Our engravings illustrate an improved carpenter's rule, invented by L. C. Stephens, of Pine Meadows, Conn., and patented by him January 12, 1858, that combines in itself a spirit level, square, plumb, bevel, and indicator, all of which parts, in their separate application, being perfectly reliable. It is made of boxwood, with one joint, as seen in Fig. 1, and bound with brass for protection. When in the position shown in Fig. 1 it acts as a spirit levelj the limbs, A b, being true, the bevel of anything can be adjusted by the spirit level, a. At c there is hinged a thin piece or blade that folds into the lower limb, b, and this being raised, and A closed over it, so that a slit in the end of A at d, holds it secure, a square is made, as seen in Fig. 2. Under the blade an eccentric is inserted, which binds upon the under side of the blade, .and is to be used in adjusting the square, should it wear so as to require it. When the rule is fixed as a square the level shows the horizontal position, and, of course, the blade is a plumb. The blade is marked in angles, so that when the leg, A, is opened, and the blade placed at any angle, the rule becomes a bevel, as seen in Fig. 3. One side of the blade is graduated into sixteenths of an inch, and the other into degrees, and numbered 5, 10, 15, to 45. The carpenter requires an angle, say, of 40 j he raises the leg which contains the tube to 40, then brings it to a level, and the lower leg indicates the degree precisely. The 12-incll rule is of the same weight as an ordinary fourfold, full bound rule, and occupies the same space. By the use of one of these, a builder, mason, carpenter, or other workman, can always have in his pocket the most valuable of his apparatus used in construction, combined in a portable, useful, and cheap form. The inventor will furnish any further information upon being addressed as above.
This article was originally published with the title "Stephen's Improved Carpenter's Rule" in Scientific American 13, 38, 304 (May 1858)