Friday, July 02, 2021

Meccano Clockwork Motor No.1A

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. 


Luke Stevens said...

Without have a load on it the mechanism will run down as fast as it can. Once it's got a juicy propeller, heavy wheel or drive train to power it will slow down considerably. Looks like there is quite a bit of power there!


matt scrutton said...

don't forget, as the spring unwinds, it will alter the C of G. Marine model clockwork motors were arranged that the spring unwound horizontally fore or aft.

matt scrutton said...

another thing you can do is wind it up, and submerge it while running in petrol, all the muck inside gets cleaned out