Introduction: At Home Balance Scale and Graduated Cylinder

At home balance scale and graduated cylinder. This instructable is to give you clear directions on how to make an accurate balance scale and graduated cylinder. I figured that most of us still want to find the volume of objects, here in this very instructible their are two designs to find the volume and weight in objects! Here is some background information, for the graduated cylinder, 2 mm up will be the nearest whole mL. For the balance scale, the balance scale will do better with heavier objects but will do just as great with smaller objects as well.


Balance scale:

  • Plastic hanger
  • Plastic cups (2)
  • String (36 in)
  • Items to weigh (2 or more)
  • Pipe cleaners (2)
  • Scissors (1)
  • Tape (packing or scotch)

Graduated Cylinder:

  • Mini water bottle (1)
  • Paper (whole sheet)
  • Pen (1)
  • Packing Tape (1)
  • Water (44 ml)
  • Mm Ruler (1)
  • Scissors (1)

Step 1: Steps to Build Balance Scale

Steps to build the Balance Scale:

1. Attach a piece of string to the top hoop of the hanger

2. Attach a piece of string to the bottom 2 hoops on the hanger

3. Attach the pipe cleaners to the cups

4. Attach the pipe cleaners to the hanger by the string

5. Attach a piece of tape to the strings so they don't move

6. Tie the top string to a doorknob

7. Put one item on one side and another on the other

8. Which one weighs less? Which one weighs more?

Step 2: Testing Balance Scale

There are many ways to test your Balance Scale, here are a few ways that I used.

1. Take two identical objects in weight and size. Put one in the left cup and one in the right cup. The two cups should stay at the same height.

2. If you take two completely different objects with completely different weights like a glue stick and a nail polish bottle, one of the cups will go down (nail polish bottle) and one cup will go up (glue stick.)

3. Now let’s test out some more masses. A small uncoated metal paper clip weighs about 1 gram. A teaspoon of salt is about 6 grams. Try to find some small paper clips and use six of them to weigh out six grams of salt.

Step 3: Steps to Build Graduated Cylinder

Steps to build the graduated cylinder:

1. Empty all the water out of your water bottle and cut the top of the cup

2. Cut the paper so that it fits the length of the water bottle

3. Measure mm which will equal an mL onto the piece of paper

4. Tape the paper on the water bottle

5. Wrap the top of the paper for spillage

6. Fill the water bottle with the test water

7. How much mm is it?

Step 4: Testing Graduated Cylinder

There are many ways to test your Graduated Cylinder, here are the ways I used.

1. Find two nearly identically sized objects that easily fit into your graduated cylinder. The objects should be different but should take up approximately the same amount of volume. Fill up your graduated cylinder with water up to any specific location. Drop in the first object and make a note where the water level rose up to. Take out the object and make sure the graduated cylinder is reset with the original amount of water used to test the first object. Drop in the second object and see how its volume compares to the other object.

2. Test additional objects to see which object has more or less volume.

Step 5: Using the Tools to Compare the Density of Objects

What is density is and how the density of an object is determined? Density is the amount of matter in a given space. How is the density of an object determined? Density can be determined by the mass of an object divided by its volume. How do you use your new homemade balance scale and graduated cylinder to determine the density? Here is a way you can determine what object has the most density!

1. Name your objects so that you do not mix them up.

2. Write their names in a chart.

3. Using your graduated cylinder, fill it up so that there is enough water in it to completely cover object #1.

4. Take a note of how much water you put in the graduated cylinder (use the scale you created on your graduated cylinder).

5. Put in object #1 and note how much the water level increased.

6. Write down the amount the water level increased compared to the starting level of water (subtract the start from the end).

7. You may use a ruler to measure this distance if you need to, preferably in millimeters.

8. Complete step #2 again for object #2.

9. Highlight/circle which object had more volume and which one had less volume or if they had the same.

10. Using your balance scale put object #1 in one pan and object #2 in the other pan.

11. Highlight/circle which object had more mass and which one had less mass or if they had the same mass.

12. Which object do you think has MORE mass in a given space? Which object has LESS mass in a given space? Highlight/circle which object had more density and which one had less density.

Step 6: Conclusion

What do you plan on using your graduated cylinder and balance scale for? Comment your answer! I am going to use my graduated cylinder and balance scale for my online school classes! There is a possibility that you could find some mistakes in your balance scale and graduated cylinder, but you can always improve it in the future!

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