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Beam Scale Problems Solved

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  • Beam Scale Problems Solved

    I had been having problems with my RCBS 505 beam scale. It would not hold zero and changing readings. I cleaned it and after reading about 505 problems here on HB and other sites, finally found the problem and corrected it. My problem was that the scale was not level and how sensitive they are to being level and clean.
    On a youtube video, one guy showed how he made a base for the beam sciale. He used a piece of sheet aluminum. I have some 3/4" maple plywood that is pretty straight, checked with straight edge. I cut a piece 6"X15", should hI ave made it 17" but it is what it is. Made the base with one piece of plywood. I got some 10-24X5/16 Tee Nuts. Also some 10-24X2 1//2" Thumb Screws With the thumb screws I can balance the scale.
    First I level the base, then level the scale. Then I check with 50 gr and 100 gr check weights and they come out good. My 20 gr weights both come .02 & .03 gr low. Think I need a new set of check weights.
    The picture is the new base
    "The United States Marine Corps is a drug and I am a recovering addict."

    "American by birthright… U.S. MARINE by the Grace of GOD!"

    "And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea!"

  • #2
    I would trust the test weights more than the scale. .02 grs is less than 1% actually .1%. and not really relevant to accuracy IMO. Consistancy is more important than actual value.


    Couldn't you just level the scale without having the leveling base? Is your table that much off?

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    • #3
      unless you have checked and verified your check weights , don't just [ think ] they are accurate because they sell them as such . when I ordered my check weights from a source we probably all use at some point and not e-bay stuff. I checked my check weights on 3 different scales , 2- beams and 1 - digital I had 2 - weights that were off slightly from what they were supposed to weigh. so I guess what I am saying to everyone is trust nothing and verify everything . I called said company and told them of the problem and they sent me a new set , not that I could not use the ones I had as I marked them the correct weight but as I told the company representative when I spoke with him that , you are selling weights to check scales with , so they should weigh what they are advertised to weigh, as you are getting a fair price for the product and he did not disagree.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by hooterville View Post
        unless you have checked and verified your check weights , don't just [ think ] they are accurate because they sell them as such . when I ordered my check weights from a source we probably all use at some point and not e-bay stuff. I checked my check weights on 3 different scales , 2- beams and 1 - digital I had 2 - weights that were off slightly from what they were supposed to weigh. so I guess what I am saying to everyone is trust nothing and verify everything . I called said company and told them of the problem and they sent me a new set , not that I could not use the ones I had as I marked them the correct weight but as I told the company representative when I spoke with him that , you are selling weights to check scales with , so they should weigh what they are advertised to weigh, as you are getting a fair price for the product and he did not disagree.
        Check weights are not necessarily traceable to NIST standards, so you can expect them to be different than what they say they are. The question is what deviation from the nominal weight is allowed. My money is on the weights being more accurate than a routine commercial scale. As Bear says, consistency is more important than the actual weight; if you are within a reasonable percentage of spot on, you are good to go. To my way of thinking, clean room analytical lab accuracy in a reloading room is pretty much overkill. Once again, how precise do you want to pay for?
        -Remote locations are cheap insurance.
        -There are two kinds of ships: Submarines and targets

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        • #5
          I don't know anything about check weights, but the leveling 'plate' is cool idea!

          DesertMarine

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          • #6
            When I built my NRMA bench, in the center of the bench is a "cubby" section, that is intended for Scale Storage.

            This section is the only section with a hinged, drop-down door (all the rest slide laterally).

            The door is mounted on piano-hinge so there is effectively zero wobble, the chains at both ends are adjusted so that the door hangs dead level front-to-back, any small amount off-level side-to-side is acceptable because that is taken up by the zeroing adjustment of the scale, as the scale also sits side-to-side on the open door.

            Everything just slides into the cubby, and the door lifts shut flush (magnetic spring catches).

            All the rest of the doors are cut from interior doorskin (very thin), the scale shelf/door, is 3/4" ply and has proven both solid and unchanging.

            As noted, a 20-grain weight that is off 2 HUNDREDTHS of a grain, 1/10th of 1 %, is not 'off' enough to be of any importance.

            You can NEVER get test weights that are +-.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000, not ever. EVERYTHING has some manufacturing tolerance in it, and "calibrated" tools have calibration tolerance (at my employer, often someplace between 2 and 5% of any reading within it's scale. This is ANY tool we use, from voltage and amperage measurement, torque, gauss, foot-candles and microwatts of UV radiation and a hundred other things.

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            • #7
              My scale sits on a shelf and yes it is that far off level.
              I also have a Redding scale and recalibrated it same as the 505. The weights read the same on both scales.
              Consistency is why the scales bothered me so much. Which is why I went so much into trying to find a solution. So much that I was considering going to a digital lab precision scale. I probably might still go to a digital but that is in the future.
              I have limited space in my reloading room and not a woodworking by any stretch of the imagination. I like the idea. Been looking at redoing my room for more bench and storage but haven't decided on what.
              "The United States Marine Corps is a drug and I am a recovering addict."

              "American by birthright… U.S. MARINE by the Grace of GOD!"

              "And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea!"

              Comment


              • #8
                No electronic scale under $500 will be as accurate as your beam scale. Remember it isn't how much your weights are off, it is how much your scale is off.

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                • #9
                  So I found out about electronic scales $800-$1000 for a good one, cheaper model. With what I am seeing with the two beam scales, I will stay with them. Not that enthused about an electronic scale anyway. Doing research the normal reloading electronic under $500 do not have the degree of accuracy or responsiveness that the more expensive lab and gem scales. I was looking at one that is responsive to .0001 gr or there abouts. I would only need that for reloading for long-distance shooting and consistent single digit SD's. I normally get consistent low SD's in double digits. Learned a lot in this little exercise.
                  "The United States Marine Corps is a drug and I am a recovering addict."

                  "American by birthright… U.S. MARINE by the Grace of GOD!"

                  "And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    + 1 on the use of check weights. I use them to verify the scale's accuracy before each and every loading session. I also use a RCBS 5-0-5 scale, and after 40 years of use, that thing is still spot on!
                    Bayou52
                    NRA Life Member

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                    • #11
                      MY reloading room has 2 solid old wood dressers in it.
                      The drawers work excellent for storage. The top of one has my loading block with funnel and small glass bowl I pour powder into..That dresser also has the shelf head board that has my scale sitting on the shelf.
                      This is inside a bedroom in the house.
                      I found dressers (the old solid ones) are excellent for the reloading room.
                      I sit on a kitchen chair.

                      On the check weights..I have been thinking of a test that was performed back in the 1960's
                      3 weights all a different weight. Gets weighed on my scale or scales to the closest i can measure them.
                      They I mail them to another handloader for him to weigh the weights.
                      Then he sends them off to another person.

                      10 people get the same weights and after everyone weighs them they post the results.

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                      • #12
                        Swamp, you have kind of affirmed a firming idea that I have been thinking about. I have some oak shelf units from a entertainment center, they were detached stand-alone. Been thinking about adding more shelves, they have two shelves, I can add up to three more. I could put some hardwood shelves that can hold a press, powder throw and scales.

                        The idea of having multiple persons checking a set of check weights sounds interesting.
                        Wonder how many people would be interested in doing such a test.
                        "The United States Marine Corps is a drug and I am a recovering addict."

                        "American by birthright… U.S. MARINE by the Grace of GOD!"

                        "And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea!"

                        Comment

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