This attractive and simple but part hungry model of  “A Fine New Meccano Crane" (Hammerhead crane) was featured in the February 1942 edition of the Meccano Magazine (shown below). I was tempted to build the crane because of the unusual round tower using long girders, large flanged rings and the chance to use my little used Geared Roller Bearing all rather appealed to me. The latter was dropped during construction in favour of using two more large flanged rings and “Large Toothed Quadrants” to form the bearing this rotated much better than the GRB and the colours matched my blue and zinc colour scheme for the model. The wording in the MM description, that “Indeed there is no need in detail to explain how the boom and tower are constructed” was not exactly true due to the poor print and paper quality of the Meccano Magazine during the second world war. Using an enlarged scan and careful study of the parts list it was possible to work out the fairly straightforward construction. I also came across a post war advertisement  showing the same crane in the form of a line drawing with a pen and wash background, this provided another  good source of reference. (shown at the bottom of the page) Interestingly the illustrator showed the crane being used on a dock side rather than the normal use of a Hammerhead crane in a shipyard. The use of only constructional parts and the lack of cross hatching on the perforated plates made me wonder if it was possibly an earlier model that had been resurrected or never published I talked to the Meccano historian Jim Gamble about this but he had no knowledge about the ad or earlier publication of the model. It became clear from the parts list and illustration that I would need to bend every one of the 40 x 7 hole and 40 x 11 strips at each end to attach them to the vertical girders forming the round tower, this was something I did not want to do! My solution was to use 5 hole strips for the horizontal bracing and bend 80 fishplates to fit the curvature of the flanged rings instead. For the construction of the tower and boom I followed the illustrations as close as possible. The instructions specified a single motor and gear box for operating the model in a similar way to SML 29 Hammerhead Crane. The height of operating the single motor with function gear box on a table top when exhibiting looked an impossible task so I opted for a motor for each function: slew, crab and hoist operated from a control box. The other change I made was to fit a lift off cabin at the rear of the boom I thought it somehow looked naked without one! Something not mentioned was the need to counter balance the rear boom for this I used a 1.5 kg cast block of lead. In 1942 the would be builder would have been a bit stuck for extra parts if they did not already have 26 of p/n 7 24.5” angle girders and the many perforated strips. In January 1941 the production and selling of metal toys was banned by government order. Something Meccano Ltd. did not bother to tell its readers in their ads it was left to other toy manufacturers such as "Triang" advertising in the MM to point this out. I exhibited the model at the Skegex International Meccano Exhibition at Skegness, June 2019.  It is a good exhibition model to demonstrate what Meccano is all about. To transport the model the drive shaft for the slew is removed and the boom lifts straight off.
Above is the boom of Hammerhead crane during construction on the bench.
Above is the completed tower showing construction and the over sized GRB.
Above Replacement built up bearing.
Above crab or trolley operated by sprocket chain.
Abovet he  lift off rear cabin.
Page created July 11 2019
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