The information provided via this page is intended to aid those repairing/restoring old instruments. It consists of responses I have made over the years to requests for help with restoration.
If you are interested in replacing missing parts, I have linked a set of emails describing a successful restoration of a missing chain by a user of this site as an example of what can be done - Rich
A brief set of instructions for cleaning a balance, originally provided by Fisher Scientific, is provided on-line: Directions for Cleaning a Balance From: Fisher Scientific Company. Modern Laboratory Appliances (Catalog 90). Fisher Scientific Company and Eimer and Amend (1942, reprinted 1946) p 48.
The operation and general care of chemical balances may be found in any vintage (<1975) analytical chemistry text. A fairly thorough early treatment is available here on-line: Weighing from Smith, George McPhail. ...QUANTITATIVE CHEMICAL ANALYSIS ... (1921).
A more advanced treatment on the set-up and repair of balances is also available on-line: The Use and Care of a Balance by Peter J. Krayer (1913). This treatment does not seem to have been superceded in English, and is highly recommended.
A general description of the care and operation of analytical balances focusing on Christian Becker Chain balances is also provided on line: Care and Use of Analytical Balances. This is the complete text of a brochure provided by Christian Becker division of Torsion Balance Company (1952)
Instructions for Assembly and Adjustment of Christian Becker Chainomatic Balances. These typed instructions were found under an instrument in HSU's physical chemistry lab. They probably came with our AB-2 balance in the 1950's. pg 1, pg 2, pg 3, pg 4, pg 5.
Some of the important variations of the Christian Becker line of chain-weight balances are illustated and briefly described on-line in: Christian Becker Analytical Balances from Braun-Knecht-Heiman Co., Catalog No. 40, Laboratory Instruments Apparatus Supplies, (1940)
The directions provided in the lid of the box originally carrying the beam, pans etc. for a SeKo two pan balance is provided in two resolutions: SeKo Directions for Setting up a Balance from Seederer-Kolbush (c. 1960) (Higher Res)
- A frequently missing part for these instruments is the Prism Table. I have provided a number of photos from different angles of the table from a mid-2oth century "Student" spectroscope. In spite of its name, this is a very high quality instrument that was/is used in college and university physics classes.
- The table and grating holder are made entirely of brass with the exception of steel mounting shaft and steel springs (only parts that are magnetic). The triangular cast brass mount is finished in black krinkle paint, the grating holder is finished in flat enamel, all other parts are chrome plated except the springs and shaft. The two spring brass grating holders are very like microscope slide holders in thickness etc.
- All measurements on the photos were made with a digital caliper reading to 0.001".