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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    750

    Default Possible group buy: 0.05mm/m vials. Alternatives? Interest?

    Hi all, been sniffing about for vials (aka phials or vv) in the range of 0.05mm per meter. Thinking 'king way' usage or some such.

    Not sure if anybody knows a good source, but the following seem pretty good quality.

    https://www.leveldevelopments.com/pr...-sens-0-05mmm/

    I've chatted with them. MOQ is 25 at 25 GBP each, so, after shipping etc, lets say something circa $60 AUD or so a unit. So, not totally outrageous.

    Unless there is a better source I can be pointed at, id be happy to do the purchase and shipping etc if there was enough interest.

    Lead time ain't sweet at 8-10 weeks then shipping, but, they look like quality trustable units.

    Greg.

    Edit: as a comparison, Starrett 199z master precision level is 0.04mm/m. https://www.starrett.com/metrology/product-detail/199Z, and it's $1k USD.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    York, North Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    5,043

    Default

    Hi Greg, Guys,

    Somewhere floating about on the net is information on how to make your own phials ! I don't remember where but I did read the article and I downloaded it.

    Basically you used any convenient round glass tube, sealed one end, filled it with paraffin, then sealed the other end. Then when finished and in the level, applied pressure to the centre of the liquid filled tube to create a curved tube.

    I have vague recollections that I made and posted about mine a fair while ago. Not that I can remember where I put that data.
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Norwood-ish, Adelaide
    Age
    56
    Posts
    5,979

    Default

    Do all the vials have to be the same size? I have an old level that has a broken vial but it is not 0.05mm/m - not to say it could not be I suppose but that is around 3x better than it was originally specified.

    Michael

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    York, North Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    5,043

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael G View Post
    Do all the vials have to be the same size? I have an old level that has a broken vial but it is not 0.05mm/m - not to say it could not be I suppose but that is around 3x better than it was originally specified.

    Michael
    Hi Michael, Guys,

    I wouldn't have thought so !

    From what I can remember the tube started out straight and was bent by applying pressure to the middle whilst restraining the ends. When I made mine I fixed the glass tube with dots of epoxy at the top and used a brass saddle under the tube with a grub screw to force it to bend.

    Calibration was achieved by sitting it on a length of wood, getting the bubble in the middle was the hardest bit, then putting bits of material under the ends of the wood and marking the bubble edges with a marker.

    I did try scratching calibration lines with a file, but each time the tube just snapped at the score mark. Epoxy doesn't stick to paraffin !

    After that I gave up on glass and used an existing plastic vial from a cheap level.

    HTH.
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    750

    Default

    Baronj, you're more patient than I am!

    Michael, just in case "Do all the vials have to be the same size?" was re the level developments ones, I would guess so. Btw, I also have two old starrett level bodies with broken vials. These should fit, if they don't then a housing should not be too hard to make.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    237

    Default

    I'd be quite keen to pitch in for one

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    381

    Default

    What about buying a cheap precision level from Aliexpress either .02mm or .05mm and just removing the phial, it already has the graduations, I paid under $AU60 for my .02mm/m level, came in a wooden box with calibration papers, it is seriously sensitive - while attempting to level my lathe simply holding onto the tool post to steady my self while looking over the top of the level was enough to send the bubble off scale

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    750

    Default

    Hi familyguy, thanks. I was just considering the same. Though, my thinking was actually not to buy Chinese - preferring either US or UK/euro. But, it did actually occur to me last night that the reason for the very long lead time on these guys from the UK manufacturer is they could well be offshored and actually made in China anyways. So, that kind of dampens that idea somewhat.

    Hmmmm ... I do have to admit, the aliexpress prices are pretty compelling.

    Something like this:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3287...%2315614%23597

    Description is "High Precision Spirit Level Bubble Strip Spirit Level Accuracy 0.02mm/m(4"/2mm)". Not too sure how to interpret the 4"/2mm thing though.

    I was considering also the H&F level: https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Q205, but being made in China, it could quite possibly be this same unit, but twice the price: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000...2%2315392%2356.

    Also, I was aiming for the 0.05mm/m thing so as to to go nuts with such extreme sensitivity. If the starrett master level is 0.04mm then that's likely way good enough.

    EDIT: an a 0.05mm : https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3288...archweb201603_

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    381

    Default

    I think the 4"/2mm refers to the external physical dimensions - like you say .04mm/m is probably plenty good enough as far as sensitivity goes, I found that out with my precision level, in the hands of an experienced tradesman what took me the best part of a day would have been done in an hour or two.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    260

    Default

    Looking at the AliExpress listing - related items: they are available already in housings with mounting holes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    near Rockhampton
    Posts
    6,077

    Default

    2mm is the distance between divisions.
    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

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