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    Thursday, September 04, 2008


    A good friend of mine, Maurkus, left a fabulous comment on my last message to you that is going to save me about $25!

    If your scale is reading wrong, you can do it too, save yourself the price of a new one, and be able to save that money for other important things.

    So here's how it works.

    Most scales have a dial on them that you can use to reset the scale to zero. If your zero, like mine, is not really zero, you can take an item of known weight, like a gallon of water, and put it on your scale, then set your scale, using the adjustment dial, to read the weight that it should.

    If you have a digital scale, and not a dial one, check online at the manufacturer's website for the user manual. Most places have their manuals downloadable in PDF format, and if you are capable of recalibrating your scale, the information will be there in the manual. Dial scales are easier, as you just locate the little dial or knob on the scale's body, and twist it one way or the other until you find where it needs to be.

    Why not use a gallon of milk? After all, a gallon is a gallon, right? Actually, not exactly. A gallon is a volume measurement, not a weight, so a gallon of molten lead would weigh a LOT more than a gallon of oxygen, for example, but they are both still one gallon measures. That said, a gallon of water weighs precisely 8.33 pounds, and a gallon of milk weighs between 8.62-8.68 pounds depending on it's fat percentage. It's a density thing*.

    I'm not a big stickler for the tenths of a pound thing, but if you are, or you're on Weight Watchers (I've heard they're sticklers on that), use a gallon of water for your calibration, because we know exactly what that weighs. We'll end up using a gallon of water as well, but only because we buy the organic milk in the recyclable glass bottles from our local dairy. (amazingly, the local, healthier, and much more flavorful and rich milk is less expensive than the big factory-farmed milk that causes me intestinal distress from all of the chemicals and additives they put into their cows). It's a no-brainer for our family!

    Thanks to Maurkus, and his great suggestion, I will be able to go fix my scale sometime here in the next couple of days, and finally get an accurate weight! Hooray!

    *Average milk weighs 8.6 pounds a gallon but as cream has a wide range of variations in the per cent of butter-fat it contains, milk varies in weight in proportion to the change in the per cent of fat. Butter-fat or Milk-fat is the lightest constituent in milk, having a specific gravity of .93 while the average specific gravity of milk is 1.032. ~ Source~ "Standardization of milk and cream" from the library of the University of Illinois

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