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Part 38/38d: Washers

38Washer 1909-20020085N°00
38aPlastic spacer 1990-
38dWasher, ¾'' 1937-n/an/a4N°3part 217b until 1946
Loading picture Washers

The parts

The picture to the right shows the three parts on this page. To the left, the standard 3/8" washer, in the middle the larger 3/4" washer, and on the right the much later (1990's) black plastic spacer, which is really a substitute for the collar (part 58), but lives here because it was given the part number 38a.

Chronological variations

The early washer is a bit of a mystery. The part is shown as being introduced in 1909, but doesn't turn up anywhere until the Inventor's Outfit A of 1915. It wasn't included in outfits until 1922, when it was suddenly included in quantity (200!) in the largest outfit 7.

The larger washer is a much later part. Originally introduced as a small disc in the X-series Meccano, it was included in the Meccano range in 1937 as "Disc, 3/4'' diameter" and part 217b. After the war the part was renumbered and renamed to be the more familiar ¾'' washer, part 38d. It appears that most pre-war Meccano discs are stamped Meccano (see picture of type 38d.ni2 below), and most post-war washers aren't stamped. Not certain here, though...

Variations and oddities

None known Loading picture Washersspareparts

Dealer spare parts boxes

The picture to the right shows the standard 50's spare parts boxes for parts 38 and 38d, very common spare parts as there were rarely enough in an outfit. Interestingly, the small paper envelope is for part 38d's, showing that these envelopes were in used immediately after the war (pre-war, this would have been a part 217d).
Small and large washers in later polythene bags
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
William Irwin
Loading picture Washerbagspareparts Later, the same parts were supplied in plastic bags with a yellow printed rectangle showing the part numbers. These date from the 60'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
Nickel-plated 21swg disc (X-series part X477 only)32  .ni1
Nickel-plated 21swg disc, part 217b, stamped MECCANO37  .ni2
Nickel-plated (38=18swg, 38d=21swg)09.ni .ni
Blackened steel †51-52.bs .bs
Zinc plated73.zn .zn
Blackened steel † (Army/Combat)73.bs1 .bs1
Matt brass plated † (Highway)73.mb .mb
Iridescent79.ir .ir
Black plastic90 .bk 

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

brianmaunder@hotmail.com      (at 6:30pm, Wed 6th Mar, 19)

Curiously despite most of the models requiring mutilation of parts, not a single Washer part 38 was included in the Combat Set. The large Washer 38d in black was introduced in the Combat Set. 4 of 38d were included although I can't find any model that uses more than 3.

Antoni Gual      (at 10:46pm, Mon 3rd Mar, 14)

The 38a spacer should be updated. It is refered as black whhen in fact it can be seen in all the colors of the rainbow!

Nick Smith      (at 7:35pm, Mon 3rd Mar, 14)

Multikit Crane & Highway usually account for matt brass parts and the ordinary washer 38 is in both as part 333, however the larger disc washer 38d is in neither [not in the manuals, and I have none although I have both Super Highway and Crane], and there's consequently no 3xx code for it as far as I know. Matt brass parts occur (with ordinary part Nos) in the later [1978] sets 1-5 S & L, though in the case of 38d, none in S which is the only one of these sets I acquired. Crane & Super Highway both have drawings of the contents inside the box lid, from which I deduce that the Crane should have 40, and Super Highway should have 42 of 333 [I can't count the nuts & bolts from the drawing, so does anyone know nut & bolt quantities for Super Highway??], Set S is listed as having 20 of 38, so I ought to have 102 ordinary matt brass washers, I count 112 so they may have been generous [better than sheep? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

T Gant      (at 2:53pm, Tue 8th Sep, 09)

As per Nick's comment, though I recall finding three distinct thicknesses of brass plated washer in the late 70's.

Nick Rodgers      (at 12:41am, Thu 12th Jul, 07)

What happened about the discussion on Spanner re the thin version of washer that was brass plated?

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