A collection of bits and pieces: for more like this check out our regular “Model Building Technology” feature in every edition of “The International Mecccanoman”. A CD containing a searchable database of the first 700 or so tips should be available soon!

Adjustable Seat for car or truckadjustable seat

There are many ways of making automotive-friendly seats for our models, especially with the arrival of some of the newer parts, but many of them are pretty rigid and unforgiving. Could we make one that can adjust its seat and its back? Of course!

In this model the base is a 1½” Square Plate bolted to a pair of 1½” Channels. Their upper flanges leave a free ½” space between them. The seat is a square Obtuse Flanged Plate, and a Rubber Seat is bolted to it via its central hole. This Bolt passes through a pair of Fishplates underneath the Plate, and then through a ¾” Washer before securing a Threaded Boss in place. A 1½” Bolt passes through the Boss’s transverse bore from behind and it is then locked by a Nut into the tapped bore of a Threaded Rod Adaptor. The shank of this passes through the slotted hole of an Angle Bracket and is then held in place by a Collar and an Aero Collar. (Use what you like here – I used an old boss from a broken plastic Pinion!) The Angle Bracket is fixed to the floor by a 3/8” Bolt passing through a Small Plastic Spacer. The Fishplates slide easily in the upper channel and the Washer holds the unit in place. Turning the Collars will move the seat backwards and forwards.

The back is made from a Single Obtuse Flanged Plate and a Double Obtuse Flanged Plate bolted at right angles to each other, and a Rubber Seat provides the upholstery again. Black Bolts make the result more attractive. The back is attached to the seat by a 2½” Threaded Rod which passes through three Right Angle Rod and Strip Connectors. One is fixed (cylinder up) to the seat by the rear bolt, and the others are fixed (cylinders backwards) to the rear of the back unit. A Nylon Lock Nut is fixed on one end, and this and the Rod are prevented from turning by an overlapping Fishplate set to a slight angle over the Connector. The free end of the Threaded Rod carries a Small Plastic Spacer and a Threaded Boss which has a Bolt in its transverse bore to act as an adjusting lever. Turning this tightens up the unit, fixing the back of the seat in the desired position.

Crane Bogies

This picture shows an approach to making a large set of wheels (bogies) for a travelling crane, based on one of those real-life cranes shown on the CRANE page here.

This picture is of a simple gadget:  in this little unit a Worm gear drives an old 20-tooth Pinion on a tri-flat axle which also carries a bossless plastic Contrate Gear. This then meshes with a slim 25-tooth Pinion mounted on a rod journalled in the gear-box casing and a Reversed Angle Bracket.

The first picture is drawn in VirtualMec, a prgram that can assemble virtual Meccano models and manipulate them in 3 dimensions – great for illustrators like me!

Delighted that version 2 has just come out (May 2012) as a pay-for-upgrade: it looks very good.

An earlier tool I still use is Isomec – a collection of 3d Clip Art by Roger Hill of South Africa

4-speed Gearbox

which only works in 2D but which allows one to use and create all sorts of modifications. I’ve used this lots in my modelplans and have added a whole collection of my own parts when I have needed them.

This design is for a 4 – speed and reverse Gearbox with gate-change – available in “Everything Automotive Vol 3” from MW Mail, one of a number of publications I shared with  the late Paul Joachim.

Order at


4 Responses to Workshop

  1. johnfromcorby says:

    I like the illustration tool you are using. I would like to know more.

    Super article.


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