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Parts 25-26c: Pinions

25Pinion, 25t ¾'' x ¼'' face 02-554N°9
25aPinion, 25t ¾'' x ½'' face 27-011N°10
25bPinion, 25t ¾'' x ¾'' face 29-n/a00
26Pinion, 19t ½'' x ¼'' face 02-998N°520 teeth until 1921
26aPinion, 19t ½'' x ½'' face 27-221N°10
26bPinion, 19t ½'' x ¾'' face 29-n/a01N°10
26cPinion, 15 tooth x ¼'' face 54-n/an/a1N°10
The seven 'standard' pinions
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The parts

Technically, these are all spur gears, as they have the teeth perpendicular to the face of the gear. However, when two spur gears are used together the smaller one is known as the pinion. So, we think of these gears as pinions, generally.

The picture to the right shows the two main sizes of pinion, half-inch and three-quarter inch diameter, each in three difference face depths. The later 15-tooth pinion is shown on its own, and was only available with a quarter-inch face.

Chronological variations

The most surprising issue that has come up when compiling this page is the very late change to double-tapped bosses on Meccano pinions. Although many common parts such as 1'' pulleys, sprocket wheels, and bush wheels were double-tapped by the end of 1927, gears and pinions were still single-tapped and stamped Meccano Fabrique en Angleterre. Obviously, there was a stock of single-tapped parts coming from a different production line (particularly pinions, which didn't use the same bosses).

However, examples of parts 25b and 26c have been found single-tapped. These parts were only announced in Meccano Magazine of March 1929 and presumably were launched around that time. This is very late indeed for single-tapped parts of any description.

There are many differences in the stamping of pinions. Pre-war examples are often stamped, just Meccano or Fabrique en Angleterre. Post-war, very few of the smaller 19-tooth pinions are stamped, and not all the larger ones. There are many reproduction parts in circulation.

In the late 70's, the 19-tooth pinion was modified to have plastic teeth. The first attempt of this, in the pale canary-yellow plastic, was something of a failure as the plastic proved too brittle for such a small part. See the broken example of part 26.ye in the table below. At a later date, a less brittle plastic was used with a different mould (and a slightly different colour, see 26.ye1 below), which appears to have solved the problem.

Long and short bosses on part 26
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In line with the spur gears, part 27, the boss in the plastic gears starts off slightly longer (14mm or 0.55'') and later versions are shorter, (12.7mm or 0.5'' exactly), the same size as the brass pinions.

The picture to the right shows both types of pinion. It is thought that the longer-boss ones are principally UK production, and the shorter boss versions (including the later black pinions) are French.

Plastic part 26c - split of course!
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Loading picture Plastic26c

Variations and oddities

In 1979, there was an attempt to make a plastic version of the 15-tooth pinion part 26c. The plastic part proved too small and would break round the brass boss. The part was abandoned, and part 26 was instead supplied in the Meccanoids outfits. However, a few did make their way out of Binns Road. This example to the right is of course split, as most of them are likely to be.

Pinions in a range of spare parts boxes
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Spare parts boxes

Pinion gears were usually supplied packed into boxes of three of each type. You can see from this photo the early post-war white box with yellow label and a black border, followed by the late 50's yellow box with yellow label and a product code number on the label. The plastic bag with white sticker is 1970's.

Individual part numbers

Part numbers for the parts on this page are as follows:    Unique part numbers
For identification, each variation has been given a suffix to the main Meccano part number. These suffixes consist of a two-character code for the colour, and if there are many variations, a further number and sometimes letter code to identify each variation. See the bottom of the 'Parts' page for further details.

You don't need to worry what the codes are, just click on any one for a photograph.

The button above turns on and off the display of DMS numbers (where they are known). The DMS (Development of the Meccano System, Hauton and Hindemarsh) published in 1972 and added to in 75 and 82, suggested part numbers for every variation of every Meccano part. These numbers aren't perfect, but they are recognised and also referenced in the EMP (Encyclopedia of Meccano Parts, Don Blakeborough).

More about bosses More about stampings More about paint colours
Feather key fixing, 25t x ¼'' & 20t x 7/32'' 02.mm  .mm   
Feather & tongue key, otherwise as above 07.mm1  .mm1   
Tongue key fixing, 25t x ¼'' & 20t x 7/32'' ??.mm2  .mm2   
Tongue key fixing, now ¼'' wide12.mm3  .mm3   
Single-tapped boss, 25 and 20 teeth 12.br1  .br3   
Tongue key fixing, cast mazac †¹ 12?   .xx   
Single-tapped boss, 3/16'' face † ??.br1a  .br1a   
Single-tapped boss, 3/16'' face 19t † ??   .br1b   
Single-tapped, pre-war 25 and 19 teeth 21.br1.br1.br1.br1.br1.br1 
Double-tapped, pre-war 25 and 19 teeth 27.br2.br2.br2.br2.br2.br2 
Double-tapped, 1/8'' face 19t † ??   .br4   
Double-tapped, post-war markings 45.br.br.br.br.br.br.br
Canary yellow plastic, brass pummel 79   .ye   
Orangey yellow plastic, brass pummel ??   .ye1   
Black plastic, brass pummel ??   .bk   
Note:  ¹ The date and reason for this is completely unknown. Cast parts are usually wartime economy measures, but the tongue key dates this from 1907 to 1912 without much doubt. Where does this fit?

Please send us pictures of missing parts! Hints and tips for pictures
Take a picture of the part in very good light, preferably on a plain yellow background, without a flash but with a tripod.
Ideally, trim the picture to about 150 pixels per inch of the Meccano part (unless the part is particularly big or small), save it as a reasonably good quality jpg file with a filename of exactly the part number, for example 19b.ni1.jpg, and email it to us by clicking on 'Contact us' at the top of the page. Thanks!

Further information

Rick      (at 6:16am, Fri 20th Sep, 13)

I've found 5 variations on the plastic No 26 see my gallery photo here

Old Blue Gold      (at 3:02pm, Sun 27th Jan, 13)

There is also a 13 tooth pinion with double tapped boss and (about) half inch face which was supplied with a No 2 clockwork motor and is intended to fit into the motor to provide the drive to the main power axle. When not needed in the motor it will mesh reasonably well with a 3/4 inch (19t) pinion at a single hole space. This pinion does not appear to have an independent existence - it's considered to be just part of the motor presumably.

Kendrick Bisset      (at 6:15pm, Sun 11th Oct, 09)

A check on US production: check the tapped hole to see if a standard Meccano bolt will fit. At least some US production had #7 - 32 threads, and not 5/32 BSW. See www.usmeccano.com under parts for more details.

T Gant      (at 1:51pm, Sun 6th Sep, 09)

Could the 3/16" face 25t and 19t pinions be American Meccano production parts? Their standard worm had fewer threads as well. These are all fairly common in the US but turn up from time to time in the UK as well,
Best Regards

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