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Thread: A plumb bob I made in 1980

  1. #1
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    A plumb bob I made in 1980

    This is the only plumb bob I ever made. It was a free gift for a plumb bob collector. I have a BAD picture of it as NEW,and a current picture of it as being offered in an auction,in unpolished,much handled condition,but a good,clear picture. I guess the recipient has died,and the estate was first auctioned in 2004.

    It has a knurled finial on the top which runs on threads,and can be screwed down against the knurled edges of the string reel to lock it in place. My own invention. At least,the steel tip hasn't rusted,a minor miracle. I'd thought about trying to buy it back,but forget that!! I can't afford my work,and have no use for a plumb bob anyway in my work. It is about 7" or so tall.

    I guess original condition is important,so they didn't want to polish it.
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    Last edited by george wilson; 09-05-2012 at 9:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thats cool George. WHats the purpose of the hole that runs laterally thru the steel tip? Is that functional in some way?

  3. #3
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    The hole is to screw the steel tip in. Should the tip become damaged it could be removed and repaired. It is steel on some good bobs to help prevent damage as it is harder than brass. Most are just solid brass.

  4. #4
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    Oh, you mean that you stick a tool in the hole and then use that to tighten and loosen the tip? Very clever.

  5. #5
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    Very nice George. I made one for my dad around that same time frame. Dad was a chief surveyor, I used to chain for him in the summer.
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  6. #6
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    That’s really nice, must feel good to see such an appreciative price on your work. just wish I knew what a blumb bob is..

  7. #7
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    It is an a device used in construction work and surveying to determine where vertical is. Brick masons also use them hung from long strings to tell where vertical corners are when they are laying their bricks,so that they might lay the corners of walls straight up and true.

  8. #8
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    aha.... thank you.

  9. #9
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    Ancient workers used them attached to wooden triangles to tell when surfaces were level. The triangles were equilateral triangles with the equal sides on top. The string was attached to the point at the top of the triangle. There was a scribed line directly in line with the point at the top of the triangle. When the string hung down exactly over the scribed line below,the bottom of the triangle was horizontal. It was cumbersome,but worked fine and remarkable things were accomplished with these crude devices.

    I hope you can understand my description,which could be better.

  10. #10
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    I was having a hard time at first but then it all came together, makes perfect sense, kind of a early spirit level right? I think these ancient methods are very cool.

    BTW I understood the first explanation too but the second one is a way cooler use, I'm not much into construction work, at least not now.

  11. #11
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    They didn't have spirit levels for a long time in earlier days.

  12. #12
    As an ex-surveyor I must sat that is a fine looking plumb bob! Is the spool spring loaded to reel in the string when the lock ring is disengaged?

  13. #13
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    Nice work as usual George.

    Is it listed (auction number) somewhere we can see its auction?

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
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    George,
    There looks to be lettering on the upper portion of the bob.
    How did you do that?

  15. #15
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    MJD auction is selling it about Sept. 22,IIRC. The lettering has my name and the name of the recipient dome in antique letter stamps with serifs and proper Roman lettering.

    I didn't go so far as to make a spring return reel. It was only a few evenings work,IF I recall,and was a free gift,too. Design and proportion were my main aims to do as well as possible.
    Last edited by george wilson; 09-06-2012 at 3:49 PM.

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