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Meccano Steam Shovel

The Meccano Steam Shovel from 1929
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Loading picture SteamShovel More to come here, and some discussion on the building of this model and restoring parts, but suffice to say this is a nice easy model to build, no significant issues with the supermodel plan, and a satisfying final result. The only serious problem with the model when finished is that it's hideously difficult to operate smoothly, as the three main functions are on one control, with the reversing done separately. Don't expect to be able to dig a neat hole and transfer the soil to another place without a very large amount of practice!

The biggest hint for getting this working correctly is to install a modern 3v motor and battery pack driving instead of the steam engine, and disconnect the steam drive. Then, once you've carefully checked and oiled the geartrain you can easily run in the mechanism over a couple of hours without worrying about the engine. If you can't run it with a small 3v motor then the steam engine won't manage it either.

Here's a video of the beast in action! This was taken in winter with a very cold wind, which reduced the power available as the meths burner could only just keep the pressure up. But it worked well enough.