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Thread: Zeroing a scale

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    Zeroing a scale

    I have a problem. I bought a used Ohaus M-5 reloading scale that won't zero out right now. Between the pan and the pan holder there is too much weight. I am trying to find a lighter pan or a screw that holds the cover on the weight reservoir on the pan hanger. I am wondering if a plastic pan is lighter then the standard pan I have for this scale. Any thoughts on who makes the lightest pan? The screw is a standard 10-32 steel screw and I am thinking if I get an aluminum screw it might get me under the weight needed to balance the beam to zero this scale.
    Last edited by Leftyfixit; 08-19-2019 at 01:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Administrator DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    The "cover" to the pan holder, contains underneath, or at least should, some small weights. You can remove one of the big chunky weight pieces, and replace with an appropriate amount of like #9 lead shot, such that you can easily adjust the scale to zero. If you haven't tried removing that screw to see what's underneath, you should. The solution is easier than you think.

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    I have removed the screw the reservoir is empty. Part of the problem is the cover plate is too heavy. With the screw removed the slightest weight is too much to balance the scale. I appreciate your help with this. I was thinking between the metal screw, the pan, and the reservoir cover I need to reduce the weight of at least one object.

  4. #4
    Administrator DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    Something is horribly wrong then with the scale. There is always the need INSIDE the pan assembly for the metal pieces. Otherwise, the pan assembly is too light, not too heavy.
    I'm guessing that your scale was dropped or otherwise damaged at some point. I have had a couple of these scales over the years. They all had small weights inside that pan assembly.

    So, the pivot point, which forms a cross between the scale beam and support risers, might be bent. These are fine measuring scales, and the ones I am familiar with had "crystal" (maybe quartz) on the bottom of the pivots to prevent friction. Check to see if those are in place. If they are missing, it's a likely indicator of beam damage. If you don't already have a copy of the manual for this scale, you should get one, and check it over.
    HERE: https://dmx.ohaus.com/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=6600

    Make sure the acorn nut underneath is loosened or removed, per the instructions. That's only designed to keep the scale from really banging around during shipment.

    The detailed instructions in the second paragraph are the most important.

    If you can try to post a few good quality close up images of the scale sitting out of the case, maybe I can see something otherwise obvious that you might have missed. Happy to help, I have been teaching this reloading subject for decades, and reloading for more than 40 years.

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  5. #5
    Administrator DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    BTW, I just dug out one of my Ohaus M-5 scales, and can, if you would benefit, take a detailed video of what mine looks like, adjusts, and operates. Mine DOES have small weights inside the pan assembly.
    One thing I found was that the larger beam slider weight (10's) required close observation to make sure the pointer on that large slider was in fact pointed to the ZERO location. What otherwise looked like zero was in fact the 10 grains location. Had to double check that or else the scale would not adjust to zero balance. That slider's zero position is right next to the quartz pivot arm location.

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  6. #6
    Administrator DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    Did you get that all fixed?

    It's not good Forum etiquette to just walk away from this sort of discussion (when someone is really reaching out to help) without responding.

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    I found out that the scale arm was sticking and did repairs. It works perfectly now. My computer has been down and I had to use the wife's laptop. Talk about being under scrutiny asking to use her laptop that I paid for. Anyway your advice was helpful and I am now once again happily reloading. Life is good.

  8. #8
    Administrator DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    Great. Enjoy.

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    Duke you are a good man to chat with about any reloading problem. Thank you for responding to my post.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check