Calibration weights

One of the most useful tools I’ve purchased recently are calibration weights. I briefly mentioned them on the Railroad Line Forum but want to give a little more info about them here. Up till now I’ve been weighing things down using whatever I can lay my hands on around the workspace. Not only is it inconvenient, it is dangerous and time consuming. Inconvenient because often I need a weight right in front of me to grab, dangerous because I ended up using whatever I can lay my hands on without thinking how stable the objects might be, and time consuming because it takes time to find the right combination of paint pots, metal objects, and glass jars.

It took a while to assemble all these items.

I solved the problem with calibration weights. I bought them from Amazon and started with the blue sets. These blue sets contain a range of weights starting from 10g up to 500g. I paid about $20 for a set but then found a similar set also from Amazon for $13

The weights were an immediate success. Since the density of each weight is so high you can replace the collections of glass jars and assorted objects with just one or two weights and you can mix and match weights depending on the problem at hand. I immediately bought another blue set as I needed more than one of some of the larger weights.

I needed a second set to balance the single weights of he first set so that I had at least two of everything.

I also wanted to use single weights that could be stacked. I went back to Amazon and bought some stackable 1kg, 500g, 300g and 200g weights. I never seem to have enough now and I am contemplating purchasing a pair of 2kg weights to add to the collection!

These single weights are useful because they can be stacked.

Obviously they can be used wherever you previously needed weights but they are also a good alternative to clamping where the clamp space is a little awkward. Here are some uses:

They have been useful in holding down the bridge while I work underneath. They are also very stable and don’t topple easily. There was always a chance a glass jar might fall while doing this kind of work.
In places where clamps are not easily fitted, the weights worked well. The density of the objects means that you can get a lot of weight into a space using just a small size.
As I worked along the tracklaying line these weights held down previously glued ties. I was able to get just the right amount of weight in there. Too little weight and the ties wouldn’t glue well, too much and the ties would have distorted.

Here I’m using the 1kg weights to hold two pieces of wood while they glue.

Anyhow I’m still finding uses for them and they now sit by me at the work space. When needed I can just reach over and grab one, use it for the problem at hand and place it back when done.

Highly recommended.

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