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Precision spirit level for levelling table

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  • Precision spirit level for levelling table

    I have a 10 ft Riley Aristocrat that was installed last September. It is not quite level and I would like to have a go at getting it as level as possible.

    In previous threads here I have read various opinions about the kind of spirit level one should use and several people have mentioned that an ordinary builder's level isn't precise enough.
    The one I have at home is precise within 1 mm per metre (= 0.057°). In DIY stores I have seen similar models that are supposed to be precise within 0.5 mm per metre. Isn't that enough?

    If not, what level of precision is required. I have seen engineer's levels on amazon and ebay that are accurate to anything from 0.1 to 0.01 mm per metre - and, of course, the more precise they are, the more expensive they are.

    So, how much is enough?

  • #2
    There is a reason that Billiard Fitters use engineers levels! If your table was fitted by a proper fitter an engineers level would have been used. When you say your table is not quite level are you basing this on your builders level? If you attempt to do it yourself you may well find yourself chasing the bubble.
    Billiard Fitters always have time for a nap!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ex Enbild Fitter View Post
      There is a reason that Billiard Fitters use engineers levels! If your table was fitted by a proper fitter an engineers level would have been used. When you say your table is not quite level are you basing this on your builders level? If you attempt to do it yourself you may well find yourself chasing the bubble.
      It was fitted by a proper fitter (and his joiner friend), but I did not supervise them throughout the many hours it took, so I have no idea what level they used.
      I also don't know if they didn't do a decent job or if the timber took some time to settle or if some of the carpet tiles were more easily compressed than others or if some fourth reason is to blame, but (without using a spirit level of any kind - builder's or otherwise) it is clear that slow balls swerve away from the top right pocket.

      As I understand your reply - as well as other posts on the subject in the past - an engineer's level is required; but, as I wrote in my first post, engineer's levels are made in varying levels (pun intended) of precision. So I ask again: what degree of precision is required?
      Last edited by Caspar; 14th February 2012, 09:29 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Caspar View Post
        It was fitted by a proper fitter (and his joiner friend), but I did not supervise them throughout the many hours it took, so I have no idea what level they used.
        I also don't know if they didn't do a decent job or if the timber took some time to settle or if some of the carpet tiles were more easily compressed than others or if some fourth reason is to blame, but (without using a spirit level of any kind - builder's or otherwise) it is clear that slow balls swerve away from the top right pocket.

        As I understand your reply - as well as other posts on the subject in the past - an engineer's level is required; but, as I wrote in my first post, engineer's levels are made in varying degrees (pun intended) of precision. So I ask again: what degree of precision is required?
        It is what Geoff said in the other thread:

        use a 6 Builders foot level WITH a good Engineers level on top of it , I only use the 6ft level as a straight edge , do not take the vial on the 6ft builders level to be anywhere near level . there ok for laying bricks and checking for vertical correctness but not leveling Billiard tables . some fitters use an end cushion to level the width of a frame with an engineers level on top of it , you just cannot be sure the end cushion is not bowed slightly so use a good straight edge and a quality engineers level which can be sourced off ebay just search for one , many can be bought for around £20 to £40 , a 12 inch one would be agood choice , make sure it is not the GG tube version as they are too accurate , just get one with two black lines on it , not 4 or 5 segmented red lines like a GG tube one .
        RABONE AND CHESTERMAN are a good make

        He knows his stuff trust me

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sealer View Post
          It is what Geoff said in the other thread:

          use a 6 Builders foot level WITH a good Engineers level on top of it , I only use the 6ft level as a straight edge , do not take the vial on the 6ft builders level to be anywhere near level . there ok for laying bricks and checking for vertical correctness but not leveling Billiard tables . some fitters use an end cushion to level the width of a frame with an engineers level on top of it , you just cannot be sure the end cushion is not bowed slightly so use a good straight edge and a quality engineers level which can be sourced off ebay just search for one , many can be bought for around £20 to £40 , a 12 inch one would be agood choice , make sure it is not the GG tube version as they are too accurate , just get one with two black lines on it , not 4 or 5 segmented red lines like a GG tube one .
          RABONE AND CHESTERMAN are a good make

          He knows his stuff trust me
          Yep, I have implicit faith in Geoff Large when it comes to snooker table fitting. However, the descriptions of various Rabone & Chesterman models are of limited use to me as I am unlikely to find ANY Rabone & Chesterman level in this part of the world.

          Since a builder's level isn't precise enough and SOME engineer's levels are TOO accurate, I was interested in finding out if for example 0.1 mm per metre would be the level of precision I should be looking for.
          If I find a Rabone & Chesterman level on ebay is it certain that it has the required level of precision?

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          • #6
            We use a 0.1mm engineering level for our table and found it good to work with.
            I think with a 0.01mm piece you would struggle to actually get into it's measure range.

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            • #7
              ^ Thanks for a useful reply, Redphex!

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              • #8
                The most important thing is the trueness of the slates otherwise you'll be wasting your time, money and efforts.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Caspar View Post
                  If I find a Rabone & Chesterman level on ebay is it certain that it has the required level of precision?
                  I just got a Rabone & Chesterman, as recommended by Geoff. The vial is adjustable, so you can calibrate it to be spot on. I got the non-gg tube version (again, as recommended by Geoff). It has very good range and sensitivity, although i actually levelled my table before i got the Rabone by playing loads of different test shots. That is the ultimate test i suppose.

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                  • #10
                    0.1mm per metre is accurate enough for your snooker table!
                    If you pay peanuts you get monkeys !

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                    • #11
                      OK, thanks!
                      I'll look for an 0.1 mm per metre engineer's level on ebay.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bricktip View Post
                        I just got a Rabone & Chesterman, as recommended by Geoff. The vial is adjustable, so you can calibrate it to be spot on. I got the non-gg tube version (again, as recommended by Geoff). It has very good range and sensitivity, although i actually levelled my table before i got the Rabone by playing loads of different test shots. That is the ultimate test i suppose.
                        Did you get that locally? Would you be willing to help a hypothetical guy in Bg. trying to level a table?
                        王可

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                        • #13
                          I got it in the UK. I'd be happy to help you with the table if i can.

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                          • #14
                            I got confirmation today from my agent that the table has arrived in the house in Bulgaria. It is all safely stowed away and just waiting for the barn conversion to be completed.
                            王可

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