Sign in to follow this  
marshall

Lego weight

Recommended Posts

I'm looking at some legos on craigslist, and the posting lists the size of the totes in gallons, but not the weight. Does anybody happen to know the average weight of a gallon of legos?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting question. I weighed the content of every PaB cup I got from the Lego store. The large cup allegedly holds 985 mL = 0.985 L (see http://www.fbtb.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4873). On average, the contents weigh 395g. That gives a density of 401 g per liter.

Now, in true Monty Python style: What gallon? Imperial? Liquid? Dry?

Conversion to grams per gallons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallon):

UK Imperial gallon: 1823 g

US liquid gallon: 1518 g

US dry gallon: 1624 g

Having said that, there is quite some variance in the weight-per-volume for Lego. For my own PaB cups, I noticed up to +/- 10% deviations from the average, and I always try to arrange bricks in a strategic fashion when filling cups, fill up empty space with smaller parts, etc. etc., without actually clicking the bricks into each other. So generally, if people just throw Lego into a box, I would expect there to be a lower density, maybe something along the lines of 200 g/L.

Generally speaking, giving amounts of Lego in volume is a bit strange in the first place, I'd think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the thorough response. I agree that using gallons is not very precise, and the weight is likely to vary. I'm hoping to get several responses from people who have weighed buckets/bins of legos to come up with an average. I think I once weighed the legos in one of those 1200 pc bins that lego used to sell, and it came out to 10 pounds (that is, using a kitchen scale I filled the lego bin with 10 lbs worth of legos, and the bin was roughly full). However, I don't know how many gallons are in one of those lego bins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the thorough response. I agree that using gallons is not very precise, and the weight is likely to vary. I'm hoping to get several responses from people who have weighed buckets/bins of legos to come up with an average. I think I once weighed the legos in one of those 1200 pc bins that lego used to sell, and it came out to 10 pounds (that is, using a kitchen scale I filled the lego bin with 10 lbs worth of legos, and the bin was roughly full). However, I don't know how many gallons are in one of those lego bins.

I do know that on an average of mixed LEGO (no cherry picking, no DUPLO, no clones, and no non-LEGO junk) is around 325 pieces per pound.

Did the 10 pound you weighted include the weight of LEGO bin? 10 pounds without the weight of a tub should be over 3,000 pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've no idea but I know LEGO can be very heavy when made up into something large like a modular building. I was wondering if you make a 1-1 scale model of something from LEGO, say an average family car for example would it have more mass than the original?

As to what a gallon of LEGO weighs, well there are so many variables as has been discussed, how is it packed and which bits are used being the two obvious ones that spring to mind. Can you e-mail them to establish the parameters of the gallon and the pack'ed'ness of the bricks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do know that on an average of mixed LEGO (no cherry picking, no DUPLO, no clones, and no non-LEGO junk) is around 325 pieces per pound.

Did the 10 pound you weighted include the weight of LEGO bin? 10 pounds without the weight of a tub should be over 3,000 pieces.

the 325 pieces/pound figure is very helpful (is this from your own experience?). I never saw the 1200 piece bin new, so I don't know how full it was originally, but I would guess that there were many more pieces in it after I filled it with the 10 pounds of legos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is probably a terrible estimate as the plastic to air ratio is probably all over the map depending on the pieces in question, but the official Lego brick grab bags I pick up from time to time in the Lego Store are 1 quart zip bags and nearly always weigh just over a pound 1 pound and are about 3/4 full by volume. So if we were to top off each bag, that would add 1/3 again as much weight and at 4 quarts to the gallon that puts you at about 5 pound, 5 ounces but this is really a rough estimate as it really depends on which pieces are included and how tightly they're packed.

I've got a short PAB cup full of 1x1 tiles that weighs over a pound all by itself. I could imagine a bucket filled with large, mostly hollow parts that don't mesh well, like boat hulls and roof turrets, would drive the total weight down. The best we can offer is a statistical guess, but even then there can be confounding variables. I once entered a contest to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar. I got the same jar, measured the volume, studied the packing density of jelly beans, came up with a statistical guess based on extensive calculations and utterly failed to account for the volume of the three spring 'snakes' the contest organizers had hidden in the jar to pop out of it when it was finally opened. Hopefully there aren't any snake surprises hidden in the eBay offering...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is probably a terrible estimate as the plastic to air ratio is probably all over the map depending on the pieces in question, but the official Lego brick grab bags I pick up from time to time in the Lego Store are 1 quart zip bags and nearly always weigh just over a pound 1 pound and are about 3/4 full by volume.

(...)

I got the same jar, measured the volume, studied the packing density of jelly beans, came up with a statistical guess based on extensive calculations and utterly failed to account for the volume of the three spring 'snakes' the contest organizers had hidden in the jar to pop out of it when it was finally opened. Hopefully there aren't any snake surprises hidden in the eBay offering...

Lol for the spring story.

I weigh my grab bags as well, of course. Maybe they use different bags in the US, but I'd guess they contain a quart (which is roughly a liter) at most, probably a bit less. Again, I usually go for the well-filled ones, and the average weight is 274 grams, which is significantly less than a pound.

Well, as others have said, it really depends on the way it is packed - whether the Lego is loose, or assembled, and what kind of bricks it is. In any way, volume is a horrible way to measure Lego.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did some checking on average weight some years back, and came out with about 350/pound:

http://news.lugnet.com/general/?n=52892

But that'll depend (obviously) on what types of elements you've got. If you have basic building tubs, your average will probably be lower, because they're full of large pieces. And if you've got a lot of technic, it'll probably be higher.

As for using PAB to determine volume, it's probably not a good way to estimate, given that people often pack their cups pretty densely, and usually people put in a lot of small parts. For the record, I have data for 64 PAB cups that I've gotten over the years, which have contained 22,191 pieces. Assuming that my approximations for PAB volumes are correct, that's 50915 mL, or about 13.45 US gallons, which works out to about 1650 pieces per US gallon. From there, assuming the above average weight per piece, you could guess 2138.36g of LEGO in a gallon.

But that's way off from the above guess by @legomr. As stated, I think it's probably too high thanks to the amount of packing that typically gets done in a PAB cup. So, although I can provide a chunk of nice statistics on PAB cups, it's probably not very applicable to generic LEGO by volume (or, such would be my guess).

DaveE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, from the couple of data points we have so far it looks like a gallon of legos weighs around 4 to 5 pounds. I wish I had a shipping scale, because I think a better way to do this would be to fill a 5 or 10 gallon container and weigh it. I doubt legos, even if packed carefully, settle as well in a PAB cup as they would in a large bucket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wish I had a shipping scale, because I think a better way to do this would be to fill a 5 or 10 gallon container and weigh it.

I think the way to do it would be to take "standard" sets (MISB or whatever), and dump them in a container one at a time until it "looked full". That way your ratio of pieces will be pretty on-par, as well as the "looking full" factor to determine when you should stop.

I doubt legos, even if packed carefully, settle as well in a PAB cup as they would in a large bucket.

Yeah, you have the ability in a large box/bucket to use space more efficiently than in a PAB cup. Generally speaking, people that buy PAB cups will optimize them in some way-- either by carefully stacking elements, or by sprinkling in small pieces in order to minimize the empty space.

But when your typical parent decides to sell the old LEGO at a yard sale, they just take all the LEGO and dump it quickly into a box, such that everything fits. There's a large variety of elements, and you get a lot of empty space near the top, where the bigger elements tend to hang out. And as long as the lid closes, they're happy.

DaveE

Edited by davee123

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a kitchen scale, which only goes up to 6 pounds, and a few 1.5 gallon tubs. I filled a tub using a "random" mix of legos from a larger bin I have, weighed it, and repeated a couple times to account for different mixtures of legos. I the tubs all weighed between 3.8 and 4.2 pounds, which puts a gallon at about 2.7 pounds. I tried to fill the tub as compactly as possible by shaking it while filling it up, but it is possible that very small parts are under represented in my mixture. In any case, this is a much lower estimate than what the others are reporting.

Anyone got a better scale to weigh a large tub with a more representative mix?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure how helpful this really is, but I noticed today on my PaB order that Lego gives weight, volume and (of course) price of orders. For my latest order, they gave:

31 pcs

146.845 g

137 ccm

I'll leave the recalculation into US units to you. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.