This is a small version of a Meccano classic the Block Setting Crane from 1960. I had wanted to build it as a lad after seeing it in my Meccano magazine, I thought I could build that! However when I counted all the bevel gears and other parts I realised with only two it was going to have a problem. I recently came across it again through my friend Stan Knight, Idaho U.S.A. and realised I could now build it. Between the years 1957-1962 the Meccano Magazine had a feature entitled the Model of the Month. The Magazine showed pictures of the model and background information, saying "you can apply for the instructions to the editor enclosing a 2d stamp for return postage". This model of a Block Setting Crane is from November 1960. Most of the models featured were not for a specific set, often requiring a lot of parts many builders would not have, no doubt a marketing ploy to sell more parts! This fairly simple model requires: 38 11 hole girders, 12 p/n 30 bevels and 53 collars not sure I used all of the latter though. The model also needs two 60 tooth gears and one 15 tooth pinion, parts not often used in Meccno instructions. I have built the model using parts from a 1973 zinc/yellow/blue number 10 Outfit plus additional matching parts.The motor I have used is a E20R dating from March 1955, until now it had never been used. I built the crane at the same time as my friend Stan, (see picture below left) several times we both came close to abandoning the whole project, I am pleased we persevered. Although at first glance it is not a complicated model the construction of some elements was not at all clear due to the poor quality pictures in the MM and the not very well written instructions. I think it was assumed that you had the quality glossy pictures that "Spanner" of the MM had in front of him. The gear box was a case in point that was a matter of trial and error.  I found the boom bracing was impossible to build as the photographs. but it was of little matter, mine looks different but it works. The crane has all the functions you would expect: travels along a track, slewing, hoist and travelling crab( trolley). These are all controlled by levers through a gearbox driven by the single motor. Changes I made included: using three plastic 57 tooth gears for the drive shafts for bogies instead of sprockets and chains; gearing down the speed of  hoist shaft; adding a removable roof. In conclusion I think it looks good and has all the functions of larger Block Setter. Although it does not have a Fidler's gear for lifting and placing the blocks. You can see the crane in operation by clicking ot the YouTube link. Other Meccano Magazine Models of the Month I have built you that might like to view: Vertical Milling Machine Mechanical Excavator Blackpool Tower as basis for model Rotating Big Wheel
Page created October 05 2020 Revised 29 June 2021
Click on the picture above of Stan Knight’s version this will take you to his own gallery at NZ Meccano.
Double page spread from the November 1960 Meccano Magazine