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Part 24: Bush wheels and wheel discs

The odd name for this part makes more sense when one refers to the original MME description, "Bush for wheel".  This was intended as a central hub, around which a wheel could be constructed with strips for spokes and/or a cardboard disc. The word "for" was dropped by 1904, and the part was known as a Bush Wheel from then on.

24Bush wheel, 8 holes 1901-584N°0
24aWheel disc, 8 holes 1932-n/an/a2N°3part 217a until 1945
24bBush wheel, 6 holes 1954-n/an/a2N°10
24cWheel disc, 6 holes 1954-n/an/a2N°5
5181'' 6-hole bush wheel 1962-n/an/an/an/a

The parts

The four types of bush wheel / wheel disc
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The bush wheel (top left) was included in the very earliest MME outfits.  In 1932, as part of the ill-fated budget X-series outfits, a small steel disc with eight holes (and one in the centre) was introduced.  This part was transferred across to Meccano as part number 217a.  Another part (219) was at that time named the wheel disc (later called the conical disc), but both of these were dropped and in 1945 the new part 24a Wheel Disc was introduced into outfits.  This part was identical to the bush wheel, but without the boss, and is shown top-right in this photo.

In 1954, the 6-hole bush wheel and wheel disc was introduced.  This allowed many more mechanisms to be built because of its 60° rotational symmetry, in particular it was useful for clocks and spur differentials.  These parts are shown in the lower half of the photo.

Part number 518 is also a 6-hole bush wheel but only 1'' overall diameter, nickel plated, and thicker than the others.  This part was introduced in the Electrikit and later in the equivalent 4EL outfit.  It subsequently gained a new use as one of the parts of the three-part road wheel p/n 187c, supplied in the 1978/79 outfits 3, 4, 5, and 10.  Thus it is also found in matt brass and iridescent finishes.

Chronological variations

Variations and oddities

None known

Dealer spare parts boxes

Part 24, bush wheel, in two different types of boxes
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William Irwin
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Part 24c, 6-hole wheel disc
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William Irwin
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Part 24b, 6-hole bush wheel, in two different types of boxes
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These pictures show a range of parts (24, 24b, and 24c) in post-war yellow spare parts boxes.  The boxes all contain product codes, dating them from at least 1954, but since the parts within are brass these labels remained unchanged right through the light red/green period, so they could easily be early 1960's parts.

'Korean war' blackened steel parts from 1951/52
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Loading picture 24Sparepartskorean To the right, a pair of instantly datable spare parts packs of parts 24 and 24a. The light green sticker with black dashed line marks these as blackened steel parts from the Korean War period (1951/52), due to the restrictions on the use of brass and nickel at that time.

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
Cast brass, four holes, feather key01.mm    
Cast brass, 4 normal and 4 large holes, feather key04.mm1    
Cast brass, 4 normal and 4 large holes, tongue key??.mm1a    
Bronzed steel two-part wheel, 4 holes??.mm4    
Machined brass, eight standard holes, tongue key11.mm2    
Disc 1/16'' thick, 1911 short boss, tongue key12.mm3    
Disc 1/16'' thick, patent short boss, tongue key12.mm3a    
Disc 1/16'' thick, 1911 full boss, tongue key12.mm3b    
Disc 1/16'' thick, 1911 boss, single-tapped12.br1    
Nickelled steel disc, 1911 boss, single-tapped15.ni    
Nickelled thicker disc, patent boss †??.ni1    
Brass thicker disc, patent boss??.br2a    
Brass disc 1/16'' thick, patent boss??.br2    
Brass disc 1¼'' diameter, patent boss??.br3    
Steel disc, brass plated, recessed boss single tapped??.br3a    
Brass disc, recessed boss single tapped??.br3b    
Brass disc 18swg, 1 3/8'' dia, standard boss20s.br4    
Brass disc 18swg, 1 3/8'' dia, boss double tapped27.br5    
Steel disc 21swg, unpainted (X-series part X475)32 .st   
Steel face enamelled blue34.nb.nb   
Steel face enamelled red37.re.re   
Steel face enamelled red, painted over Mazac bush40.re1    
Olive green, only two holes in face (Mech Army) †39-41.ma.ma   
Post-war brass face, standard boss double-tapped45.br.br.br.br 
Blackened steel face (Korean) †51-52.bs.bs   
Brass, 1 7/16'' diameter, edge not chamfered60s.br6.br1.br1.br1 
Nickel-plated steel disc, not chamfered62 .ni .ni.ni
Zinc-plated steel disc, not chamfered68 .zn .zn.zn
Black fibre insulated face, Electrikit part †62.xx .xx  
Brown fibre insulated face, 4EL part †??.xx1 .xx1  
Steel with matt brass finish71.mb.mb.mb.mb.mb

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Further information

Total number of messages on this page: 23.  This is page 3 of 4.   Previous  Next

Richard Payn      (at 2:30pm, Sat 17th Nov, 12)

Hi Bill,
The 24 and 24b were a matt brass from around 1971. To begin with, they were in this finish in the early 1978 sets, but they did change to iridescent.

billwattsmyrk      (at 12:42pm, Sat 17th Nov, 12)

Thanks for info, Richard. Does the same apply to 24 and 24b, the bush wheels? The chart above says matt brass for all 24 series parts from '71, not '77. If that's wrong, presumably the bush wheels were shiny brass from introduction all the way through to '77
However, I have a lot of matt brass bush wheels, suggesting that they were introduced well before the matt brass wheel discs.

Richard Payn      (at 6:51pm, Tue 13th Nov, 12)

The steel with matt brass finish wheel discs, parts 24a and 24c, are 1978, not 1971. Wheel discs from 1970 to 1977 were all zinc.

Bill Watt-Smyrk      (at 4:39pm, Tue 13th Nov, 12)

I'm a bit puzzled about wheel discs; a recent purchase of several post-1970 (zinc/yellow/blue)No 10 outfits contained in post-73 cabinets (long alloy handles on drawers)contained only zinc-plated 24a and 24c; the wisdom contained in the Parts Listings suggests they should be matt brass-finished steel to match the bush wheels and 21/22 pulleys post-1971. It is of course highly possible that earlier parts have been put into later cabinets, but in my entire collection of several hundred wheel discs there are only 3 matt brass 24c and no such 24a; I would expect to have found more if they were standard outfit contents post-1971.

In a similar vein, did brass set screws persist in pulleys and bushwheels etc after the introduction of zinc plating for 37a and 37b in 1966? ALL the relevant unused-looking items in my recent acquisition have brass set screws, except for the large-bossed gear wheels and sprockets which have zinc-plated standard screws, not set screws.
Any ideas, anyone?

Mick Burgess      (at 11:34am, Wed 15th Feb, 12)

Hi all
Has anyone so far found an early bushwheel with blackened finish, made of magnetic steel not brass.
Style other than colour as thicker disc patent boss listed above, possibly circa 1916?
Mick Burgess

Tony Brown      (at 6:30am, Fri 19th Mar, 10)

Part of the base for the 1924 dragline which preceded the SML one uses a bush-wheel although the drawings show 8 hole wheels the assembly is not possible unless 6 hole wheels are used - is this a case of retouching to hide the fact that, like the narrow strips, the modelroom was playing with parts long before they were introduced.

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