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Thread: Old Stanley Level

  1. #1
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    Default Old Stanley Level

    I acquired a 30" Stanley (Rosewood?) level with an 1872 patent date, issued to J. A. Traut - he of endless tool patents -http://www.datamp.org/displayPatent.php?id=10516

    I want to find out what this is worth, anyone know of a forum for rabid level collectors?

    Thanks,
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    Bump.

    Just picked this level up to move it. This thing is surprisingly heavy. Solid rosewood, I guess. Brass bound, vials still intact - I just might check it out for accuracy...
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    I have a price guide to used tools from 2001. For brass-bound, Rosewood, Stanley levels in the 18" to 30" size range in good condition it lists a price range of $100-$200, with the following caveat:

    "Because of the many models...it is desirable to check out individual prices in Walter's price guide. The prices above are generalized from the more common models."

    In other words, if you happen to have come across a rarer model it could be worth a lot more (he references one 24" Stanley, Rosewood, brass-bound level that went for $775). This is the tricky thing with Stanley tools...there are so many of them out there that frequently what makes one valuable and another less so is some tiny detail that indicates one is a rare model and another was made by the thousands.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    Thanks, Bruce.

    >some tiny detail .....
    Therein lies the devil!

    I'm thinking the collector that has to have this probably doesn't live in Maine. Could be wrong, though.

    I haven't had time to search the Neanderthal forum, where arcania like this is their bread and butter.

    Guess I should open an Ebay sellers account.
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Seabeck, WA
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    You won't get meaningful help on the forums the tool dealers hang out at, but you will get a number of offers to take it off your hands cheaply. Price is all about scarcity, condition and presentation. You have to find the right buyer. Unless it's exceptionally rare, original finish and labels are vital to those willing to spend more than a hunded bucks to get it.

    You can clean it up, take some good pics...at least seven...and offer it on eBay with a ridiculous reserve as a trial balloon. Include the patent reference in the ad, and list it in the antiques as well as the old tool sections. Pay for a counter and you'll get to see what the interest is for the small price of the ad if it doesn't sell. Your research should also include searching eBay's past sales of the item using their advanced search feature.

    Then if it's worth enough to sell, rerun your ad at a hundred-dollar start with no reserve for 10 days and consider one of their 60-dollar enhanced ad packages to attract the antique Americana buyers as well as old tool lovers. The one time I had something similar, spending the extra money for marketing paid off. Also offer to ship worldwide, as the number of bidders the better, and I find mail service to Peking and Italy to be far less risky than mailing something 80 miles away to British Columbia.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    Thanks for your reply, Bob.

    Mostly, at this point I'm motivated by curiosity about the tools I find in barns and attics here in Maine. Most of them suffer from ill use and rough storage in a damp climate. This is a place where packaging would not have survived longer than a trip to the woodstove.

    Many peices come with a history and a story from the owner about their grandfather - This level was sold by the grandson who told with pride about the building that I was standing in that was built by his grandfather.

    I didn't need another level but it arrived with a pile of clamps I needed (Need is a subjective concept, except in the area of clamps...) It is unusual enough to want to know the details that dealers seem to know all about (How do they know?).

    However, I should get rid of stuff so that my survivors don't have to hold yardsales every weekend for a decade. Your advice is pointing me in the direction I should go.
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
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    Hamden CT USA
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    Speaking of levels; I thought I'd pass this idea of mine of a standard 2'level I altered about 20 years ago.

    I got tired of squinting at the bubble in dark places and decided to illuminate the level. Shown in the images is the match sized bulb mounted in the all three vials. Two AA batteries power the bulbs with a small toggle switch providing on off choices.

    Also notice the two small magnets worked into the level. This gave me the ability to place the level against a metal door buck adjusting it for plumb with some light on the bubble.

    I'm sure Fourmites can figure out the wiring . All components were purchased at Radio shack. It would be easy to do in a wooden level.

    I did approach Stanley about the idea but it seems they have a patent on the idea way back in the early 20's.



    Lighted level THe batteries are housed in a openable wooden box shown



    Close showing bulb and toggle switch


    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    Jeez, Jack, I just carry a penlight! (but, then I need another hand to hold the doorjamb! )


    Very neat idea - Looks like you got some milage on that level.
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

  9. #9
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    Would'nt it be easier to just break out the plexiglas so you could see the vial again?

    Seriously, though, don't you have a problem with the levels going out of true after a few years of use?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    Would'nt it be easier to just break out the plexiglas so you could see the vial again?

    Seriously, though, don't you have a problem with the levels going out of true after a few years of use?
    I have a problem with being half a bubble off. Fortunatly, I'm easily adjusted!
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    Quote Originally Posted by Hughman View Post
    I have a problem with being half a bubble off. Fortunatly, I'm easily adjusted!
    I guess you won't be needing the light bulb, then.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Old Stanley Level

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    I guess you won't be needing the light bulb, then.
    LOL!
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

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