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Part 37: Nut and boltThe most common Meccano part by far, of course. It doesn't bear thinking about how many millions upon millions of these were produced, only to be eaten by the hoover.
Meccano nuts and bolts work to a fairly unusual thread pattern, known as 5/32'' Whitworth. The most significant use of these bolts at the time was to attach door knobs to their spindles, which is rather useful to know if you have a house of around that vintage! It was probably chosen as the nearest commonly available mass-produced size that would comfortably fit in the holes governed by the 8swg axle size.
There's a lot more to the humble nut and bolt than you might think, as we will discover...
|37||Nut and bolt||1901||-||594||0||0|
The partsFour part numbers are on this page, although one of them is a 'combined' part. Part 37 is a nut and bolt, consisting of a part 37a (nut) and part 37b (bolt). The table above is slightly confusing in this respect, as they were originally referred to in pairs until the 30s, when they started being counted independently. Meccano outfits generally contain a few more nuts than bolts (to allow for lock-nutting).
To be absolutely correct, only the 'nut and bolt' existed until around 1912/13, when part 37a (the first part with a suffix) was first mentioned as a part available on its own. It wasn't until around 1920 that part 37b was also mentioned and available for sale. As you can see from the table above, even as late as 1929 outfits were considered to include a number of part 37 and a few extra 37a's.
Starting from the beginning of 1973 with the first Multikits, the square nut was replaced by the hexagonal nut, part 37c. Part 37 thus became a part 37c (hex nut) plus a part 37b (bolt), and part 37a was discontinued. Part 37c replaced 37a in all outfits during 1973.
Finally, in 1919, the first 'long' bolt, the ¾'' part 111, was introduced. In 1922, the new 'short' bolt of 7/32'' was introduced as part number 111b, and somewhere between 1924 and 1926 this took over part number 37 and 37b as the standard size of bolt. Further discussion on this transition between 111b and 37 is described on the Long bolts page here.
A short-lived 'economy' thin nut was produced during WW1, and the comparison is shown here. These are very weak and as they only hold one thread, difficult to use. They are often found broken in two.
There was a change to dome-head bolts in 1929, lasting until 1933 when the cheese-head bolts returned.
During the Korean War shortage of brass and steel, economy nuts were made of a lower-grade steel and are not only black but also extremely brittle and break in two when tightened. Nuts and bolts of this period were supplied in boxes and envelopes with a turquoise sticker and broken black band to identify that they are blackened steel parts.
Variations and odditiesOften confused with this part, the set screw (part 69) is shorter and has a much smaller head, but it does come in many of the same variations.
Dealer spare parts boxes
As one of the most critical and losable parts in Meccano, there was always a strong demand for spare nuts and bolts. These were originally in small boxes like the ones top left (dating from around the mid-20s), and then later moved to the small brass-plated tins with paper labels seen top right.
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By the end of the 1920s, as well as buying the tins containing a dozen nuts and bolts, there was also a part 37F tin containing 50 nuts and bolts as in the photo above (F stands for fifty), and a 37G containing 144 of each (G standing for gross), shown right. Both of these tins contain dome-head bolts and are therefore likely to be 1929-1932.
The photo to the right also shows the immediate post-war spare parts tin of nuts and bolts. Note that they are packed in spare morphine ampoule tins (as manufactured by the Meccano factory during the war), and have pre-war cross-hatching on the labels but post-war "Made in England" printed on them.
After this, the standard boxes take over, and now nuts and bolts are available in boxes of two dozen at a time, and also individually as parts 37a and 37b (centre of picture). These continued into plastic bags in the 60s and 70s with various labels. Both the blue label and white label bags contain zinc plated square nuts and bolts.
Individual part numbersPart 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).
(measurements given are approx thread length EXCLUDING head. Where not given, length is approx 5.5mm = 7/32'')
|Brass, 9mm, deep cheese head||01||.mm||.mm||.mm|
|Nickelled steel, 8mm, cheese head||08||.ni1||.ni1||.ni1|
|Brass plated steel, 8mm, shallower cheese head||12?||.br1||.br1||.br1|
|WW1 'economy' nut, thinner ||15?||.br2|
|Cheese head, sharp edges, brass plated||23-||.br4||.br||.br4|
|Dome headed, 5-6mm, brass plated||29-32||.br3||.br3||.br3|
|Nickel dome head bolts for digger bucket ¹||28-40||.ni2||.ni2||.ni2|
|Cheese head, sharp edges, brass plated (see above)||33-41||.br4||.br||.br4|
|Cheese head, sharp edges, black (Mech.A) ||39-41||.ma||.ma||.ma|
|Cheese head, brass plated||45||.br||.br||.br|
|Cheese head, black (Korean) ||51-52||.bs||.bs||.bs|
|Cheese head, zinc plated||66||.zn||.zn||.zn|
|Cheese head, black with hex nut (Army/Combat) ||73||.bs1||.bs1||.bs|
|Cheese head, zinc plated with hex nut||73||.zn1||.zn||.zn|
|Cheese head, brass with hex nut (Highway) ||74||.br5||.br||.br|
|Round head, brass with hex nut||78||.br6||.br6||.br|
|Round head, black with hex nut (Army/Combat) ||78||.bs2||.bs2||.bs|
|Round head, iridescent with hex nut||79||.ir||.ir||.ir|
|Round head, zinc with hex nut||79||.zn2||.zn2||.zn|
¹ Nickel-plated dome head bolts continued in Aero outfits until 1941.
Nickel-plated nuts and bolts did not exist in the 1960s – brass nuts and bolts continued into the silver/yellow/black era until they were replaced by zinc plated bolts.
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!
- A greyed-out box shows that no part exists for that colour combination.
- Part number codes with a green background have an attached picture of the part, just click once on the code to show a photograph of that part in a separate window.
- Parts marked "" were temporary or economy parts, or existed only within specific themed outfits. The previous part continued throughout or afterwards.
Total number of messages on this page: 25. This is page 1 of 5.
chris Wenke (at 5:09pm, Fri 7th Jun, 19)
please could you provide me with nut/bold 100 pc. kind regards chris wenke
chris Wenke (at 5:07pm, Fri 7th Jun, 19)
please could you provide me with 100 No. 37 bolt/nut??
Michael Hewitt (at 11:33pm, Sat 22nd Dec, 18)
Variations & Oddities: I have at least one bolt, thread rolled but no slot cut, as well as one entirely blank - no thread rolled, no slot cut.
John Charlesworth (at 7:00pm, Tue 24th Mar, 15)
Ted Hinton (at 2:23am, Wed 4th Sep, 13)
Hello from Australia I have recently purchaced a Meccano constructor number 1 car and accessories Touble is I am about half dozen bolts and nuts short to change the body to the closed coupe The existing bolts seem to be domed heads and nickle plate a touch bigger than 3/32 diametre so their tiny. I also have a meccano constructor aeroplane number 0 seems to take the same size nuts and bolts and I'm 22 short there the brochure suggest it is 1939 maybe their cheese heads but I don't mind. So need about 30 in all can anyone help me Regards Ted firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian (at 7:43pm, Fri 30th Aug, 13)