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Save Time with a digital scale


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#1 Mark C.

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 05:40 PM

Ok many already know this but after 30+ some years of Ohaus triple beam work on glaze day (usually once a week) I finally bought a 5000 gram capacity Ohaus digital scale and today used it on glaze day-WOW
A real time saver-you can tare out as on my triple beam a jumbo tub that hold 5000 Grams-This really made weighing go faster.
Ohaus makes 3 sizes I got the larger one CS-5000 which handles almost 98% of my weigh outs.
If you need a scale check these out-a real time saver.
Mark
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#2 JBaymore

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 06:25 PM

Welcome to the 21st Century, Mark. ;)

We teach the students about digital as well as the triple beams. You are right........ they are a BIG time saver over multiple weighings on a triple beam even with the extra weights attached. And you can go bigger than the one you have also.

My studio glazes are in 30 gallon garbage cans... so I usuually am weighing out large batches also. Have had one a LONG time right next to my 40+ year old OHaus triple beam bought while in college (for ceramics folks... for ceramics).

If anyone reading this is doing SMALL test batches however, and you are planning on purchasing a digital scale... watch the resolution number on the unit you buy. Triple beams are accurate to plus or minus one tenth of a gram. Many cheaper digital scales are accuratte to only 1 gram or 2 grams or sometimes 5 grams. BAD for weighing small amounts.

If you are weighing out a 100 gram test batch.... 1 gram plus or minus is a 2% potential spread on any given material you weigh. (if it says 10 grams, it might be anywhere between 9 grams and 11 grams.) That is a huge error factor on glaze tests. But if you are using a plus or minus 1 gram scale to weigh 10,000 grams...... it is not an issue.

best,
.......................john
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#3 sawing

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 08:14 PM

I have been looking into purchasing a triple beam. In checking the reviews on Amazon, the scales in my price range are not given good reviews. Is there a big difference when purchasing a scale in the $80 to $150 range, as opposed to those in the $200 + range? I will probably not ever mix more than 1000 gram batches.

#4 TJR

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 09:11 PM

I think it's possible to buy a used Ohaus scale reasonably priced. This is the type potters use for accurate small scale tests. Some colourant tests go as small as one tenth of a gram, so it is important to get a good scale. High school chemistry depts. use Ohaus scalles. I came across a bunch years ago from a school that burnt. The scales were still good, but I already have two. I think it can be done. Don't ask me price-it's been a long time since I purchased one.
TJR.

#5 JBaymore

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 11:02 PM

Sometimes you can find triple beams at police auctions for cheap.... they are the scale of choice for drug dealers. :rolleyes:

best,

....................john
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#6 Red Rocks

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:12 AM

Ok many already know this but after 30+ some years of Ohaus triple beam work on glaze day (usually once a week) I finally bought a 5000 gram capacity Ohaus digital scale and today used it on glaze day-WOW
A real time saver-you can tare out as on my triple beam a jumbo tub that hold 5000 Grams-This really made weighing go faster.
Ohaus makes 3 sizes I got the larger one CS-5000 which handles almost 98% of my weigh outs.
If you need a scale check these out-a real time saver.
Mark



Mark: Knowing you, I'm sure you did your research on pricing - where did you find the best price?

#7 sawing

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:08 AM

Sometimes you can find triple beams at police auctions for cheap.... they are the scale of choice for drug dealers. :rolleyes:

best,

....................john


It shouldn't be too hard for me to find a used one then, since I live in Ann Arbor, home of the Hash Bash!

#8 OffCenter

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:23 AM

I have a digital but still prefer my old triple beam for it's greater accuracy. Be careful when buying one. You risk getting a damaged one if you buy used and an inaccurate one if you buy a cheap new one.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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#9 SShirley

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:45 AM

I have two digital scales. One is an Ohaus that measures bigger quantities but only is accurate to 1 gram. The other is a small scale that measures to .1 gram and goes up to about 400 grams. It's really good for test batches or small amounts like colorants. Both have tare functions. My husband (a chemist) tested them with his calibration weights and they are both right on the money. The bigger one I got at a school supply place about 15 years ago for about $85. The smaller one I got online about a year ago for about $20 plus shipping. I think it's really made for drug dealers because it is shaped like a CD case and has bogus CD covers so you can store it on your CD rack. That one is especially sensitive to drafts though, so I have to be careful about that. I usually stack my chemical containers in a semi-circle around the scale. Also, both have to be on completely level surfaces to be accurate, but that's no different than a triple beam. I have used triple beams and I like the digital just because they are easier to read. I used to have a really tiny one - a jeweler's scale - that did amounts to .01, but it finally pooped out.

The one in my husband's lab goes to ten decimal places. I have used that one in a pinch, but it's harder to use. It is so sensitive to drafts that it has a glass case built around the measuring plate. And I really don't need ten decimal places.

#10 Mark C.

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:19 AM

I bought mine from Baileys online during the summer sale.
Mark
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#11 Dinah

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:32 AM

I really life my Ohaus triple beam which I bought new this last spring from Seattle Pottery Supply. I know it's not <fast> but I like it. I like the rhythm, procedure and note taking when I'm making glazes to 5 gal, and to test batches. It is a good fit for me and my workshop practice.
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#12 Matt Oz

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:24 PM

I do like a digital scale for speed, especially when doing a lot of testing.

On a related note, I'm also the lucky owner of a heavy duty triple beam from Ohaus that can weigh up to 20kg (45lbs) down to 1g. It's worth new over $1000, I got it for only $50 from a retired now dearly departed potter. When I'm too old to use it, I'll have to donate it.

#13 Matt Oz

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:41 PM

Ha! I just noticed the subtitle Dinoclaysour

Other clay Dinos:
Apotosaurus
Ceramidon

#14 Jacob2

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 02:03 AM

Why not you search on Amazon because there are also many beam scales that are available in cheap price range. These scales have enough accuracy that you want. I have bought mine from ebay also but its a little  expensive one.



#15 ChenowethArts

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 06:56 AM

From the 'creature-of-habit' department, I still use a DigiWeigh postal scale to measure out clay for throwing...I know, I know, its time to get over weighing balls of clay down to the 1/10 of an ounce.... but when it comes to mixing glazes, I'm still a triple-beamer.

 

Ha! I just noticed the subtitle Dinoclaysour
Other clay Dinos:
Apotosaurus
Ceramidon

 

And to add to Matt's list (and confirm that I really love the conversation on the forums)...
My kiln is possessed by a couple of Dinos:
Thermocoupadactyl

Ortonconasauraus

Vitreous Rex

 

And, in honor of Vince Pitelka...I consider myself a Terrasigulatasaurus (sorta rolls of the tongue, doesn't it ?)


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#16 gabriel

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 09:50 AM

Having spent much of my professional life in laboratory research, I am a charter member of the "creature-of-habit" club.  One thing I have discovered with triple-beam balances is that over time their accuracy suffers, but with a good digital scale and an accurate calibration weight, that usually doesn't happen.

 

For smaller batches of glaze I use a 5000g MyWeigh scale, accurate to 0.1g.  But I have found a nice way of creating micro-batches of glaze for testing.  There are available small, milligram scales for around $25.  They only weigh a maximum of 20g, and are accurate to +/- 5mg, but how much do you need to cover a test tile?  I find these tiny scales extremely valuable for creating test batches, especially for their accuracy, time and material saving.  When you're using a colorant that may cost 30 to 40 dollars a pound, why mix up more than you need?

 

I would be interested in any feedback on this, since technical myopia is a somewhat pervasive problem.  :-)



#17 Stephen

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:36 AM

I know accuracy is important but at some point it is no longer about a nice glaze and rather just wanting/needing to be dead on. I used to have to get after my accountant when he wanted to waste my $125 hours searching for some change on our books each month (a non-pottery business).



#18 Mark C.

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 02:18 PM

Since I stared this thread a few years ago I have since picked up a larger volume digital scale on Amazon that works with 15#s and larger.
These digital scales ate accurate enough for what I,m doing but are so much faster than any triple beam
You can now get a great scale for under 20$
Mark


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#19 Aodenkou

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 09:32 PM

A few months back I decided to buy a better scale for mixing glazes. I decided to start testing different glazes each glaze firing I do I decided to get a digital scale.  They were a bit pricey and I hesitated to purchase.  Then I had an idea, why not go to a commercial scale business and see if they had any used scales. They did and I was able to get a older Ohaus digital that was used in a laboratory and was very accurate.  In addition they gave me an older 500 gr. Weight to calibrate my scale (and showed me how to do the calibration).  Now the 500 gr. Weight older and would not meet a high standard needed in a lab, but for me if I can set the scale to this weight then all of my measurements should acceptably close.  Perhaps if I were a commercial potter or a glaze master I would need a better scale but so far it seems to work for me, and saved me some dosh.



#20 oldlady

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 09:13 AM

matt long showed me how to correct the mess that had happened at st pete clay where people had misused the ohaus scales.  not one of them would go to the line that shows no weight on the scale.  he removed the plate and showed me the tiny metal balls that are inside.  we worked out accuracy for at least one of the scales by borrowing these weights from the others.

 

when i bought a used ohaus for $40 from someone on ebay, it was the same way.  removing the balls, i put some coins into the cup to get the most weight fast and then added the tiny balls until i got accuracy.  thank you matt long.


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