I sometimes get calls asking how and where to dispose of old model railway items. I'm no expert and usually recommend the local model shop, or MRC Second-hand sales, unless the items are especially valuable, in which case a proper auction house is the place to go.
A recent request saw me conclude that some 1970s/80s Hornby wasn't going to set the world on fire. There were a couple of kitbuilt locos that suggested the MRC, and so that's where they will be heading eventually. My thinking is that there might be collectors of hand-built models interested in them. It's a niche collecting sphere, but I've dabbled, so I'm sure others do.
Anyway, in the collection was a Meccano clockwork motor. I've wondered about buying one of these for a while to power something boat shaped. A quick check on eBay showed these aren't worth much surprisingly, so I made an offer. This was turned down on the generous grounds that I'd been helpful, so I could have it as a thank you. I am a "good home" as I'll be interested in the item.
My new motor certainly IS interesting. For a start, it's big. The main part is 4.5 by 3.5 inches and 3/4 inch thick - all this plus leavers and drive shafts.
Fortunately, the key is in the box so I can have a go.
The motor smells of 3 in 1 oil, and runs silkily, like a mechanical device that has been kept dust free, but probably treated to a bit much lubricant. Not to worry though, it works in both forward and reverse. Cogs spin satisfyingly, but for only 15 seconds. Is this right? Would it run longer with a load?
I'm new(ish) to clockwork motors, so suggestions are welcome.