Clayton & Shuttleworth Traction Engine.
I have always wanted to construct a Traction Engine ever since seeing the examples in Bert Love’s books and articles he has written. I chose the Clayton & Shuttleworth single compound Traction Engine because I had picture of a clear engraving in W.J. Hugh’s book a Century of Traction Engines.
I started with the rear wheel using the hub disc part number 118 and built up with 8 flexible plate Part number 188 with slotted end holes to take up the discrepancies that you get in a curved surface formed slotted strip part number 215 and washers were used as packing pieces.
This image was copied, cropped and enlarged using diameter of the rear wheel as a gauge. I then had 4 A4 print-outs joined together gave me a drawing to work from in the scale of the rear wheel.
The Flywheel is made from a 3½ inch diameter Circular Girder, part number 143a (not a Binns Road part). I purchased this from Frizinghall Model Railway Shop some years ago along with the 5-inch sleeve piece for the chimney that I sprayed matt black.
The thick tyres are made from vacuum cleaner drive bands that fit nicely over 2 spoked wheels. I got lucky the drive bands came from a vacuum cleaner spares stall at Newton Abbot indoor market.
The smokebox and boiler are coming along. The next part I want to concentrate on is the differential. It will be based on the Meccano gear ring part number 180 and I will take inspiration from Jacques Vuye version described in the International Society of Meccanomen web page.
I have now deviated from the Traction Engine and built a Meccanograph or as my wife Carol calls it " A Meccronogreph". It is my own design and the key to its operation is a large gear-ring; a non standard Meccano part. Meccanographs are always popular at exhibitions as they get the public to interact with the mechanics of Meccano. It's sad that we have no exhibitions so far this year.
I thought I would get out my three Hornby speedboats as they might be of interest. I have restored them all, and the larger Viking one was the first tinplate model I restored. I found it on sale at an event on Brighton seafront West Pier and it had two large rust holes, dents, no roof and no steering wheel.
The red Swift model was just a stripped hull without a motor, and I was lucky enough to come across a spare boxed motor of the correct type at a swap meet.
These boats were frequently advertised in Meccano Magazine as seen in this double page advert.
I would like to mention my No2 Car Constructor as well, which I rescued from a junk shop in Brighton and restored.
The red and green tractor is more of a 1950s industrial type with a working differential which is driven by a Mike Rhoades motor. The steering is a pivot and crank arrangement. I have built a mock Engine block for interest.
This is a Meccano advertising machine and very much work in progress. It has an in built novelty which will be revealed at the Virtual meeting. The model is built in blue and yellow which was Binns Road's last colour scheme. This set I acquired in 1978 for £90.
The Meccano sign rotates slowly on a 6 inch pulley powered by a PDU through a gearbox and large driving band. Hopefully, this will hypnotise unsuspecting souls and encourage them to take up the hobby and join SWMC. But we need a proper meeting to enable my fiendish invention to work.
Here is my second iteration of my meccano advertising machine which includes a small windmill and turntable. The latter currently has initials (F&H) in honour of Frank Hornby.
The model now contains two modern motors. The first drives the 6 inch pulley and propeller blades through a gearbox and driving band arrangement. The two propellers are linked by a contrate wheel and pinion. The windmill and turntable are driven by the other motor through a series of bevel gears. The model functions well at the moment and lends itself to future updates when inspiration strikes.
Meccano sets 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000; (1981)
Towards the end of Meccano’s British production, under the ownership of Airfix, a new range of standard all-purpose sets was launched for the 1981 season. This was alongside the Hyperspace, Trucker Fleet, Action Packs and Super Dragster. I am puzzled by this as there had been no production at Binns Road since 1979, and I have seen a newspaper cutting saying that Airfix went into receivership on 20th Jan 1981! However, the 2000 set I have has parts marked “Made in England”. Maybe they were from old stock?
I thought I would explore this set and make a model from it.
The box is very flimsy, with thin vacuum moulded parts trays. The manual models are uninspiring, and some frankly ugly, such as the breakdown crane depicted on the box lid. As often happens, some of the best models are on the back “you could also build these” page with no building instructions! The instructions are similar to those in the Multikits but not as good – they have parts laid out for the next stage but no exploded diagram to show how they fit together!
The parts appear to be standard for the era, with nothing radically new. The road wheels are hard plastic, the bolts are round-headed and nuts hexagonal in brass with a dull grey plating, possibly cadmium. Strips are zinc plated but girders and some flanged plates are medium blue; some flexible plates are red and some white. There are yellow plastic 1” pulleys but a blue 1.5” metal one! This wide range of colours does not give a sense of harmony to the models. There is the under-powered Crane Set motor (yellow), but with a nice straight battery box to take 3 HP11 batteries (total 4.5v). Unfortunately, the reversing switch on mine needs attention. There is a 19:57 tooth gear pair in plastic (I think, for the first time).
The build was not straightforward for such a simple small model – think set 3 or 4 in old money! These smaller than usual nuts and bolts are rather difficult for ageing adult fingers! The reversing mechanism is ingenious, but I think a new modeller (especially the advertised 7-year-old!) would find it difficult – and like so many Meccano instructions, it did not work! Some fettling, using parts from within the set, managed to overcome the difficulties and I hope to demonstrate it shuttling back and forth.
Overall comment; I’m glad this was not my first set, or I might have been put off Meccano for life!!
There has been progress on my tractor but not very much and not very obvious. I have added some pictures, which are rather older and were found during a recent spring clean. See Neil's 1970's Models.