Sunday, 24 August 2014

New plate bender...

...Click on any photograph to enlarge the image

Plates being bent along the width
As I posted here on our blog (see HERE) a couple of days ago, Stuart Borrill has introduced a set of new plate rollers, these new 6 inch long rollers are made to the same high standard as the shorter 3 inch versions that have been around for some time. Our original plate rolling machine has served us well for years and will continue to do so, even if it is looking a bit tired these days.

The original machine will only roll most plates along their length
The wider machine has a new trick!
The new machine is of slightly different design to the original machine. At the time I built the narrower version, I did not have the supply of parts available to me today, so I made do with what I had. With this machine I have used brass posts (short threaded couplings (P/N A176) that support rods. Running on these are short couplings (P/N 63c) that support the legs holding the rollers.

The slider
A threaded pin joins the leg to the short coupling. this is then actuated by one end of a fork built up from a 4½ inch angle girder and two 1 inch x 1 inch brackets. I tried using a rod to join the short couplings but that just caused the couplings to jam on the rods as it is impossible to keep them both aligned perfectly. In the end I decided to let the short couplings find their own way along the rod independently from any solid connection - works fine!

The 'nut'
A 5-hole coupling (P/N 63g - again available from Stuart Borrill) is bolted to the angle girder via its outer threaded holes and used as the 'nut' for the threaded rod adjuster. There are many ways of achieving this, I just happened to have one of these couplings to hand. It may get 'requisitioned' if it is required for a model.  The angle bracket makes it much easier to fix the 'nut'' and now looking at the photograph,as I type this, a threaded boss would do a good job here if you don't want to use a useful lump of brass. There is always the threaded strips, either the sought after Meccano versions or the extended range items. I am sure there are several alternatives to my solution.

The winding end
 The screwed rod is terminated in a threaded coupling and extended with a short standard rod. this passes through the hole in the top of a standard length threaded coupling and restrained using a couple of collars. a bush wheel and long threaded pin make a suitable crank. The standard threaded coupling is strengthened by short standard rod passed through it and a pair of short threaded couplings fixed either side.

Hand-wheel and gears
The rollers are arranged so the one with the long extension is uppermost in the 'A' frame with the other two positioned in adjacent holes at either side.  A 19t pinion is added to each end of the three rollers. In addition, a 2 inch pulley (with a tyre fitted) makes a suitable hand-wheel and it is fitted to the long extension on the top roller.

The new roller has a strip-built base
The strip base is fitted with rubber non-slip feet made from the push-on rubber tyres that we all have boxes of looking for a use. I have only had a chance to try bending a couple of plates but so far so good. I wish we had this machine when Sue made her racing car.

The bonnet plates would have been an ideal candidate for this machine
 Details of Sue's Racing car build can be found HERE. I am sure we will find many other uses for this machine. and as with the other machine it will flatten out all but the most heavily creased plates, a job the original machine has been doing admirably for many years.

Stuarts Borrill's parts...

I have been talking about Stuarts parts for years both here, on our blog, and on our website. I have no connection with Stuart other than being a very satisfied customer. Nothing is too much trouble and his prompt service is second to none. Stuart has changed his website address since those early posts and I have tried to update them where I can but I may have missed the odd one here or there. If you find a broken link on our pages please let me know and I will fix it.

If you want to see Stuart's range of parts or contact him for a quote for bespoke parts click HERE.



  1. I couldn't agree more, Ralph. Stuart's quality of manufacture is second to none and his quick turnaround bespoke parts service is an invaluable asset to the Meccanoist. Furthermore, Stuart is a most accommodating person whose priority is, indeed, the customers complete satisfaction. Obviously, I would highly recommend Stuart's service to any Meccano modeler.

  2. Hi there Ralph, I am a complete novice with this Meccano business, but have bought two or three lots of 'Vintage' Meccano. I have seen a couple of Strip/plate benders, including yours, but they all lack a parts list. Please, please, please, do you have one?.
    Any help would be gratefully welcomed.
    Cheers for now