Thursday, October 15, 2009


All I want is an old fashioned tiny postage scale that will weigh my letter and tell me if it weighs one, two or three ounces. That shouldn’t be hard to find, should it? I am so paranoid about having a letter returned to me for not enough postage that I tend to over-stamp to make sure it won't be rejected! I use to have a little tin postage scale but I suppose when we went to Istanbul I tossed it out, since I didn't see any sense in having it in storage for a few years. I must have figured I'd buy one when I got back, but obviously I didn't.

Well, you can’t find them anymore. First of all, there are no longer any real stationery stores! There are big box stores that stock items in quantity -- you know, the kind where when you want an 8-1/2 x 11 tablet you have to buy a shrink-wrapped package of 10. I checked there, though, and their low end scale costs $20.99 and will weigh packages up to 8 pounds. I asked the young sales clerk if he had any small postage scales and he didn’t know what I was talking about.

So I looked online. I had no luck there either. I Googled until I was blue in the face and all I could come up with that was even close was a vintage German scale for $5.99 on e-bay, but I didn’t want a contraption like that. The price was right, but I know the cat would never leave it alone. It would be knocked off the desk three times a day.

Finally using Google again I did turn up a make-it-yourself scale with instructions that said it was simple to construct and could be done in less than 5 minutes with equipment you were sure to have at home. It sounded interesting so I took a peek at it. It started like this:

Attach a rubber band to the end of a ruler. Tie a knot near one end of the rubber band (leaving loops on either side of the knot) and attach it to the end of the ruler.

Put a piece of tape over the rubber band to help ensure that it does not slip or change position on the ruler. The rubber band must be flat on the surface of the ruler opposite the knot.

Clip the paper clip onto the rubber band so that it will be able to hold onto a letter while hanging from the rubber band. A large paper clip is recommended.

Move the ruler so the rubber band is just hanging off the edge of a table. The table should have a sharp edge.

Make a calibration weight. (Gather 5 quarters and make a stack. This will be one ounce.)

WHOA!!! The further I read the sillier it got, except they were serious. And at this stage I decided that I didn’t want to weigh my letter that badly.

So I’m right back where I started from. I suspect that when “digital” came in, those scales went out. But I just cannot believe that I can’t find a tiny postal scale anywhere. I wonder if maybe Williams-Sonoma has a scale that is used in cooking? Or if Weight Watchers has one that you can buy to make sure you are measuring correctly the amount of food you eat? Or maybe a Salvation Army or Goodwill Thrift store? Well, there are a few more places to look. Keep your fingers crossed, guys. I’m not asking for the moon, just a simple little scale that will count the ounces for me.

No comments: