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Make a Simple A – Frame Level

Making a triangular A Frame Level

To make a really first class A frame level, it would help if you had some woodworking talents and equipment. The joints should interlock to make all the pieces of wood be in the same plane. A simple half lap joint at each intersection will work. This means that where each piece overlaps, one half the thickness of each piece of lumber has been removed. If you craft tight joints, the A frame will not move. Take your time and you grandkids will be amazed at your talent. They will tell stories to their kids how you used the device to help set stone blocks on the Great Pyramids!

Looking for a simplistic but highly accurate level? Mother Nature is right all the time. Use her force of gravity and a simple A-frame level to tell you when something is level. The Egyptians used these to build many of their structures. This simple level will give you an accurate, level plane every time as long as you calibrate it accurately from the start and you construct the A frame so it is rigid. If the legs to the frame are able to move, the location of the plumb bob will change!

You start by making the frame. Select a fine grained wood, mahogany if at all possible. If you can build an equilateral (one where all sides are equal length) triangle that's great. The angles are all the same - 60 degrees. Suspend a plumb bob from the top screw. Make a groove in between the pieces of wood so the string is not pinched. The string must not be allowed to get caught in the joint (inaccurate future readings!). Now, set the bottom rail on a perfectly level surface. You can create a level line using a water level setup in some clear plastic tubing. With the bottom rail on the level line, mark the spot on the bottom rail just below the plumb bob tip. Using a square, mark a line across the bottom rail. Take a fine coping saw and make a shallow saw kerf. This is your level reference point. From now on, whenever the A frame is on an object and the plumb bob is above the kerf, BINGO! the surface is level!

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