Clockwork

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Annie
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Clockwork

Post by Annie » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:50 pm

After buying some job lots of aged and much used Meccano I now own three 'Magic Motors', the dismantled remains of two No; 1 Meccano motors and a Meccano motor labled 'Hornby' that looks very much like it's based on a No:2 clockwork loco mech.  Adding these to the No: 1 Meccano motor and Bassett Lowko 0-4-0 mech I already have I'm in a position to do some serious clockwork experimenting.

Photos will be done later as I seem to be having another relapse with this @#!$% illness I live with and I'm typing this in bed using my laptop.

The dismantled No: 1 motors have one mainspring between them and it looks to be a good one.  These are a big serious mainspring too so I think whoever took these motors apart would've got a good fright when it cut loose  :lol:
I'd never seen a 'Magic Motor' before outside of a catalogue picture, so I'm certainly interested to see what they are capable of.  Did I hear someone say, "Not a lot," and I must agree because all three limped pretty painfully through their first trial windups.  After a clean and a lube they might do better though.
Somewhere I've got a plastic clip top container filled with clockwork mech innards including one or two mainsprings and I must find that before I get too much further.  Old windup alarm clocks on sale in the junk shops around here might not be safe either once I start experimenting.
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Post by MDLR » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:55 pm

One suggestion I recall from somewhere or other was to wind up and let them run down several times whilst soaking in a bath of automotive engine component cleaner - "Jizer" is an English brand. I've heard it removes an awful lot of cr*p from the mechanism and once oiled after this treatment they run much better and longer!
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Post by Annie » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:03 pm

Good suggestion Brian, it's amazing just how much fluff and grot these motors pick up over the course of their lives.
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Re: Clockwork

Post by GTB » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:06 am

Annie:75402 wrote:  After a clean and a lube they might do better though.
See if there is a clock repairer, or restorer in your area. There is a concoction called clock wash for cleaning clocks. See no reason why it wouldn't work on clockwork motors.

There's a scan of a late 19th century handbook for clock repairers online in the Internet Archive which might be useful. If nothing else it should say how to remove and install a main spring without losing a couple of fingers, or worse........

http://archive.org/details/clockjobbershan00haslgoog

There are other interesting old books online if you poke around. Including Greenly's first book on building live steamers.

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Post by Annie » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:17 am

After thinking over what kind of prototype would be good to build as a host for a clockwork mech to live in I decided to go with a Kerr Stuart Skylark.

Image

It's a nice simple loco that's very appealing.  I can build the body using my presently usual card, ply and MDF building techniques, which is good because that means I can build it inside the house and not have to go out to the workshop which is a plus when I'm not well.  Being outside frames I can use plain wheels and not have to worry about sourcing spoked wheels.  Any metalwork needed to be done is all going to be small piece stuff that I can do at the workbench I have in my bedroom.  It's a pity I haven't got my vintage modelmakers treadle lathe setup in my bedroom as yet, but I think I'll be able to manage without it.

Edit: Hi Graeme our posts crossed. Thanks for those links and advice about cleaning clockwork motors. I'm wanting to move away from battery locos and use only spring drive or steam to run my railway so this is why I have an interest in clockwork motors all of a sudden.
If anything runs on my railway in the future with an electric motor inside itself it better have a trolley pole as well :lol:
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Post by AFGadd » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:44 pm

Annie,

I'm pretty certain I've got some drawings for the Kerr Stuart SKYLARK, would you be interested?
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Post by AFGadd » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:09 pm

Found it.....

Click here for the jpg drawing. It's very big, about 2.5Mb.
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Post by Annie » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:56 am

Brilliant Andrew, thankyou very much for posting the Skylark drawing :thumbright:

I'd been searching about in my archives and had just reached the conclusion that I didn't have a Skylark drawing afterall so your post was very welcome.
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Post by GTB » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:43 pm

Annie:75418 wrote:After thinking over what kind of prototype would be good to build as a host for a clockwork mech to live in I decided to go with a Kerr Stuart Skylark.
FYI. The 2' gauge firewood line at Beria on the WA goldfields had a Skylark, which was named 'Anie'.........

There is a survivor running in preservation at Redcliffs on the Vic. side of the Murray, unfortunately not with the original boiler.....

http://www.australiansteam.com/kerrstuart742.htm

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Post by Annie » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:26 am

Thanks for the link Graeme. That boiler looks a bit odd though, - it looks like it was liberated from a German built sugar cane tramway loco.

A Skylark named 'Anie' ? - sounds a good name for a loco :D Btw I Googled the Ozzie firewood tramways and found them to be a most interesting subject indeed.
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Post by Annie » Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:36 pm

Awaken old thread :D

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When I was last posting in this thread I mentioned that I had found a mysterious clockwork motor branded 'Hornby' that looks something like a 3/4 size Meccano No:1 motor. Well that's it on the right of the photo. It's a clocker motor I've never seen in a catalogue before let alone real life, but I'm not complaining as it's a nice handy size.

I'm still in progress with digging all my large scale bits and pieces out ready to make a start, but it won't be long now.
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Post by MDLR » Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:51 pm

It certainly looks like a Meccano motor to me - the black crackle finish on the side plates was standard for their motors.
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Post by Annie » Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:25 am

I agree Brian it's very much the same in general construction as the No:1 Meccano motors I have, but it has a Hornby brand label. It looks to be in ok condition, but could do with a darn good clean out and some clean oil.

The little Magic Motor in the photo is a sweet runner I'm wondering about using it in a lightweight railcar.

Would anyone have any information about adapting a dial phone governor to a clockwork motor? Of course the difficulty these days is finding an old dial phone to pull apart, but I live in hope.
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Post by Annie » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:18 am

I've been checking on the NZMeccano website which I normally stay away from because they're a bit too 'serious' for me. Identifying vintage Meccano can get very esoteric, but it looks like the big red motor I have is an early 1930s No:2 (7 holes in the sideplates tall) with a sizeable spring. The black 'Hornby' motor is pure Meccano and is 6 holes tall with a visibly smaller spring and is more modern possibly from the 1950s. The brake on the 'Hornby' motor isn't as good as the one on the red No:2 motor so I may need to put my thinking cap on.
The taller motor is going to fit in the Avonside ok because it's a saddle tank, but I may have to get a little clever to get the black 'Hornby' motor into the 'Skylark'.

I've found all my clockwork motor keys by the way which makes me very happy :D :D :D
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