Also managed to buy a second-hand 300g x 0.01g balance for work on eBay, which probably won't interest most people.
It's a real laboratory balance, not the usual druggie toy crap, originally designed with a heating hood for determining the moisture content of soil etc. The heating part was bust hence a ridiculously low price - £42 including delivery. Arrived here yesterday, I checked it with weights from an old set of lab scales I have here, and it's accurate to .02g at 300g - and that's probably the weights that are in error. It isn't worth repairing the heating part, since we have no use for it at work anyway, so I've taken that part of the works out to make sure it's electrically safe. It isn't pretty, but we've scored a pretty good deal. Just hope my boss agrees when I go back to work.
The guy who sold it to me seems to have been clearing out a lab and had some amazing bargains - a vacuum oven that went for £150, for example, which is about 5% of normal value, a 5.1 kg x 0.01g balance that went for £285 - and some other kit that is normally staggering expensive. But of course we don't have the money for that sort of thing, more's the pity, and I couldn't get authorisation over Christmas even if we had. Don't mind taking a chance on 42 quid, but a few hundred's a bit different.
If anyone reading this happens to have balances for sale REALLY cheaply - I'm especially after 0.01g balances with at least 300g capacity - or would like to donate them to a school that's a registered charity, please let me know. This year we lost three balances by theft, two by breakdowns, and one that is just getting too inaccurate for A-level use and will cost at least £120 to service. And my department's got about 200 quid left in the kitty until April...