American Levels and Their Makers

Craftsman-made Brass Copy of a Davis Level & Tool Carpenters' Level

It is not unusual to find craftsman-made copies of commercially made levels. Seldom, however, do they have the detail found in the pictured level. This copy represents the form taken by Davis levels after the spindle form shown elsewhere in this room. All of the parts appear to be handmade including the brass cartridges that held the plumb and level vials. This level is approximately 13" long and appears to have resulted from the use of a cut down 18" Davis Level & Tool Co. carpenters' level as a pattern. It is 2 _" high and that is the height of the frame of the 18" Davis carpenters' level. (Each length of Davis' carpenters' levels has a different and characteristic frame size.)

Craftsman-made copies of other kinds of levels are known in wood, brass and cast iron. Wooden levels might be simple or elaborately brass bound and may utilize high quality exotic woods. One of a kind craftsman's levels need not regard cost of materials or time as a block to their production. Many of these levels are more an expression of the craftsmans' skill than of the inability to afford the commercial model.

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