Running on rails

A wet summer when you can’t do much outside does make for more productivity in the workshop!

Discovering those cranes in the south of France set me thinking about the next model …..

So, some research on the internet followed, together with conversations with other Meccano crane builders, and the first signs of a new crane begin to emerge. Ultimately it should be around 5ft tall. What sets the scale? Well, apart from the obvious availability of parts, it is usually the round bits which one can’t change like the swivelling turntable or the wheels. You want flanged wheels? Unless you make up unusual versions you are basically limited to the small 3/4″ wheel or the larger 1 1/4″ option. Now start doing the maths – four set of bogies, each with 8 wheels arranged in pairs on floating mounts so that they are all in contact with the rails at any one point.

Fully equalised bogie for travelling dockside crane

Ensure that 50% of them are driven at a suitable scale speed. OK – you have 32 Flanged Wheels? 56 2″ Axles? 16 50-tooth gears and 16 Bush-wheels? 32 Corner Brackets? Then start building! Check everything is free running throughout construction – the 25-tooth pinion which drives both spur gears and which is itself driven by the worm gear on the transfer shaft from the motor is loose on the shaft as an idler so it is not affected by the weight of the crane on the shaft: this helps. And this is the result so far….  Lots of repetition – make one unit up, make another …. couple them together … and then the joy of powering the units up and seeing them travel for the first time … now to get on with the next level…


About Philip Webb

Chairman of the International Society of Meccanomen
This entry was posted in Cranes, The International Society of Meccanomen, Workbench and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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