How To Build Your Own Scale Kit Overview & Analysis

By | October 5, 2022

If you were with us last month, we reviewed a video on how to build your own livestock scale and it was very popular with many customers. So, we figured let’s do another one of these video reviews.  This time we’re going to take a look at an individual building a wheel load scale to weigh his friends car from a livestock scale kit that he purchased on ebay for only $140. We call this article appropriately enough, How To Build Your Own Scale Kit Overview & Analysis

How Do You Make Your Own Scales?

If you’re determined to build your own scale, it certainly helps to purchase a build your own scale kit. That will at least provide you some direction and the components necessary to tackle that endeavor.

How can I make a digital weighing machine at home?

Buying a build your own scale kit is the perfect first step when it comes to making your own digital weighing machine at home in your workshop or garage.

How Do You Build a Platform Scale?

As you can see from the video, I thought the individual who built the platform did a really nice job constructing the platform. He used quality items to build the platform and he welded it very well. I did have a couple of observations. First, he did the right thing by building the platform and welding BEFORE he installed the load sensors (aka load cells). 

I can see why this particular kit he purchased was so inexpensive. The digital weight indicator he uses is one of the cheapest on the market and the load cells are not of great quality either. It appeared that this kit did not come with mounting blocks. All it had was load cell spacers. We prefer to use a mounting block design when mounting load cells. As you can see from his video, once he mounted the load cells with the spacers, he has a very tiny gap between the load cell and the platform. In order for the load cells to properly work, there has to be a gap for the load cell to slightly bend. In his setup, it looks like it works but we would prefer to use a slightly different mounting (which you can see in our livestock scale review video). 

How Do You Troubleshoot a Scale?

This was the point I wanted to mention regarding troubleshooting. This seems to be a common mistake people make when they build their own scale systems. That mistake is mounting the junction box on the underside of the scale platform. When you do this, the only way you’re going to be able to access it is to turn your platform over. If your scale ever breaks and you need to troubleshoot the item, it would be much easier to have the junction box in a cavity that you can reach from the top side. Now to be fair, in this particular install, I’m not sure where he could have mounted the j-box without cutting his steel up quite a bit.  The other concern with an install like this are load cell cables. If you can protect them, please do so. 

How Do I Calibrate My Scale?

One of the popular concerns that customers usually have when it comes to building your own platform scale is how do I calibrate my scale?  Are the calibration instructions in English?  As I mentioned before, when I saw this digital weight indicator, I knew that high quality and easy to setup where not going to be words that the man in the video would say. Some digital weight indicators are really easy to setup and calibrate.  Some digital indicators are almost impossible to setup without an interpreter nearby.

Why is My Scale Not Accurate?

The man in the video seems to think his scale is “within a pound or two” of his bathroom scale and he seems pretty happy with that.  Truthfully, a scale like this should weigh him within a pound or so.  He doesn’t really mention what he used to calibrate the scale. It probably wasn’t certified 50 lb. calibration test weights.  I noticed when he takes weight off the scale it doesn’t seem to go back to zero which is not ideal.  

How To Build Your Own Scale Kit Final Analysis

Overall, I think this individual did a really nice job building a scale from scratch for $140.  Of course, he’s not counting all the time and effort he put into building the scale.  And, he kind of glosses over the amount of assistance the car lift is providing him as he moves his (1) scale platform around from tire to tire on his friend’s car.  I think that he did a nice job overall with this How To Build Your Own Scale Kit Overview & Analysis project.

If I could recommend a few things… first, I would have bought a more expensive scale kit that had better components.  Especially, the digital weight indicator, load cells, and mounting blocks.  It’s a trade off as my kit would cost more money than his $140 kit but mine would be easier to setup and more accurate.  Also, I would recommend before he takes the time and expense to build this scale, that he also contact a couple of his local scale companies in his area and see if they have a scale or scales that he could rent for the day or the week.