NORTH WEST MECCANO GUILD


Clicking on many of the pictures enlarges them and provides extra information. The models are usually attributed to the builder.

The Guild is always interested in preventing good Meccano going to waste. If you have any Meccano to re-cycle, please contact the Secretary or a member at one of our events.

Click  “Exhibitions” for a calendar of our events. Or “Event Details” for information about individual ones.

Click “North West” for information about Meccano on display and  Meccano related locations in the North West of England.

This model was made from the “Motorized Movers Set 5” by Chris. Harris.

He is hoping to put a video of it working on You-Tube soon.

The 1970 Set 7 Manual -   Manure Spreader with a Tractor designed by Chris. using some more recently introduced parts.

Ashley Simmonds has contributed this Model Fire Escape based on a Meccano magazine model from April 1961.

It was not intended to be built from a particular outfit but a No. 8 would probably have provided most of the parts. It is a modernised version of one of the 1937 manual models.


Virtual Meeting 2021

Side Lever Paddle Steamer Engine

Built by the Webmaster.

An E-Bay seller has got hold of copies of the 1934 Meccano Magazines and has split them up. He is selling the pages covering the most interesting articles separately. I happen to have a battered set of the magazines (missing some pages including most of the Fireside Fun ones).  There is a monthy series about marine engines illustrated by  Meccano models of many of them. Only rather sketchy instructions were provided. One that took my fancy was the Side Lever engine in the March issue. Basically it is a standard Boulton & Watt Beam Engine turned upside down but leaving the cylinder behind. This put the crankshaft in good position to drive the paddle wheels but meant that 2 beams  were needed, one on either side of the cylinder. The heavy beams are low down in the steamer where the weight is needed.

The model is based on the engine designed by Robert Napier in 1821 for the paddle steamer Leven. The engine is displayed outside the Scottish Maritime Museum near Dumbarton. I also have obtained photographs from the museum web-site and Geograph. The engine appears to differ from the MM model and I have made my model to be more like the real one. Not all the necessary information could be obtained from the photographs and I was unable the go to Dumbarton to look at the real one. Perhaps the most noticeable change is the way the valves are operated.  I have put the eccentric outside the crankshaft bearings as clearly shown in one of the photographs. The two small pumps are operated independently  mainly because I thought this would add to the interest of the model when it is running.

Other alterations include  the use of Progress parts for the cranks to give it more rigidity. I have retained the use of strips for the cylinder, but they are held together by modern springy strips. It sits on a Märklin wheel which happens to be just the right size. A bossless 3” pulley is used for the top because it is difficult to find one with a boss which runs true. The dimensions of the parallel motion have been altered to be more like what I think they ought to be.  The green Mettalus strips are used to allow adjustment. Numerous cranks have been added to allow the linkage to run freely  without wobbling.

The motor is a small Mettalus geared one.

A You -Tube video of the engine in motion can be seen at:

https://youtu.be/QJsBvlsAbdk

Above, The Mechanism for the Two Small pumps and the Valves.

Right, view from above.

Gear Cutting Machine.

In order to make the Side Lever Engine, I had to take my Gear Cutting Machine to pieces. However, I did take some photographs first. The one above shows most of the works. The “Hob” is a ½” BSW machine tap (12 tpi) held in home made supports.  This tap has nearly the correct pitch for Meccano gears but has a pitch angle of 27½° instead of 20°. The gear blank was made from Paxolin. The resulting gears should only mesh with other gears made using the same tap, but if you make the blank the right diameter, they will mesh with Meccano gears at the required centre distance reasonably well.

The motor had been removed when the photograph was taken.

To the right are close-ups of a gear being made and a completed 64 tooth gear. A Stokys 64t Contrate wheel was used as a “master”. With this type of gear cutting  machine, you need a master gear with the required number of teeth (or a chain of gears to obtain the right ratio) but it can be of a different tooth form from the one required. The set-up used for making the 64 tooth gear had to deal with the right angle drive of the contrate-pinion combination. There is a meshing pair of Meccano small helicals. The helix angle is not quite 45° but I got away with it.


  The model based on one published in the March 1972 Meccano Magazine. The original was made by H. Vollenhoven of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. The cone pulley was used for an automatic vertical feed.

3 Wheeled Railway Inspection Trolley.

This is another model which I have just taken apart. It is of an inspection trolley  on display at the Severn Valley Railway Museum at Highley. They were popular in countries where stations were very far apart so that inspectors and workers had long distances to travel. Like the simple 4 wheeled trucks used on British railways they could be easily be lifted of the track when a train was expected. Many were built by an American firm - Kalamazoo. They were invented before the Safety Bicycle and so are hand cranked rather than pedal driven. Gears are used instead of a sprocket drive.

My model had to be fitted with two double flanged wheels so it would remain on the track. Some of the full size ones that are in regular use have them.

Dick Watson has made a You-Tube Video of his Meccano device for rotating a monitor into the correct orientation during a display of pictures of members’ models.

The link is:

https://youtu.be/Ygyr4K17BMI


It also deals with a mixture of tall thin models and long low ones.

Unfortunately, it rotates in the opposite direction to that chosen by You-Tube to rotate Smartphone videos taken in landscape mode.