US 2748494 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 5, 1956 c. w. RANEY 2,748,494
' LEVEL FiledJune 2, 1 955 Fig. 2
Charles W. Raney INVENTOR.
LEVEL Charles W. Raney, North Little Rock, Ark.
Application June 2, 1953, Serial No. 359,096
1 Claim. (Cl. 33213) The present invention relates to certain new and useful improvements in a level which is characterized by a substantially rectangular stock and a plurality of selectively usable so-called spirit levels and which is com monly thought of as being primarily adapted for use by carpenters, masons and the like.
The object of the invention is to provide workingmen with a level having the usual or conventional facilities but improved in that it is also equipped with an auxiliary or extra spirit level which is unique in that it is mounted for folding in opening means provided therefor in the stock and is therefore projectible and retractable and functions as a two-way level in that it may be used while in a vertical position relative to the work surface or adjusted and employed in a horizontal plane or position.
In carrying out a preferred embodiment of the invention an opening is provided preferably at one transverse end of the stock and a foldable frame is hingedly mounted in the opening, the frame being normally inset from and parallel with the broad surfaces of the stock and carrying a spirit level customarily positioned for use in a vertical manner, said frame being such that it may be swung either tothe left or right of the stock to assume a position at right angles thereto and thus handily locating the spirit level for horizontal usage.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a level which is adaptable for use in a vertical position in a manner to simultaneously level both sides of a stud, framework orthe like, byreason of the fact that the user may observe one relatively fixed spirit level and may adjust the hinged or swinging level to simultaneously see the same in order that both levels may be handily observed during one operation, the stock of the leveljhaving at least one, preferably two, grooves along its so-called front corners which provide right angularly disposed surfaces to bear firmly 'againstcorresponding right angularly disposed surfaces on the studwhich is being erected and adjusted on a horizontal foundation to the desired vertical portion.
In carrying out a preferred embodiment of the invention the so-called front corners between the broad sides and one narrow surface are formed with open ended rabbets defining the aforementioned grooves and also the right angularly disposed surfaces to simultaneously abut the corresponding surfaces of the corner portion of the stud which is being positioned in its desired vertical position. Hingedly mounting the auxiliary or extra swingable level in an opening preferably adjacent to the lower end of the stock when the latter is in a vertical position, and placing a fixed complemcntal spirit level in the stock adjacent to said opening, a highly advantageous level of appreciable efficiency and practicality is had, due to the time saved in setting the stud in its desired vertical position without having to shift the level from first one side to the other as is ordinarily required in carpentry and other activities.
In the accompanying drawings wherein like numerals ice are employed to designate like parts throughout the views:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a carpenters spirit level constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
Figure 2 is a view in section and elevation taken on the plane of the line 2-2 of Figure 1 looking in the direction of the arrows; and
Figure 3 is a fragmentary sectional and elevational view taken on the vertical 'line 3-3 of Figure 1 looking in the direction of the arrows.
Referring now to the drawings with the aid of reference numerals and lead lines the wooden or equivalent stock is more or less conventional and rectangular and is herein denoted, as a unitary element, by the numeral 4. At one end there is a sight or what is sometimes referred to as an opening or a slot 6 and a similar slot at 8 and these slots are at right angles to the lengthwise dimension of the stock andare constructed to accommodate insertable and removable spirit vials or levels which are conveniently denoted by the numeral 10 in Figure 2 for example. The level is held in place by an insertable and removable screw plug 12. In the main longitudinal face 14 and usually at the center there is a similar pocket, recess or the like 16 containing an insertable and removable spirit level 18 held in place by a frame or the like 20 which in turn is secured by screws or similar headed fasteners 22. So far I have described what is to be construed as an ordinary carpenters level with horizontal and vertical spirit levels. The chief improvement here has to do with the added or auxiliary spirit level which I provide. To this end, a folding or projectible and retractable frame 24 is provided and is constructed and arranged to operate within the marginal limits of a slot or opening 26 provided therefor in the lower end portion of the stock. The frame is constructed to accommodate the insertable and removable vial or spirit level 28 which is'held in place by an insertable and removable screw plug 30, all as shown in Figure 3.
It is also clear from Figure 3 that a conveniently insertable and removable and therefore readily accessible pivot pin 32 'is provided (see Figure 2) and this is fitted through holes provided therefor and is threaded in place as at 34 and it constitutes a hinge pin, and the bored lower end portion of the frame 24 is hinged thereto permitting the frame to be swung either to the left or right and therefore either into or out of the slot or opening 26. This means that this frame and spirit level assembly provides a means which is normally within the confines of the slot and therefore locates the level in what may be called its folded out-of-use position. On the other hand, the frame may be swung either to the left or right as indicated in full and dotted lines in Figure 3 whichever position is most convenient to increase the over-all utility and facilities in this improved level. Under normal circumstances the frame is held in its vertical position by way of a spring pressed detent or ball check element 36 mounted in a socket provided in the stock and pressed into place with a coil spring 38 which in turn is held by a set screw 40. Adjusting screws 42 are provided and these are threaded through holes provided therefor and are located on opposite sides of the hinge and ball check means so that they may be brought into play to assist in locating the frame in either its extended or projected positions. In respect to these check or adjusting screws 4242, it will be seen that the pivotal hinge means might become loose at some time and in swinging the auxiliary spirit level 24 out to either the right or left it may, because of its own weight, swing to a position which is not at the desired angle in respect to the lengthwise axis of the over-all stock. By setting each adjusting screw to the desired position to serve as a stop close to the hinge means, said level 24 will be prevented from swinging out and down to an undesired position greater. than a right angle. The rounded cam-like corners or surfaces 44 assist in permitting the frame to be swung without hindrance from its extended to its folded position in an obvious manner.
The aforementioned corner accommodation grooves or rabbets are denoted by the numerals 4646 and these extend along opposite longitudinal edge portions of the face 14 in the manner best shown in Figure 1. These rabbets provide right angular surfaces 48 and 50 which cooperate in facilitating the step of placing and satisfactorily holding the face 14 against the corner or a stud (not shown), timber or the like to thus steady the position in which the level is placed for various useful accomplishments.
It will be evident therefore that there are two improvements involved; namely, the corner grooves 46 to facilitate holding and steadying the level in relation to the work and the extra or auxiliary level means, the frame 24, vial 28, adjustable stop screws 4242 and the spring pressed detent ball 36. Here then is a level which has all the customary facilities but is improved in that it provides extra and highly useful facilities. This is especially true in respect to the two-way added frame and spirit level, the features 24 and 23 capable of being used to either right or left of the stock and in either horizontal or vertical position.
It will be noticed that the lower hinged end of the frame is provided with a recess forming a keeper seat 52 for the ball detent 36 as best shown in Figure 3.
Under ordinary circumstances it will be understood that when the frame is folded into its opening as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the ball detent projecting into the keeper seat will hold it in that position. By placing a finger either from the left or right into the opening and exerting slight pressure against the frame, it may be swung on its hinge to drop out and down to either of its projected right or left positions. When the level is new and the hinge means is precision made and all furfaces of the opening are correctly aligned, the projected position of the frame will place the latter in a true rightangled relation to the axis of the stock. After the hinge pin wears it is quite possible that the frame might then swing down a little too far beyond the positions shown in full and dotted lines in Figure 3 and this is where the stop or adjusting screws 42 come into play in that they may be adjusted up to take care of this disparity.
From the foregoing, the construction and operation of the device will be readily understood and further explanation is believed to be unnecessary. However, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the appended claim.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
A carpenters level comprising an elongate stock rectangular in cross-section and having broad side faces which are flat, and relatively narrow fiat faces, the respective faces being provided with fixedly mounted horizontal and vertical spirit levels, said stock being provided adjacent to one transverse end with an opening and, adjacent to said opening with a fixed readily viewable spirit level, an auxiliary spirit level comprising a frame having one end hingedly mounted in a corresponding end portion of said opening, said frame being swingable into the opening and normally into an out-of-the-way position which is inset from and parallel with the broad faces of the stock, said frame being also swingable either to and beyond the left-hand broad face or, alternatively, beyond the right-hand broad face and to assume, in either posi tion, a position which is at right angles to the lengthwise axis of the stock, at least one corner portion between one broad face and the cooperating narrow face being rabbeted and defining an open ended groove, said groove, in turn, providing readily accessible right angularly dis posed work abutting surfaces, said work abutting surfaces being simultaneously engageable with right angularly disposed surfaces embodied in a work piece such as a stud, whereby said level may be firmly held in position and said extra level set in the most advantageous position to assist the observer in checking and arriving at the desired verticality of the stud and without having to bodily shift the level from one face to the other of the stud which is ordinarily required, a spring pressed ball detent mounted in said stock, the hinged end of said frame having a recess providing a keeper seat and said detent being projectible into said keeper seat, and a pair of selectively usable adjusting screws mounted in said stock to the left and right of and paralleling the position of the ball detent and cooperable with the hinged end of the frame to assist in rendering it plumb so that it will be at strict right angles to the axis of the stock in either of its left or right positions.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 250,777 Bergh Dec. 13, 1881 657,443 Newton Sept. 4, 1900 709,990 Lingle Sept. 30, 1902 936,807 Pedersen Oct. 12, 1909 1,450,296 Lucas Apr. 3, 1929 2,145,988 Meder Feb. 7, 1939 2,551,524 Bullivant May 1, 1951 2,635,351 Marcinkowski Apr. 21, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 37,871 Germany Dec. 11, 1886 67,128 Switzerland Oct. 2, 1913 105,375 Great Britain Apr. 10, 1917 334,394 Germany Mar. 16, 1921