Empire EXT Extendable Levels – Hands On
The world’s first extendable levels were designed by John Johnson (1928-2012) and manufactured by Empire Products Corporation (EPIC). They are still used today in many countries around the world. EPIC was founded in 1968, but it wasn’t until 1986 when they introduced their first woodworking level.
These levels have been widely popular since then.
John Johnson had a vision of making a simple tool that would make life easier for anyone with any kind of woodworking project. His idea was to create something that could be easily attached to most standard table saws so that the user wouldn’t need to buy extra attachments or tools just because they wanted to use them on their projects. The design of these levels allowed him to achieve this goal.
When you look at the original designs, there are two basic types: flat and curved. Flat levels are simply pieces of wood screwed into the table saw blade. Curved levels consist of multiple pieces that screw together to form a curve.
The flat and curved designs were very similar, except for one thing: the height of each piece. A flat level will not allow you to attach it directly to your table saw blade, while a curved level can be attached directly without having to remove it from its base. This is a very important feature for woodworkers who want to use these levels without the need to mess around with them too much.
While the original designs are still used today, many new additions have been made to the line of Empire eXT Extendable Levels. There are also many knock-offs of these designs on the market, but they aren’t always as good or as durable. There is one big difference between Empire eXT Extendable Levels and other designs: the 2-piece base.
The 2-piece design is what makes the Empire eXT Extendable Levels so easy to use. Just screw the level to your table saw blade and then extend it to whatever height you need. The only thing that needs to be removed is the plastic cover on the bottom piece of the level.
Another important factor in choosing an extendable level is how big each piece is.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Adjustable level (HJ McSorley Sr, S Anthimides – US Patent 4,607,437, 1986 – Google Patents)
- Telescopic Philanthropy: attitudes to charity and the empire in Charles Dickens (S Mukherji – Economic and Political Weekly, 1981 – JSTOR)
- Extensible level (LC Good – US Patent 4,928,395, 1990 – Google Patents)