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07-11-2018, 07:11 PM

you can get an import brand 12 inch for 85 new from the local machine shop tool supplier

dont need to pay hundreds for starretts

the cheap machine shop tools work just as well as the expensive ones


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07-16-2018, 03:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ssonerai View Post
There are Starrett levels, and then there are Starrett levels.

Can't advise on length but you probably want the 98-series, which have ground vials and .005" /ft accuracy (per division)

The 97 series looks the same, but has bent glass vials like a carpenter level, and about the same accuracy; variously reported (on machinist sites) as around .015"/ft/division.

Point being, be careful not to pay 98 prices for a mere 97 someone is trying to palm off.

If you want to drive yourself nuts, get the Starrett 199. No, not really. Good for rescraping machine ways (in concert with a scraped straight edge & surface plate). But the .0005" (1/2 thousandth)/ft /division accuracy means it moves if you breath on it, or walk around the table to the other side, and it is off the scale most of the time, so really difficult to work with outside of machine rebuilding.

smt
-

Wait a minute... the 97 series level does not have a bent vial like a carpenters level. The difference between the 97 and 98 series is the vial on the 97 has less sensitivity than a 98 series level because the 98 is a more recent production with newer technology in grinding the vials and shoe of the level to tighter specs.
I can get a 96 or 97 level to be just as accrate as a 98 series by lapping the shoe and installing a 98 series vial into the plug and tube assembly.
The 96 series level only had a single line of either side of the bubble.

I was lucky enough to have learned a lot about the 90ís series starrett level,calibration and repair from a good guy who I made friends with through starrett. RIP Mike Yamamoto. He worked with starrett and at starrett for a long time, mike designed the fixture that starrett uses today to repair the tube and plug assembly when they do in-house level service to replace the vial,he also wrote a book on how to repair dial calipers and indicators.
And thank you to the great people at starrett for all they have done to produce such high quality american made tools.



Hope this helps.

Rob.M


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07-17-2018, 02:21 PM

Rob - that is interesting.
In my mid-1960's Starrett catalog the description is just like this page, from an earlier catalog found online:



The 97 is described (in both catalogs) as plain vial, the 98 as ground vial.
I started to post some links to Practical Machinist forum with descriptions by people who know, but the threads often de-generate. There's a lot of noise to signal ratio. Sigh. I do think Starrett would probably know best how to list products in their own catalog.

It is possible that the "plain" vial is blown with a shape internally rather than being actually bent. I'm speculating, but that would make it easier to fit to the same or very similar frame. However it would not likely yield a better bubble, not a more consistent bubble (sensitivity of any 2 levels compared), than a bent tube.

I have a 199 which i use for scraping machine way systems, and a Hilger and Watts which is even more sensitive, same app.

Looks like the 97 /98 question might need a bit more research.

That aside, used 97's are only a small percent of the value of a 98; and apparently about 1/3 as sensitive. I don't know enough about pool table set up to know if a 97 is "sensitive enough". There's a lot of user practice that determines outcome using any level. There's also a convenience factor in using just the right sensitivity for a given application, as opposed to using either a level that is too sensitive (my 199 caution previously ) or less sensitive than ideal.

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