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Publication numberUS2386833 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 16, 1945
Filing dateJun 15, 1943
Priority dateJun 15, 1943
Publication numberUS 2386833 A, US 2386833A, US-A-2386833, US2386833 A, US2386833A
InventorsBaldwin William G
Original AssigneeBaldwin William G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 2386833 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 16, 1945 v ca. BALDWIN 2,386,833

LEVEL Filed June 15, 1943 2 Sheets-Sheet. l

||iHTlllll|lTl| INVENTOR 09L 16,1945. w L I 2,386,833

LEVEL Filed June 15, 1943 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 MIIIIY/iliii 5 INVENTOR William G. Baldwin Patented Oct. 16, 1945 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE LEVEL William G. Baldwin, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Application June 15, 1943, Serial No. 490,853

7 Claims.

This invention relates to levels of the bubble type and is for a level of this type adapted for a wide range or variety of uses to which conventional levels are not adapted, and which is designed to be of wider utility than devices of this character as heretofore made.

My invention is embodied in a small unit which can be conveniently carried in a tool kit, or even in the pocket, and, among other uses, can be used for leveling, plumbing, squaring, or on a line, such as a chalk line, and can beapplied to and used in conjunction with straight edges or rulers, squares, plumb lines and level lines, to accomplish various results for which satisfactory tools are not now available or which would customarily require a large number of special purpose tools.

My invention may be fully understood by reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a front elevation of a level embodying my invention;

Figure 2 is an elevation of the reverse side of the instrument;

Figure 3 is a top plan view;.

Figure 4 is an end elevation thereof;

Figure 5 is a transverse vertical section through the level at the center thereof;

Figure 6 is a perspective view of the device;

Figure 7 is a perspective view of the movable face plate of the device;

Figure 8 shows the device applied to the under edge of metal square;

Figure 9 is a perspective view of modified embodiment;

Figure 10 shows the device of Figure 9 with the face plate removed;

Figure 11 is a transverse section through the level of Figure 9 applied in one manner to a straight edge;

Figure 12 is a similar view showing it applied to a straight edge in a different manner;

Figure 13 shows the level of Figure 9 partly in section and partly in elevation;

Figure 14 shows the level (of either form) applied to the top edge of a square;

Figures 15 and 16' show the manner of using the level on a plumb line;

Figure 17 shows the manner of using the device as a square; and

Figure 18 shows a manner of using the level on a straight edge.

Referring first to the construction shown in Figures 1 to 8, my invention, as illustrated therein comprises a body 2 which may be of plastic, wood. metal, or any suitable material. In the upper edge is a cut-out, 3 through which the bubble tube 4. sealed in the body, is made visible. The body has a central groove 5 in the bottom edge thereof, the groove being of uniform depth along its length, and the bottom edge or face of the body is also level. The body can be set on a flat surface to determine whether the same is level, as with a conventional level, and because of the groove 5, it can be set over a narrow straight edge. A pair of set screws 6 screwed into the body from the outer face 1 thereof have their inner terminals projecting into the groove 5 for clamping the body onto a narrow strip or straight edge.

In addition to the set screws 6, the body has two openings 8, passing transversely through it, one adjacent each end thereof. There is also a central opening 9 through the body, and about this opening there is a metal thrust plate H] on the outer face of the body. The openings 8 slidably receive dowel pins II on a face plate I2 that is parallel with the face Ia of the body. These dowels hold the plate I2 from pivoting on the body while enabling the plate to move back and forth in a transverse direction. The outer face of plate i2 is a plane.

On the center of the plate I2 and parallel with the dowel pins I I, is a hollow internally threaded stud I3, which is entered into opening 9. A screw I4, having a knurled head Ida, is entered into the body in a direction opposite stud I3 and is threaded into the stud, as shown in Figure 5. By turning the screw, the plate I2 can be moved toward and away from the face Id of the body, there being a shoulder Ma on the screw I4 back of the thrust plate I0.

The plate I2 has bayonet-like slots I5 therein in the top and bottom edges thereof, these slots having vertical portions l5a, horizontal portions I51), and vertical elongations at the inner ends of the horizontal portions. Thevertical parts I50 are in alinement at one side of the center of the screw M, which is at the geometrical center of the instrument, and the vertical line between the portion l5a is true perpendicular to the horizontal axis of the bubble tube. The parts I50 of the slots are in a vertical line, which line passes across the center of the screw M.

The plate I2 also has a hole "5 in one corner thereof and a slot I! in a diagonally opposite corner. In the face Id of the body, which face is otherwise a plane, is a longitudinally extending groove l8 which is parallel with the longitudinal axis of the bubble tube. The dowels II also have their line of centers parallel with respect to the horizontal axis of the bubble tube, and are of equal diameter.

It has already been indicated that the device may be used as a conventional level, and that because of the groove 5 in the bottom thereof, it can be set on a narrow straight edge. It may also be used in many other unique ways, some of which are illustrated. As shown in Figure 18, a long straight edge I9 can be clamped between plate 12 and face 1a of the body with one edge thereof resting on the two dowel pins. This can be held close against a wall for drawing a long level line. The straight edge I 9, instead of being clamped above the dowel pins l I, may be clamped under them.

As shown in Figure 17, a straight edge 20 may be clamped vertically between the body and the plate 12, the vertical parts 15a of the slots serving to line the straight edge perpendicularly to the axis of the bubble tube. When so assembled, the straight edge may be used for drawing a truly perpendicular line upon a wall or as a square for setting up posts or uprights or similarly to a T-square, or carpenter's square.

As shown in Figures 15 and 16, a plumb line may be engaged in the notches 15a and one end of the line may be anchored to a floor or ceiling for the establishment of a perpendicular. For example, assume it to be necessary to make a mark on a ceiling 24" out from a side wall. A nail may be driven into the floor 24" out from the wall, the line attached to the nail, and my instrument placed on the line. Then, by bringin the upper end of the line against the ceiling and centering the bubble of the instrument, the perpendicular can be established on the ceiling. In Figures 15 and 16 the line is designated 20a.

In Figure 14 the device is shown applied to'one leg of a square 2| to establish a perpendicular on a sloping structure, or to establish a horizontal. This may be used, for example, in marking lumher to be sawed for rafters, or the like.

In addition to the slots 15, there may be notches or marks 22 in the plate 12 to aid in lining up a perpendicular straight edge, and for other purposes. A horizontal line may be clamped in the groove 18 for establishing a horizontal, and additional hooks 23 secured in the ends of the body and having open eyes or books 23a to enable the device to be hung onto a line, the hooks terminating substantially flush with the top edge of the body 2. the body being notched at 24 to enable the line to be engaged in the hooks.

For certain uses, the level may desirably be more or less fixedly attached to a board or straight edge, and when this is the case, the plate I2 is secured to the board or straight edge by screws or bolts that pass through the hole 16 and slot II, the plate 12 being detached from the body 2 during this operation. The slot 11, bein elongated about a radius struck from hole I6, enables a slight adjustment of the plate and board to be made to compensate for inaccuracies in assembling. When the plate [2 has been secured in place, the level may be reassembled, and the straight edge or board and level thus become a unit adapted for many construction operations in which a very long level has heretofore been required, or for which there has heretofore been no convenient instrument. Figure 8 ZIIIOWS another adaptation of the tool to a square The foregoing are but a few of the many adaptations for my invention. Many others will be evident to those skilled in the art. An important feature of the invention is the provision 0 the thin, fiat plate 12 forming one side face of the device.

Instead of having the side plate [2 adjustable, it may be fixed, and leaf springs may be used for frictionally clamping the device to the various elements to which it is applied. This is shown in the modification illustrated in Figures 9 to 13, inclusive, although this form is less widely adaptable than the form previously described in which the clamping plate 12 is movable.

In this modification, 25 designates the body of the level with a notch 26 in its upper edge to expose the bubble tube 21. One face 28 is flat, and the other face 29 has a central rib 30 extending therealong. A thin, rigid plate 3| is bolted by accurately positioned bolts 32 to the face 29, being held in spaced relation to the face by the rib 39. This forms upper and lower channels 33 and 34 between the plate and the body. This plate has bayonet-shaped notches 35 therein, but in this figure they are turned in opposite directions. They of course provide means, as do the slots 15 of Figure 1, for putting the instrument on a vertical line or plumb line.

To enable the level to be clamped onto a straight edge, leaf springs 36 are positioned in notches cut in the rib 30 and held in place by bolts 32. Thus, as shown in Fi ure 12, the springs will frictionally engage a straight edge entered in either the upper or lower groove, 33 or 34. Such a straight edge, 31, is shown in the lower groove 34 in Figure 12.

In the bottom edge of the body 25 is a longitudinal groove 38, corresponding to groove 5 previously described, but leaf springs 39, also held in place by bolts 32, provide friction clamping means for holding the level on a straight edge, such as the member ill entered into it. It will of course be understood that set screws, as shown in the preferred form, could be substituted, or that leaf springs could be used in the bottom groove 5 of the preferredform and that other features of the two forms may be interchangeably used.

Wire hooks 4! at each end of the body enable the level to be hung on a line, as previously described.

While I have shown and described certain embodiments of my invention, it will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the structure within the contemplation of my invention.

I claim as my invention:

1. A level comprising a body having a spirit level thereon, a clamping plate on one face of the body providing a recess between the plate and the body into which a straight edge may be set, said plate having cord-receiving notches in its upper and lower edges, the notches be ng the longitudinal center of the level.

2. A level comprising a body having a spirit level thereon and a clamping plate on one face of the body formed of relatively thin metal and having its outer surface a plane, and means on the plate passing through the body intermediate the top and bottom edges thereof for securing the plate to the body, a space being provided between the plate'and the body both above and below the securing means for receiving a straight edge.

3. A level comprising a body having a spirit level thereon, a clamping plate on one face of the body having its outer surface a plane, dowel pins adjacent each end of the plate slidably received in the body, and screw means passing through the center of the body for moving the dowel plate toward and away from the body.

4. A level comprising a body having a spirit level thereon, a clamping plate positioned along one side face of the body, and means for moving the clamping plate toward and away from the body, said plate having bayonet-type slots in the top and bottom edges thereof and in perpendicular alinement with each other whereby a line may be hooked into said slots.

5. A level comprising a body having a spirit level thereon, a clamping plate positioned along one side face of the body, and means for moving the clamping plate toward and away from the body, said plate having markings on the upper and lower edges thereof which are in vertical alinement, said alinement being perpendicular to the horizontal axis of the level, whereby a straight edge may be clamped between said plate and the body perpendicular to the body.

6. A level comprising a body having a bubble tube mounted on the upper edge thereof, a clamping plate alongside one face of the body, means for moving the clamping plate toward and away from the body, said body having a longitudinally extending groove in that face thereof over which the clamping plate extends whereby either a straight edge or a line may be clamped between the clamping plate and the body, and pin means extending through the said plate and body for alining the level on an edge of the straight edge. 7. A level comprising a body having a spirit level thereon, one face of the body having a rib extending therealong in a horizontal direction, a clamping plate secured to said face of the body having its upper and lower edges spaced from the body providing longitudinally extending recesses above and below said rib into which a straight edge may be set, and spring means in said recesses for frictionally engaging a straight edge which is set into one of the recesses.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2680302 *Apr 24, 1953Jun 8, 1954Standal George MLayout level
US2834116 *Nov 22, 1955May 13, 1958Hambrick William TCentering and marking tool for pipes
US2841881 *Sep 23, 1954Jul 8, 1958Baldwin William GLevel unit
US3106024 *Nov 18, 1960Oct 8, 1963Alan L OehrigLeveling devices
US3159924 *Nov 20, 1961Dec 8, 1964George LiebleinLadder inclinometer
US3513558 *Feb 9, 1968May 26, 1970Stanley WorksLevel and method of making same
US4964219 *Feb 6, 1989Oct 23, 1990Wade ParkerCombination plumb/level instrument for a try square
US5233760 *Jul 31, 1992Aug 10, 1993Patterson E EnnallsAngular measuring mechanism
US6094833 *May 8, 1998Aug 1, 2000Medley, Jr.; Travis D.Tape blade level
U.S. Classification33/369, 33/392, 33/376
International ClassificationG01C9/24, G01C9/26
Cooperative ClassificationG01C9/24, G01C9/26
European ClassificationG01C9/26, G01C9/24