Full Chisel Blog

February 28, 2009

Sometimes I buy new tools

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 5:29 pm

Especially when they look like a traditional tool and that is the case with this spirit level.  Called a ‘Whiskey Stick’, referring to the alcohol within the glass vial and kept the level from freezing in the winter time.

Torpedo Level

This one I purchased on sale at my local Woodcraft.  There are brass Philips screws in brass, which I will replace with the more accurate slotted iron screws.  They make a smaller version that is just a level, this is both a level and a plumb, which is handy.  These can also be used as winding sticks, if you can read the bubble correctly.  Nothing worse than being a half a bubble off level.



  1. Is it accurate Stephen? Is it adjustable for “down the road” adjustment?

    I once was going to purchase a Crown torpedo for small tasks. Unfortunately, each of the three I stacked on top of each other read differently enough I took a pass–knowing which one was accurate was impossible without my reference level.

    Instead, I purchased one which would give you the shivers in its inauthetic look and materials for the period which is your interest. But then again, I wanted a level that read, well, level (and plumb). It’s looks even give me the willys.

    So making a nice level is on one of my “someday” lists. Might even cast one up as an experiment into lost wax casting.

    Take care, Mike

    Comment by Mike — March 1, 2009 @ 10:48 am

  2. Mike,

    The one I got is very accurate, I did go through them, but was mainly looking at the grain. I checked the level and plumb out before I bought them, they had 5 others and I would have bought any of them. But I was glad I got to look at them.

    I have since taken off the thin modern finish and of course their logo went away. I also worked over the brass and noticed that the end pieces are riveted together which is a nice touch. I have a bit more scraping to do to the surface, a card scraper pulls off fine thin brass shavings. The brass was proud as the rosewood had shrunk a bit. But then out here everything shrinks. The level has no way of adjusting the bubble. I do have a nice old bubble that someday I will incorporate into a level when I find the right piece of wood.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — March 1, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

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