Hardwood classic levels with stainless steel bindings from Crick
Photo: Ted Morrison

Tilt Control

In its most basic form, a level is nothing more than a ­liquid-filled vial with a free-floating bubble on the inside. When that vial is positioned so the bubble sits between a pair of parallel lines, you can rest assured that your work is perfectly horizontal, parallel with the horizon and square to the earth's gravitational pull. Yet, a level's uses go beyond just getting floors horizontal and walls plumb; they are also indispensable for putting a perfect pitch on gutters, drainpipes, walkways, and patios. A well-made level can do any of these jobs, but most tasks will be easier and the results more accurate when you use one of the specialized tools shown in the following slides.

Hardwood Classics
Purists choose wood because they like the traditional look and feel, and masons appreciate that the protective linseed oil seal keeps mortar from sticking to the sides. Stainless steel bindings cradle alternating strips of cherry and maple on these Crick levels, which come in a range of stock lengths, from 8 inches to 8 feet. Custom levels are also available. Approx. $45 to $145, Crick Tool
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