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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Garden Scales Project

We love to get muddy in the garden, and one of my children's favourite activities is making "mud cakes" and decorating them with flowers.

Today I made them some scales so they could weigh the "ingredients" for their cakes. It was pretty easy and only took about 15 minutes. It was something that had pinspired me a while ago, but I just hadn't got around to doing.


You can use any spare tree branches you have lying around, or timber if you're fancy. We used black locust because
I) it grows faster than we can cut it around here
II) it's naturally fairly weather proof and will last several years - by which time I'm fairly confident the kids will have grown out of their scales! 

You will need:
- wood/branch/timber x 2
- washers x 3
- large screw
- tin cans x 2 
- garden twine
- chalk
- sledge hammer
- drill

Instructions:
Saw the end of the bigger branch into a point so you have a stake you can drive into the ground with a sledge hammer.

Next you need to find the balance point on your other branch. This will not be the middle unless you are using pre-cut timber. Find something to balance you branch across (hand rail on my kids slide worked well) and adjust the branch until it balances nicely across it. Mark the point of contact with some chalk. 

Now drill a hole slightly larger than your screw all the way through from you mark to the other side of the branch. 

Placing washers either side and a second one on the side that will join, screw your branch onto the stake. 

You should now have a freely moving beam that spins around on the stake. If it doesn't move freely, loosen your screw a little.

Drill some holes in your tin cans and thread some garden twine to tie them onto either end of your moving branch and you're done.

Happy weighing and measuring! 

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