check. I did my final check by rolling a ball in a pattern of rolls that told me how the table was. I used to check my tables regularly. Over the years I have leveled I bet a thousand tables this way. Had guys betting thousands of dollars on my tables without any complaints. The object is for the ball to roll correctly, when it does, you are done. Again, the slates must be sitting on the frame correctly. I think I can do a better job my way then you can do with a level. In fact, I would say I know I can do a better job. I have leveled tables for friends that have had the mechanic out several times telling them there was nothing wrong. I don't think half of those guys even play pool.

Paul_Mon
02-06-2003, 06:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Troy:</font><hr> A Machinists Level is the ONLY way to go. It will reflect a bubble deflection for the thickness of a dollar bill. I don't know if you can find one for $50 bucks though. I think new they're about $150.

Troy <hr /></blockquote>

Brand new from a local distributor:

Starrett 98-6 $68.64
Starrett 98-8 $86.24
Starrett 98-12 $156.82

I did see a few on e-bay that were priced below $75. I cheated and mounted the 98-6 to a piece of machined bar stock that is 12" long. Two of these make leveling the table easy.

Paul Mon

woody_968
02-06-2003, 07:39 AM
I also roll balls on the table when leveling, but one key is the way you roll them. I always drop them on the rail so half hits the rail and half doesnt. This makes sure you dont apply any spin with your hand or a cue.