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Meccano Spares Help and Information
Do gears and pulleys come with the required fixing screws?
All the gears and pulleys come without grub or set screws. These can be ordered separately. Most people prefer using standard grub screws (Part Number 69a), these are headless screws and give a nice tidy finish. If you are in a situation where clearances around the boss are very tight a short or flush grub screw (Part Number 69c) may be used. These fit flush with the boss when tight. If you require extra thread length (for instance to connect some other part), or the part in question has a ½" diameter boss (part numbers 95, 95b, 27b & 19c) then you can use long grub screws (Part Number 69b). Brass set screws (Part Number 69) may also be used in all bosses where clearances and appearance are not critical.
I want to order nuts and bolts, which should I choose?
The standard Meccano bolt has a ¼" (about 6mm) long threaded portion (Part Number 37b). These are screwed into a standard Meccano nut, which can be either square (Part Number 37aS) or hexagonal (Part Number 37aH). This nut and bolt combination is suitable for joining up to 4 standard thickness strips. If thicker combinations of parts are to be joined then longer bolts should be used accordingly. The next size up is 5/16" (8mm - Part Number 111b), then ⅜" (9.5mm - Part Number 111c), ½" (13mm - Part Number 111a), ¾" (19mm - Part Number 111), 1" (25mm Part Number 111e), and finally 1⅛" (28mm - Part Number 111d). Standard Meccano nuts can be used with screwed rods (Part Number 78-82 etc.) which range in size from 1" (25mm) long, Part Number 82, to 11½" (290mm) long, Part Number 78.
What are the standard hole sizes, spacing and threads?
Meccano holes are all 4.1mm in diameter, and are spaced at ½" (12.7mm). Meccano axles are a running fit in the holes, and are 4.06mm in diameter. This is actually an old Imperial SWG (Standard Wire Gauge) size 8. All Meccano threads are 5/32 BSW (British Standard Whitworth). Again, this is an old imperial size, which is around the same size as an M4 metric thread, but the 2 threads are not compatible with each other.
What size are the Standard and Narrow strips?
Standard Meccano strips are ½" (12.7mm) wide. The length is the same as the number of holes multiplied by ½" (12.7mm). The Narrow Strips have the same hole spacing, but are only ⅜" Wide. The length is the number of holes-1 multiplied by ½" (12.7mm) plus 5/16" (8mm).
I have a newer Meccano set, but the part numbers I want are not listed on the website?
Meccano have changed some of the part numbers in recent years, prefixing them with a letter 'A' or 'B'. Many of these parts are the same as the original ones, perhaps with a different paint finish. Please download my Cross Reference List which translates the new part numbers to the traditional ones, so you can order from the website. Most of the 'A' or 'B' prefixed part numbers are referenced in the part description, so you can search using the new part number to find the appropriate equivalent.
Which Meccano Gears Mesh Together?
All standard Meccano gears are based on the same tooth profile called 38DP. This means that any Meccano gear will mesh with any other Meccano gear, however, the spacing may not be a multiple of ½" (standard Meccano hole spacing) or the angle of the gears may not be parallel or 90 degrees. Gears with other tooth profiles (sizes) are available, both the larger tooth sized 16DP which is used on the geared quadrants (167a) and its' associated gear (167c), and 20DP which is used on some special large gears. The table below relates to the standard 38DP gears, with standard Meccano spacing at multiples of ½". To see which non-standard gears mesh at standard spacing, check the details of each individual gear in the catalogue.
|Teeth on Pinion or Worm Gear||Teeth on Spur Gear||Gear Centre Spacing||Ratio|
|38 Teeth (31 or 31b)||38 Teeth (31 or 31b)||1" (3 Holes)||1:1|
|25 Teeth (25, 25a, 25b or 25v)||50 Teeth (27)||1" (3 Holes)||2:1|
|19 Teeth (26, 26a, 26b or 25u)||57 Teeth (27a)||1" (3 Holes)||3:1|
|15 Teeth (26c, 26d, 26e)||60 Teeth (27d)||1" (3 Holes)||4:1|
|19 Teeth (26, 26a, 26b or 25u)||95 Teeth (27c)||1½" (4 Holes)||5:1|
|19 Teeth (26, 26a, 26b or 25u)||133 Teeth (27b)||2" (5 Holes)||7:1|
|19 Teeth (26, 26a, 26b or 25u)||19 Teeth (26, 26a, 26b or 25u)||½" (2 Holes)||1:1|
|Worm (32 32a LH, 32c Short)||57 Teeth (27a)||1" (3 Holes)||57:1|
|Worm (32 32a LH, 32c Short)||19 Teeth (26, 26a, 26b or 25u)||½" (2 Holes)||19:1|
|Narrow Worm (32b)||60 Teeth (27d)||1" (3 Holes)||60:1|
|Worm (32 32a LH, 32c Short)||95 Teeth (27c)||1½" (4 Holes)||95:1|
|Worm (32 32a LH, 32c Short)||133 Teeth (27b)||2" (5 Holes)||133:1|
Contrate gears may be adjusted on the axle to mesh with any spur gear from 15 to 38 teeth, giving a large variety of possible ratios.
Right Hand (RH) or Left Hand (LH) Helical gear pairs (211a, 211b) will mesh at 3 hole spacing at 90 degrees to give a 2.5:1 ratio. A RH and LH Helical gear will mesh in parallel (like standard gears). This gives a greater tooth contact area for a given gear width, as the teeth are cut at 45 degrees to the face of the gear. This will enable these gears to take a higher load.
Do you buy Second Hand Meccano?
If you have a large quantity of Meccano that you no longer require, or are trying to sell some Meccano on behalf of someone else, please get in touch with me, as I may be interested in purchasing it from you. You'll need to be able to send me some digital photographs of what's available, and the parts must currently be somewhere in the UK.