Antique Balance Scale Restoration

I found two heavily trashed Ainsworth antique balance scales at the flea market. $40 later, they followed me home. Between the two carcasses, I was able to get parts to assemble one complete unit.IMG_0016-001 I should probably also mention that the finished product is not “original”. A true collector would probably shudder at the fact that I took artistic license by┬áremoving (and not replacing) several parts simply because I thought they were ugly. You can see clues of that from the photo sequence.

The photos will not be much of a “how to”, but do show before and after. The steps it took to get from A to Z were:

  • Complete dissassembly including all the glass panes.
  • Sandblasting (at the Tech Shop) all the cabinet parts to remove old chipped paint
  • Repainting (I build a paint booth from plastic sheeting to keep dust off the drying surfaces). All the painting was with rattle-cans. I don’t have a sprayer.
  • Cleaning all the brass and glass, replacing some glass panes
  • Fabricating some simple parts such as retaining clips for glass
  • Reassembly

The whole process took about 3 months. The finished product really looks outstanding on display in our family room.

IMG_0013-001
Starting point. Two Ainsworth laboratory balances. The “church steeples” on top will be removed.

 

IMG_0016-001
This one will be the “donor”, while the “piano key” balance will be restored.

 

IMG_0023
Part way back to the living. Painting of the main cabinet parts complete.

 

IMG_0024
Main balance pillar and weight controls after reassembly

 

IMG_0027
Underside view of piano weight adjust mechanism

 

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Almost like new!

 

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