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I know you love a good mystery. Well it's definitely not a compass.
It rotates as a turn the level end over end(long end).
i have seen lots and lots of antique levels prob have 60-70 of them but not that one not sure off the top of my head who it possible could be tho
Appears to be a "level" used via "old school" to be sure your carpentry or other building projects are Level!
Excuse me Gents, I didn't see your posts before I put mine up here which is strange.
But anyways, don't you think this one looks to be handmade? I've sold a few levels, that I'd call really "rough looking" that were very similar to this, and I just assumed they were hand made?
I apologize in advance if I've got this completely wrong.
P= Plumb (vertical)
L= Level (horizontal).
Stanley patented it in 1896. Wood levels are better than metal ones. Metal ones warp in the sun, wood doesn't.
Valued at $100. based on condition.
So this is a level ?
There's got to be a name on this item somewhere. Time to get the loupe out.
It actually does look handmade, as the numbers and letters have variations, unlike a block print. But on the "dial" I do see the #2 stamped by one of the screws.
I do recall seeing the #2.