Monday, 2 March 2015

More on the No.6 - Let's build!

Thick glossy paint -Yuck!
I was pleased with the way the nuts and bolts came up but now I need to look at the parts. When I first saw the set I was horrified to see some parts had been heavily over-painted with a high gloss dark red paint. On further investigation these appear to have been additional to the parts list, meaning I don't need them for this set. Closer inspection of the stampings, that are barley visible, reveals they appear to be of the type used on nickel plated parts. I will strip the paint at some point and see exactly what they are, but that is for another day.

30 strips in reasonable condition as they came, straight out of the box
I have started to count the perforated strips and this has been encouraging especially when I discovered all 30 12½ inch strips were not only there but in reasonable condition. There is some paint loss but that is to be expected. The main thing is that after a bit of gentle coaxing with nothing more than finger pressure they are all looking nice and straight.  There are a few of the 9½ and 7½ inch strips missing as well as a few of the shorter ones but I am please to say that most of them are there.

These look a bit more like it
I am not, at this stage, going to continue with the counting as I really want to get on with building the Steam Wagon around our 1929 engine from the first production that has the transfer logo on the outer boiler jacket rather then the embossed logo of the later engines. It is obvious, at this stage, there are more than enough parts to complete the task especially as I have now managed to find a few more bolts from our own collection. These are in much better condition than the rusty ones that came with the set. I now have all the standard nuts and bolts I need, just a bit short on the longer ones at the moment but I am sure some more will materialise in due course.

The early 1929 steam engine
The more I delve into this set, the more interesting it is. Normally I would be washing all this Meccano in warm soapy water before I did anything else with it. This time I am not sure that is going to be necessary. I sorted out the perforated strips above and as I was sorting through them I was aware that my hands were clean. The usual result of handling old Meccano is dirty and often sticky hands. I think this is all about the set being boxed. Meccano that is stored in an open carton, box or the like tends to get full of dust and anything else that can get dropped or spilt over it.

Judging by the condition of this set I think it was played with for a period, as it shows signs of keen but not excessive use. I think it was then 'grown out of' and put to one side. Over that period it seems logical that the tools, some of the nuts and bolts, strips and almost all of the angle brackets were used either to make something or, more likely, to repair something as the parts were never returned to the box. Interestingly all the sought-after parts seem to be present.
All eight channel segments are in good condition
What remaind was obviously stored in a reasonably dry place as it is all in great condition. The only parts showing any sign of rust is what is left of the nuts and bolts. As they were supplied in a modern plastic box of the type four expensive chocolates are supplied in, I suspect the fixings had spent a lot of the past decades out of the box and only reunited prior to going to auction, thus explaining their inconsistent state compared with the parts.

In more recent times the set must have come to light and someone added some parts, painting them as shown at the top of this post. The puzzling thing to me is that those parts have never been used. Maybe the painter was not happy with the results and went no further.

As I said in an earlier post, we bought it from a fellow Meccano man who had acquired it at auction as part of a much bigger lot. He was interested in the other Meccano and wanted to move this set on as it was not what he was interested in. For this reason we have no knowledge of its real history and all the above is pure conjecture.

I'm off to get on with building the Steam Wagon from the set parts and that old steamer! I'll show you the progress very soon... 


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