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Old August 11, 2013, 04:19 PM   #1
Metal god
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Santa Fe powder scale : any good ?

I just bought a old Santa Fe powder scale and I'm not sure if they are any good . then why did you buy it you say I got it for 30 bucks and my theory is anything older is going to be better then the new stuff .

I got off of the Internet so I only saw pictures . Looks like a cast metal base , yellow in color and for the most part pretty much looks like all the other older scales I've seen . I Had been looking at used scales for a few days .I had been trying to buy others like old RCBS , and Redding and jist put a quick bid on this one cus there was about an hour left to bid . I did not expect to win the bid at $20 but I did , so now it's mine . I'll know better when I get it next week some time how good it is . I knew I was going to buy used so I ordered some check weights and they should be here around the same time as the scale .

Anybody own one of these or knows anything about them ?
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Old August 12, 2013, 08:52 PM   #2
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Update and what I think is a sad update .

I just saw another listing of a Santa Fe bullet and powder scale .

Here's the sad part . You know how I said all I saw was a picture of the scale . The old listing that sold about 6 months ago had the same picture Thats never good , so who knows what I'm going to get . It appears the picture they used was not a picture of the actual scale . hmm who would thunk . I guess all I can do now is wait and see what kind of lesson I learned this week .

I'll take some pics and if it works I'll do a little review when I get it
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Old August 13, 2013, 07:10 AM   #3
F. Guffey
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pacific-Powd...item4ac80e17bb

I have a set like the one on E-bay, Does it work? Depends on who is using it.

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Old August 13, 2013, 07:16 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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"I got it for 30 bucks and my theory is anything older is going to be better then the new stuff."

Yeah... not always a valid theory, especially when what you're buying is your primary means of keeping the powder genies from escaping and ripping your face off...
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Old August 13, 2013, 07:37 AM   #5
F. Guffey
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"I knew I was going to buy used so I ordered some check weights and they should be here around the same time as the scale"

I do not know the range between the heavy check weight and the lite check weight, you will always be able to use the check weights.

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Old August 13, 2013, 07:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
especially when what you're buying is your primary means of keeping the powder genies from escaping and ripping your face off...
ouch

Quote:
I do not know the range between the heavy check weight and the lite check weight, you will always be able to use the check weights.
Yeah thats the plan , I also have a Hornady cheap digital scale that came with the reloading kit . My plan is/was to use the digital scale to weigh brass . I'll be able to check the scales to each other and the check weights to each scale . we'll see how it all goes .
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Old August 18, 2013, 12:36 AM   #7
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well I got the scale and it's one of the older type that takes oil for damping the movement . Long story short . It does not work . I used my check weights on it and sometimes it's right on and other times it's 3 to 5 tenths off .

Not sure if it matters but the plastic powder tray was cracked and broken so I used the metal one from my digital scale . It's quite a bit heavier but I was able to get it to zero . I'm not sure if having the heavier tray it through the whole calibration off .

Is there any tricks that I can do with these older scales to get them to work or is there something wrong with this one . It did not come with any instructions so I'm at a loss .

At first when I could not get it to be consistent I took it apart and cleaned it with a brass brush and some bore cleaner . It did clean it up nice but did not help it measure correctly . It did seem to measure differently depending on where I placed the weights in the tray and if I took the tray off then put it back it would change where it zeroed . so it might be the tray being to heavy for the scale
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Old August 18, 2013, 06:49 AM   #8
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Clean the pivot surfaces and the knife edges VERY thoroughly. Use a Q-tip with solvent or alcohol. Make certain that they are clean and dry (no oil).

If you have a magnifying glass, take a good look at the knife edges to make sure that they aren't rounded over.

If you got it to zero, I wouldn't think that the weight of the tray would cause intermittent misweighs.
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Old August 18, 2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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At least, that is a neat looking scale....

I like some of the older reloading memorabilia, for whatever that is worth!

The real problem, even if you can get it working properly again, is the "confidence factor". In the back of your mind you'll worry about the accuracy & safety, so you'll always be double checking it.

IMHO...

...bug
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Old August 18, 2013, 10:23 AM   #10
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My presses have threads, my dies have threads, threads make my dies adjustable in the press.

I do not have a scale that is identified as a Santa Fe, I have presses that were manufactured by the same company that made the Santa Fe. Difference"? You are missing parts, on the bale/bucket end of the beam you have a small stud protruding from the beam, There should be at least two hex/knurled nuts on the stud, both are missing.

As you indicated the replacement pan is too heavy, I will assume you removed the adjusters to lighten the bail end. To correct, you can add a poise to the bean on the balance end when all else fails.

I have attended gun shows for the purpose of finding small parts and pieces, I have been able to assemble complete scales out of parts for a 1/3 of what a used one would cost. Bails and pans for an Ohaus type scale can cost $20.00 +.

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Old August 19, 2013, 03:25 AM   #11
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I cleaned it up again and checked the pivot blade or what ever it's called , It looked fine . I then made sure there was no oils on the blade or where it rest by cleaning with acetone . Tried it out again with no luck . It is consistently inconsistent by 3 to 5 tenths when using my check weights . The check weights on the cheap digital scale are dead on 80% of the time and the other 20% there off by 1 tenth so it looks like the Santa Fe scale has reached the end of it's life .
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Old August 19, 2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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There's not a whole lot of things to go wrong with a balance beam scale. If the beam swings easily, and the pivot and blade are clean, it should work (just physics). Mebbe the dampening system is hanging up somehow. Remove oil and clean, then replace with light mineral oil?

What did you give for it? I like old balance beam scales, I've got three...
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Old August 19, 2013, 09:51 PM   #13
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I like it!

It looks cool to me. You can make it work; find the bugs and fix it. Older is often better in my world. I would fix it and use it...with some good vintage powder!
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Old August 19, 2013, 10:32 PM   #14
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Who ever wants it can have it $20 + shipping . PM if you want it .
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Old August 24, 2013, 08:07 PM   #15
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Answer your PMs???
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