Autumn 2019 Newsletter

Autumn 2019 Newsletter cover

Autumn 2019 Newsletter
Issue 172

June 2019 Meeting

This was one of our informal quarterly meetings where our members showed off their latest Meccano creations.

At around 2:00pm we had a short committee meeting, followed by the Model Tour in which members were invited to give a short talk about their models — in particular their entries for the Secretary’s Challenge!

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Royal Greenwich Get Together 2019

The first of the summer events for SELMEC was the Royal Greenwich Get Together. Set in Woolwich Arsenal, this is difficult to get to since you have to park so far away, so Chris, Tim and I hired a taxi to get there. That will be the last time we go by taxi; it was too expensive.

The Make It With Meccano workshop
The Make It With Meccano workshop

It was a very hot day and we did suffer a bit. I went out to get some ice cream; it nearly melted in the heat. Chris had another commitment and was away for most of the time. The event ran for a fairly long six hours (12 noon – 6:00pm). Public reception was better than last year probably because we were properly advertised this time.

Children playing a game of Connect Four
Children playing a game of Connect Four

Tim brought the Lightning Leap and Spanish Knight, along with the Make It With Meccano sets, and Chris brought a tug, narrow gauge locomotive, Daleks etc. My models were the Meccasaur, fire escape, and marionette.

After packing up we waited a whole hour for the taxi, and got home at about 8:00pm.

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Henwick Primary School Summer Fair 2019

On 6th June 2019 we were at Henwick Primary School, which is only about five minutes walk from my house, so I took all my models in a carry case and met Tim there setting up. We had a small row of tables in the dining room. Tim had brought a limited Make It With Meccano collection, which he managed to get in a rucksack, and then cycled over! Enough was brought for a few people to make some modern Meccano models, such as a fan, spinning top etc. Instructions on laminated A4 were provided.

The Make It With Meccano workshop
The Make It With Meccano workshop

Chris was also there and between us we brought the same models as the previous week, but no Lightning Leap. The ever popular Meccasaur is still running on the same set of batteries two years later.

Brian’s Meccasaur entertains!
Brian’s Meccasaur entertains!

The school was only open to public from 12 noon – 3:00pm, and the time passed fairly quickly. The school kindly allowed us free food and drinks.

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Eltham Park Festival 2019

Last year’s event was cancelled due to poor weather and, in the week before this event, I was checking the forecast every day to try and predict what would happen. In the event, the weather was quite pleasant with not too much sun, but no hint of rain. The crowds built up quite quickly so, when I arrived just before noon, people were already there. Our Meccano stand had a gazebo formerly in use by an MOT test centre, so it was covered by their logos and offers of ‘No Pass, No Fee’. Luckily, no one tried to hold us to it!

Also in our tent was a sole representative from Welling Model Club, who spent the day carrying out some very intricate painting of some soldiers.

An overview of our marquee and the Make It With Meccano workshop
An overview of our marquee and the Make It With Meccano workshop

The Make It With Meccano tables were in the fresh air and were busy all day — Tim ran out of certificates!

Les Chatfield brought his models in a suitcase on the train, but still managed to fit in some very tall models, including an impressive dive bomber fairground ride which only just cleared the struts of the tent!

Tim, Santiago, Les and Brian hide behind Les’s gigantic models
Tim, Santiago, Les and Brian hide behind Les’s gigantic models

Santiago Plicio spent most of the afternoon dismantling his large crane, so that by the end of the afternoon all the superstructure was in a number of carrier bags!

Santiago dismantling his crane
Santiago dismantling his crane

The festival was open from 12 noon — 5:00pm, and it hardly let up until the very end. I had a bite to eat from the café, which was providing a very limited selection of food. According to Geoff Tatman of the Police (who are event organisers) the food ran out at 3:00pm! Hopefully they’ll order more supplies next year.

There were plenty of stalls around a small area of the park, including the local micro-pub, the Police with some old vehicles, and local groups. The event is expected to run again next year.

Models on display:

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Cantilever Bearings

This bearing was inspired by a Bert Love design for a ‘square bearing’ on one of his fairground models in which a stack of Wheel Discs are trapped in a box shaped structure of Angle Girders built so as to encase the ‘cake’ of Bush Wheels. Rods passed through four of the Bush Wheel Disc holes made up a strong skeleton axle to support heavy overhanging loads such as the arms of a fairground ride.

The cantilever bearing
The cantilever bearing

I didn’t like the box bearing so I supported my stack of Wheel Discs (separated by washers) on two stacks of 1” Pulleys without Bosses mounted side-by-side on laminated Flat Trunnions. This provided greater bearing area for these two heavily loaded axles and added strength to the four bearings. The revolving stack of Wheel Discs and Pulleys is clamped together with four long Threaded Rods plus a central axle to ensure alignment. These Threaded Rods extend forwards from the front of the Wheel Disc stack to provide fixings for the hub in which the two arms of my ride model fit. A further axle fitted with ½” Pulleys journalled above the Wheel Disc stack locates it onto the 1” Pulleys without Bosses upon which the Wheel Disc stack is sitting.

A later refinement was the addition of a small Handrail Coupling into which the central alignment axle rod slips. This is an additional guard against the whole ‘cage axle, wheel disk’ assembly tipping forwards from its cradle of 1” Wheel Disc rollers.

It is complicated to build but works surprisingly well with a minimum of lubrication. I hope the photo makes it all clear.

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