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Old 11-22-2023, 10:33 AM
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Exclamation RCBS scale help

My Loading bench is not sufficiently level for me to zero my scale.
If I add or remove shot from the pan holder to allow it to be zeroed, does this affect the accuracy?
Iíve loaded for a few years but never did this out of fear of messing it up.
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Old 11-22-2023, 10:53 AM
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Put a shim or shims, of some type, under either side of the scale
to level it.
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Old 11-22-2023, 10:54 AM
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Get a digital scale.
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Old 11-22-2023, 11:00 AM
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^^^^^
You still need to have the proper battery level.
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Old 11-22-2023, 11:02 AM
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Level the bench.
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Old 11-22-2023, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Imissedagain View Post
Put a shim or shims, of some type, under either side of the scale
to level it.
Tried that it jus seemed Mickey Mouse.

In order to level my bench Iíd have to move half my room
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Old 11-22-2023, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by glenwolde View Post
Get a digital scale.
I think that was a joke, not really intended as good advice.

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Old 11-22-2023, 12:10 PM
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I think that was a joke, not really intended as good advice.
Kind of figured.
Hard to justify as I have 3 beam scales.
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Old 11-22-2023, 12:16 PM
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The 5-0-5 and 5-10 scales and many others have and adjustable foot at one end. With nothing but the pan on the scale set the weight adjustments to all zeros. Then adjust the foot to bring the pointer to the center of the scale. Good scales can be effected by air movement, so block or shut off air/furnace vents and fans until you have still air in the scale's area.

A good beam scale is much faster than a digital scale, I currently have 4 beam scales and 2 digital! (and several powder drops)

Ivan
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Old 11-22-2023, 12:48 PM
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How wonky is your bench?


As mentioned there is a adjustable foot to level the scale
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Old 11-22-2023, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post
The 5-0-5 and 5-10 scales and many others have and adjustable foot at one end. With nothing but the pan on the scale set the weight adjustments to all zeros. Then adjust the foot to bring the pointer to the center of the scale. Good scales can be effected by air movement, so block or shut off air/furnace vents and fans until you have still air in the scale's area.

A good beam scale is much faster than a digital scale, I currently have 4 beam scales and 2 digital! (and several powder drops)

Ivan
My bench is out so far that I run out of adjustment on the foot.
Probably 3/4Ē on a 4í run.
If I raise the low end on my bench the opposite end has a drawer that then hit a shelf.
If I could just add or remove some shot from the scale itíd be easier.
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Old 11-22-2023, 01:17 PM
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My bench is out so far that I run out of adjustment on the foot.
Probably 3/4Ē on a 4í run.
If I raise the low end on my bench the opposite end has a drawer that then hit a shelf.
If I could just add or remove some shot from the scale itíd be easier.

No, do not mess with scale weights!

Get a piece of MDF. Like the stuff with white laminate on it (shelf boards)to make a stand for the scale Cut it just a little bigger than the scale footprint

Get some adjustable screw in rubber feet for it and you can adjust any way you want.
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Old 11-22-2023, 01:23 PM
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My bench is out so far that I run out of adjustment on the foot.
Probably 3/4Ē on a 4í run.
If I raise the low end on my bench the opposite end has a drawer that then hit a shelf.
If I could just add or remove some shot from the scale itíd be easier.
The lead shot in the thing that holds your pan is how your balance beam scale is calibrated. Do not mess with it or your scale will be wrong at any weight other than zero.

I somehow managed to chip one of the knives on my RCBS 5-0-5 some years ago. Sent it back to RCBS. They replaced the knives and also noted that they had re-calibrated the scale. The only cost to me was shipping the scale to them.

[broken record mode] get a set of check weights. I donít care what scale youíre using - use the check weights every time you set it up. [end broken record]

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Old 11-22-2023, 01:34 PM
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I built a shelf at eye level, for my 505 scale that was 99% level.

After I dropped the scale one time, I now need to flatten a lead #8 pellet,
cut it in half, and place it in my pan holder, for my scale to come to "Zero".

In the fall, the numbers plate, fell off and had to be glued back on to the unit.

I also learned that any "Air flow" from the A/C or a door left open in the summer time, near by
will cause the scale to give different readings !!

Get er done.
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Old 11-22-2023, 01:34 PM
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The lead shot in the thing that holds your pan is how your balance beam scale is calibrated. Do not mess with it or your scale will be wrong at any weight other than zero.

I somehow managed to chip one of the knives on my RCBS 5-0-5 some years ago. Sent it back to RCBS. They replaced the knives and also noted that they had re-calibrated the scale. The only cost to me was shipping the scale to them.

[broken record mode] get a set of check weights. I donít care what scale youíre using - use the check weights every time you set it up. [end broken record]
I second that advice on check weights. I only use mine two or three times a year and have been doing so for at least forty years. My 10-10 and my Redding have always checked out perfectly but I'll continue to verify with check weights.
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Old 11-22-2023, 01:41 PM
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If I add or remove shot from the pan holder to allow it to be zeroed, does this affect the accuracy?
It's a balance scale, so adding or removing shot won't affect accuracy. I've done it when the foot didn't have enough adjustment. You can always verify the accuracy with a test weight. If you don't have one, you can use a 1983 to present US penny (38.6 grains).
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Old 11-22-2023, 01:46 PM
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It's a balance scale, so adding or removing shot won't affect accuracy. I've done it when the foot didn't have enough adjustment. You can always verify the accuracy with a test weight. If you don't have one, you can use a 1983 to present US penny (38.6 grains).
That is precisely my issue
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Old 11-22-2023, 02:05 PM
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That is precisely my issue
There's a screw on the top of the pan cradle that snaps into the hanger. Remove the screw and the cradle comes apart so you can adjust the amount of shot. Do it over a tray or sheet pan in case you fumble it!
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Old 11-22-2023, 02:10 PM
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Another thought is to get a longer screw.
Unless it’s some weird proprietary size.
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Old 11-22-2023, 02:21 PM
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Another thought is to get a longer screw.
Unless itís some weird proprietary size.
Why bother? Adding/removing shot is a simple job.
If you need to add weight and don't have loose shot, cut into an old shotgun shell.
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Old 11-22-2023, 02:24 PM
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That’s what I thought but some say add/remove shot, some say don’t.
I don’t doubt anyone’s intentions but just don’t know which way to go.
I don’t want to mess up a scale.
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Old 11-22-2023, 03:22 PM
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There is nothing wrong with your scale, so don't fix it!

The problem is with your work bench. As others have said, make an auxiliary adjustable platform for it, or just make a thin shim to place under the adjustable foot.

Don't fix the wrong part.
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Old 11-22-2023, 03:26 PM
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Thatís what I thought but some say add/remove shot, some say donít.
I donít doubt anyoneís intentions but just donít know which way to go.
I donít want to mess up a scale.
Phone RCBS and ask...

(800) 533-5000 - Option 3
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Old 11-22-2023, 04:29 PM
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Phone RCBS and ask...

(800) 533-5000 - Option 3
Just tried them
No help
I guess Iíll take it off and match it up Friday.
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Old 11-22-2023, 06:55 PM
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Put a small level on the base of your scale. Adjust the leveling wheel as needed until the bubble in the level shows that the base is level. If you can't get the base level using the adjustment wheel add shims as needed until the base is level.

Now put the empty pan back on and see if the scale reads "0". If it does then you know how many shims it takes to compensate for your tables slope.

If it doesn't then you can start adding or subtracting shot from the pan hanger.
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Old 11-22-2023, 06:58 PM
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I think that was a joke, not really intended as good advice.
Not really. Especially after reading this thread. I find beam scales wonky and tedious. I can calibrate and weigh some charges on a digital before I can get a beam scale level. I haven't used a beam scale in a decade after using one for 30 years. I did have one digital scale die on me. But they are half the price of a beam scale. Sure, digital scales have issues too but in my experience they are a lot easier and faster to use and just as accurate.

For some reason a lot of reloaders mistrust digital scales. I'm talking about getting a $40 scale. If you're calibrating every time with either what's the issue?
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Old 11-22-2023, 07:12 PM
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Not really. Especially after reading this thread. I find beam scales wonky and tedious. I can calibrate and weigh some charges on a digital before I can get a beam scale level. I haven't used a beam scale in a decade after using one for 30 years. I did have one digital scale die on me. But they are half the price of a beam scale. Sure, digital scales have issues too but in my experience they are a lot easier and faster to use and just as accurate.

For some reason a lot of reloaders mistrust digital scales. I'm talking about getting a $40 scale. If you're calibrating every time with either what's the issue?
Off topic as the original poster wasn't interested in digital scales.

I wouldn't be critical of something I'd had no experience with; I tried a digital some years ago. The best and most reliable ones cost far more than most handloaders want to spend. With the cheaper ones, some speak of necessary warmup time and other drawbacks.

Balance beam scales may be slightly slower but far more reliable and certainly less problematic. Use what suits you best.
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Old 11-22-2023, 08:25 PM
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My bench is almost that bad. My scale's adjustment screw is almost maxed out.

I think the wedge is better than added weight. If it's balancing on a big angle the forces are acting laterally on the fulcrum, so you're losing accuracy. It shouldn't be a big deal near the middle of the arc, but it's still happening. IMHO the scale functions best if balanced is also level.

In the second angled scale picture, a certain amount of the weight is pulling sideways on the beam, that's not helping. At 10 degrees 1.5% of the force is going sideways. At 20 degrees 6% of the force is going sideways.
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Old 11-22-2023, 08:34 PM
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My RCBS 10-10 was pretty close to being maxed out and I found a video on YouTube that showed how to make it more level.
Basically take the screw out of the pan add shot, see if it more level, do it again if necessary. Worked great. Checked with my check weights and it didnít change anything. Perfectly balanced as before.
Try to find the video if needed.
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Old 11-22-2023, 10:42 PM
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Coins do make good check weights, but they should be new and uncirculated . Attached is a table from the U. S. Mint giving precise weights of each denomination in grams. So multiply by 15.432 to get grains. Coins are very consistent in their weights. I have checked that myself. Coin Specifications | U.S. Mint

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Old 11-23-2023, 11:45 AM
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Just an FYI. I check me RCBS 5-10 and 5-0-5. The adjustment screw is 1/4”-20 TPI.
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Old 11-23-2023, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
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My Loading bench is not sufficiently level for me to zero my scale.
If I add or remove shot from the pan holder to allow it to be zeroed, does this affect the accuracy?
Iíve loaded for a few years but never did this out of fear of messing it up.
I ran into this problem many years ago and fixed it by opening up the pan, removing one piece of shot and cutting it in half.

I proceeded to use the scale on many different surfaces in the ensuing years and never had another problem with zeroing.

Best of luck!
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Old 11-23-2023, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Sear View Post
There is nothing wrong with your scale, so don't fix it!

The problem is with your work bench. As others have said, make an auxiliary adjustable platform for it, or just make a thin shim to place under the adjustable foot.

Don't fix the wrong part.

Beats trying to level the house!


OP, can you put a simple shelf at eye level above the bench? This video shoes the basic type of shelf material I was mentioning. A scale really should not be directly on the bench where your press is anyway.(unless it is a real heavy duty bench)
He does mention removing weight from the pan also


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Old 11-23-2023, 04:04 PM
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Beats trying to level the house!


OP, can you put a simple shelf at eye level above the bench? This video shoes the basic type of shelf material I was mentioning. A scale really should not be directly on the bench where your press is anyway.(unless it is a real heavy duty bench)
He does mention removing weight from the pan also


RCBS M 1000 powder scale.Zeroing and using. - YouTube
I have an elevated shelf that sit at eye level now but I made it parallel to the bench top so theyíre both slanted. I could shim it on one end if needed I may do that if the longer adjusting screw fails to do it.
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Old 11-23-2023, 04:37 PM
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My loading bench is not perfectly level, and I have to run the leveling screw nearly to the end of its adjustment to level my RCBS 10-10 scale. If I needed more adjustment, I would either lengthen the screw, or use a shim. The scale needs to be level. No way would I start messing around with the weights in the pan.
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Old 11-23-2023, 05:18 PM
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My loading bench is not perfectly level, and I have to run the leveling screw nearly to the end of its adjustment to level my RCBS 10-10 scale. If I needed more adjustment, I would either lengthen the screw, or use a shim. The scale needs to be level. No way would I start messing around with the weights in the pan.
3 1/4x2 stainless oval head screws for $3.99 at TSC. I can fix all 3 scales.
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Old 11-23-2023, 05:18 PM
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I've messed...bought and sold with scales for years. Don't add/remove shot to the pan assembly...Do what someone said...either adjust the bench or make a level place to mount the scale. The 505 is a good scale...but For the Money the 510 is the best scale ever made. I think I have 4 or 5. Bought one NIB at a local auction for 15 dollars...Junk digitals sold for more. I can guarantee you I can move one to another loading area and it will balance out level with hardly any adj. ...just in case many don't know...even digitals work much better level. You can find another longer 1/4 by 20 screw and replace the original in the scale...but you will still be better off with a level area to mount it. The lead weights were originally used to balance the scale before sale. They can be used to adj for damage to the scale...even the knife edges wear a little over the years with the agate balance points. Scales are fragile...electronic scales are even more so. Make a level area on a shelf
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Old 11-23-2023, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Sear View Post
My loading bench is not perfectly level, and I have to run the leveling screw nearly to the end of its adjustment to level my RCBS 10-10 scale. If I needed more adjustment, I would either lengthen the screw, or use a shim. The scale needs to be level. No way would I start messing around with the weights in the pan.
You donít put the weights ďinĒ the pan. You take the wire bracket off the balance beam, without the pan, and look at it. There is a screw to separate it. In the bottom you will find lead shot put there at the factory for this very purpose.
Add or subtract the shot to make you scale level on your bench.
Might take a few tryís.
It dosnít affect the balance beam just the zero. Scale is checked with check weights to make sure.
Works fine, fails safe, drains to the bilge. 😎

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Old 11-23-2023, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS336 View Post
You donít put the weights ďinĒ the pan. You take the wire bracket off the balance beam, without the pan, and look at it. There is a screw to separate it. In the bottom you will find lead shot put there at the factory for this very purpose.
Add or subtract the shot to make you scale level on your bench.
Might take a few tryís.
It dosnít affect the balance beam just the zero. Scale is checked with check weights to make sure.
Works fine, fails safe, drains to the bilge. 😎

Your bench is way to neat. Let me come over and clutter it up a bit.
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Old 11-23-2023, 07:32 PM
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How about getting an 8" piece of 1x4 and using a couple screws under one end to level it and set your scale on it.

I lost the hanger on my RCBS scale and fashioned a new one from light stainless tig wire I had to remove some shot to get it to zero. It checks at zero 35 gr (a new dime) and 77.2 (new nickel). I have 2 beam scales and a digital, they all work

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Old 11-23-2023, 07:39 PM
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How about getting an 8" piece of 1x4 and using a couple screws under one end to level it and set your scale on it
Way too simple... and probably one of the best solutions.

John
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Old 11-23-2023, 07:41 PM
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level the table top and "0" the scale every time you use it. IMPORTANT
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Old 11-23-2023, 10:54 PM
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Many, if not all, triple and quadruple beam balances incorporate a thin threaded rod and nut as a moveable counterweight for fine zero adjustments. That probably wouldn't work as well on the typical single beam powder scale, and for the most part it would serve no purpose that the base zero screw does not perform.

Last edited by DWalt; 11-23-2023 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 11-23-2023, 11:17 PM
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As suggested by others.
Level the Scale - YouTube

Last edited by rh73; 11-24-2023 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 11-25-2023, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenwolde View Post
Get a digital scale.
This. I have two. One is the auto dispense type. I could never get my beam scale to zero.

Robert
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Old 11-25-2023, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
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Nice bench!

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Old 11-25-2023, 01:03 PM
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I had a couple like the 2nd. Made 'em from plans from Nation Reloaders manufacturers something or other. Gave'em both away to friends. Got a nail cabinet from a hardware store with 15 pull out metal nail trays...now I have one of my lathes on it. I made a reloading bench out of 4 2 drawer filing cabinets with an inch and a half furniture grade plywood top with a 3 foot by 28 inch sheet of steel. I put most of my metallic presses on the Dillon strong mounts. I change 'em out ...under a minute or two with an electric drill/driver. I just need a place to store the presses
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Old 11-25-2023, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Coins do make good check weights, but they should be new and uncirculated . Attached is a table from the U. S. Mint giving precise weights of each denomination in grams. So multiply by 15.432 to get grains. Coins are very consistent in their weights. I have checked that myself. Coin Specifications | U.S. Mint
If you use pennies as a check weight be sure to check the date, the material changed in 1983.

One up to 1982 will weigh 47.99 grains. 1983 and later weigh 38.58 grains.
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Old 11-25-2023, 07:26 PM
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My first scale was a virtual gimme as it wouldn't zero from the factory. I ended up making a little aluminum block with a dimple for the adjustment screw so it could be zeroed. Some years later I got brave and fiddled with the shot inside the pan holder. I figure someone packed the wrong pan holder with that particular scale.

A little experimentation with blocks of different thickness will allow you to zero the scale(s) without monkeying with the innards. If you later get a level bench/scale shelf, you'll be glad you did.
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Old 11-25-2023, 11:45 PM
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On the RCBS/Ohaus scales, the shot container part of the scale pan is what the factory uses to fine tune the scale to work correctly and adding or removing shot is the correct procedure to adjust the scale to zero correctly and adding or removing shot from it will not affect accuracy once you have it correctly zeroed with the foot roughly in the middle of it's adjustment. I bought a 510 scale off eBay around a decade or 2 ago to be a second scale to use with my 1010 scale. And when I received it, zero was off enough that I had to have the foot almost all the way at the end of the adjustment to get zero. I took the pan apart by removing the screw and separating the halves and removing 1 or 2 shot and solved the problem. And yes, I did check it with scale weights after.
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