How to make a scale of justice

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The Lady of Justice is a familiar figure to anyone frequenting courthouses or other halls of justice. She is usually depicted as a slender woman wearing a Greek-style toga and blindfolded. She holds a sword in one hand and a set of balancing scales in the other. The scales represent the balance between justice and societal contentment. The origins of the Lady and her scales may be based upon several mythological figures, including the Greek Astraea and the Egyptian Maat, both goddesses of justice. Follow up lessons about these figures or other mythological lessons by making your own scales of justice.

Nip the metal hook where it goes into the plastic hanger and remove it. Discard the hook. Make sure your hanger is the plastic kind with a rounded top and a hollow underside. Other kinds of hangers will not work.

Drill a hole through the hanger right below the hole at the top centre and two more holes 12 mm (1/2 inch) from either end of the hanger. Make sure your drill bit goes through one side of the hanger, spans the hollow inside and come out the other side. Keep the bit as straight as you can.

Drill three holes in the sides of two plastic dessert plates, spacing them about 3 mm (1/8 inch) from the edge. The holes should be spaced so that lines connecting them would divide your plates into even thirds. This ensures the plates will hang flat later.

Nip about 25 cm (10 inches) of 20-gauge gold wire. Bend the wire in half, pinch the fold flat between your fingers and twist the halves of the wire together. Stop twisting about two inches from the end.

Slip the untwisted ends of wire down through the top centre hole in your hanger. Flip the hanger over and bend the untwisted wires to the right and left, feeding them through the holes in the sides of the hanger. Bend the wires down against the hanger at a 90-degree angle and nip away any wire extending beyond the bottom of the hanger. Bend the twisted wire on top of the hanger into a hook.

Nip six 15-cm (6-inch) lengths of gold link chain. Pry open your 12 mm (1/2 inch) jump rings and slip one through each hole in the edges of your plates. Slip the end link of one chain through each ring and squeeze them closed with pliers.

Pry open your 25 mm (1 inch) jump rings and slip them through the holes near the ends of your hanger. Slip the top links of three chains onto each jump ring. Squeeze them closed with your pliers. Your justice scales are finished. Hold them up by the hook to use them.

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