|Accessories for Meccano|
I offer for your consideration a series of accessory parts primarily designed to extend and enhance the Meccano caterpillar track system.
There are three main aspects to this series.
Firstly a set of sprockets that can be used with the Meccano P91 track links or P74 chain. These are available in sizes from 16 teeth upwards towards 300 should you want such, hopefully a more useful selection than the factory 10 and 20 tooth choice. They are designed to be attached to (driven) by the commonly available #24 eight hole (plus one for the axle) bushed wheel or the #24c six hole variant. Please take care depending upon whether you want the 6 or 8 hole version. If you are unsure then a further variant with 24 "dimples" can be produced for you to drill out to whichever pattern suits when you have decided. To accompany these sprockets a set of "sprocket wheel halves" are available which allow the sprockets to match in with the road wheels described next
From the day that I first saw the Plastic Meccano track back in the seventies I was surprised that Meccano did not offer a product similar to these. Here we have a set of road (or idler) wheel halves grooved for the track. Of course they can also act as pulleys for the Meccano plastic or indeed metal chain. These are supplied as halves which enables the interleaving of road wheels in the late WWII german fashion. For the more usual full road wheel you will need a pair, these can be glued (epoxy resin recommended) or bolted (in the 50 mm or larger sizes) or simply held to together by means of whatever bushings or collets you are using to retain them on their axles.
l to r dark green 37rw6, light blue 31rw, yellow 24rw , olive green 21rw (the smallest practical road or idler wheel)
l to r olive green 42rw, bright red 42rw8 (also the smallest practical sprocket wheel diameter), dark green 36rw6
showing a pair of bright red 50rw (to form a "full" road wheel), 50rw, 46rw8b illustrating the dark red 8 hole bossed pattern
showing how road wheel halves may be interleaved, strictly speaking retaining collars are only needeed on the outer row as the track chain and outer wheels prevent the inner row from departing, similarly the outer row do not need collars on the inside.
Feel free to criticise mistakes, grey rw6 where I did not notice the remaing boss, experimental "print as one piece" road wheel
Double width track
These links have the same chain size and sprocket pitch as per the original P91 track link but are twice the overall width and length, think of four P91 links welded together 2x2 but with the link pivot points moved to the edge of the track (so that the track has a symettrical hinge point unlike the P91 design). If you want to build a tracked Meccano model with wider tracks then up to now you have had the choice of running further bands of P91 which can look a bit strange (a rare but prototypicaly valid option as per the american t-28 and t-95 heavy assault guns) or building a system from the standard metal parts which is tedious at best. This double width track can use the full width road wheels either singly (to one side as often seen on snow-cats), in pairs or interleaved but the gap between the "chains" allows any wheel/tyre less than 5/8" width to do the job so your collection of pulleys fitted with #142a or #142b tyres could be used, as might the #187 wheel. With the double width track is is possible to use the earlier german WWII style of interleaving road wheels.
that although I find it easy enough to clip these larger links together separating them is a different matter, there are after all four clips in use per pivot. If you wish to open up a track loop to shorten or extend it then it may be simplest to sacrifice one link by cutting or sawing through it. I am investigating designs that will allow more easy disconnection without reducing strength.
Naturally these items can be applied to the other similar systems, the Meccano licensed american Erector system and also copycat/rip-offs such as Maerklin, Mehanotehnika and others.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE
Current FDM 3d printing is not yet up to the average surface finish and strength of normal injection moulded parts, some modest fettling with a fine file, wet'n'dry abrasive paper and/or sharp modellers knife may be needed to get the finish and/or function you desire.
PLA plastic has a lower transition temperature than others such as ABS or polycarbonate, parts may be subject to warping at elevated temperatures.
All these items are print-to-order so please be patient. If timing is critical to you then please message me first prior to ordering.
One potential benefit to you in return for your patience is that you have an option as to the colour used. If you are willing to pre-order a modest quantity then I would run a batch in any of the commonly available filament colours so if pink, purple or translucent orange are what you desire then speak up.
Similarly if demand exists I would be willing to produce a "deluxe" variant of wheel fitted with a brass bearing.
Bright red (similar to the 1960's mid red), dark red (reminiscent of the 1950's red),
green (reminiscent of the 1950's darker green), olive green (similar to 1970's military set)
medium blue, dark blue (reminiscent to 1970's blue)
yellow, black white, grey
Although these pieces are lightweight postage to anglophone countries, and from the EC to the UK in particular, have been raised beyond what I consider sensible. I comiserate. The best offer I can make
is to have a flat postage rate, the more you order the more reasonable the postage becomes. Currently to the UK, to the EC, within France. I will happily post to most other countries (but not the usual scam ones, you know who you are).
I will be offering three modes of payment each in either sterling or euros.
Via the ebay website, I suggest searching for "meccano compatible caterpillar track".
Via this web page using paypal (slightly cheaper)
Via direct bank transfer (in sterling or euros, slightly cheaper again, please email me)
gbp Sterling Pricing for paypal ordering from this link
euros from this link
Remember these are road wheel halves (as for interleaving), you need two for each conventional full road wheel
If placing an order PLEASE let me know which colour you want
from 36mm to 51mm diameter the road wheels can have "decorative" holes (and optional "decorative" bosses) but will not function smoothly with the track or chain if bolts are inserted through them
If there is a demand for sprockets with 11 or fewer teeth or with metal drive bosses these could be produced, email me to discuss quantities and pricing.
Should you want to do so the road wheel halves can be used with the sprockets and will function but the trough for the chain will be over wide and will not truly guide the chain as would be the case for a sprocket sandwiched between two sprocket wheel halves.
The sprocket wheel halves placed back to back will not have a wide enough channel for the chain but can be spaced by using washers (#38,#38d), collars(#59), small pulleys (#22a), #24b #24d disks, as appropriate to diameter.
If you want other diameters for the road wheel halves, the sprockets and/or sproket wheel halves, or other hole or slot patterns please email me a diagram so I can determine a price.
Incidentally I can produce custom diameter pulleys and spur gears if required. The gears are best used with the quarter inch wide pinions and, being plastic are not as strong as the original metal items though I have had perfectly adequate performance from the trials I have undertaken.
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