Saturday, 29 September 2012

Now look what happens when you do someone a favour...

Back at the beginning of the month we had a day out at The Henley Gathering, an annual meeting of Meccano enthusiasts. For the past few years now, we have been showing off our ancient steam engines. This year we decided to go one step further and build one of our 1929 steam engines into a model. The model we decided to build was a Derrick Crane featured in the original steam engine manual. After spending the day steaming we arrived home just as our neighbour was pulling in to the kerb bearing something that looked interesting… " I have a Steam engine for you!"

More steam!

A shadow of its former self - Meccano steam engine Mec1
01_te_before It all started a few months ago when the aforementioned neighbour asked if I could give her and her husband a hand to clear out her late father's workshop. (Self improvement tip: If you want to make lots of friends buy yourself a big van!) The workshop was full of woodworking and turning tools so the offer of a first pick was tempting. As we worked our way around the workshop sorting out the wheat from the chaff - and we all have lots of chaff! I spotted a Mamod Traction Engine sitting in a box. It turned out it belonged to my neighbours brother and as such was not part of the task in hand.

Nothing more was said until, a couple of days before we went to Henley, when in passing mentioned that I could be interested in That Mamod steam traction engine. So all of a sudden I was the owner of a steam engine that did not have ‘Meccano’ written on it.

That was it, I needed to know a bit more about these engines so before long I was actively seeking scruffy looking examples to take to bits and bring back to life. For the past few weeks in between all the domestic jobs I have found myself fiddling about with all sorts of steam engines. I have a small stock of both stationary and mobile engines that I will be refurbishing between other projects over the next few months so Life in the workshop is going to be interesting to say the least. 

Live steam in the workshop - Look mum, no hands!
I think you might see a little more on this...
At one end of the workshop I am trying to get to grips with the latest electronic microprocessors while at the other end I am burning my fingers on steam powered models. It should be interesting so keep looking back in or sign up for e-mail notifications at the top of the page. I am back in the workshop and back blogging! 


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