Improved Metal Hive Scale

It has been very rewarding to see reader’s improvements on my original hive scale design. I recently got an email from Matthew Waddington – I’ll reproduce here since it is pretty self-explanatory.


Yet another version of the scale!

I saw your version years ago, and was inspired by it, and came up with a square stock, non-paddle shaped similar unit that I thought you’d be interested in seeing.

I’m an architect with about 20 hives in the PNW (small town east of Seattle), and have been making versions of this- and of course drawing it a zillion times- for about a year. Or two. This is the latest incarnation. Its all made out of aluminum (except for the steel fork), and uses a higher capacity load cell (the one you used I also tried, but it got maxed out on heavy hives). The main body is 1x1x1/16 aluminum, about a $18 piece in our little town hardware store.

I push down on the arm for the weight- and there is a stop. One difference that I found essential are the two vertical 1/4″ threaded rods on the right in this picture. They pass through holes into a block of wood, which then have a threaded thumb screw. So when I insert this into a hive, I level the gauge,  loosen the thumb screws and drop the rods to the ground and retighten. Then it is basically hands free and level, so more consistent when I tried to hold it.  A bunch of my hives are on a sloping roof, so there are two rods, that can match the slope.

The turnbuckle on right is to adjust tension. The green thing is a line level that I haven’t trimmed the ties off  yet. And I will make some sort of cover for the scale face, that I can remove, and a spring return for the lever arm.

Thanks for your awesome website- very much a joy to wander through!

Matthew Waddington

Duvall, WA

In subsequent emails, Matthew adds,

I am using the machine, and it works well, and consistently I think. As I said, I made earlier versions in wood, and this one is way better. […] I also took a few new pictures, as I added a stop  and a spring- which helps. The stop, on the underside, stops the lever in the same position for each reading, as I found that varying the height of the lifting fork varied the weight.

Matthew is a talented architect and has drawn up absolutely beautiful and detailed plans for recreating his hive scale. His drawings are contained in the PDF document below – click on it to download and display:

He has included contact information in the PDF.  By the way, Matthew has a blog that is fun (and funny) to read: Matthew Waddington’s blog.

Thanks for sharing, Matthew!

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