July 2004



This face shovel was originally built by Patrick Lewis, England.

It was featured in the Meccano Magazine for October 1970.

Unfortunately the pictures were not good enough to build the model.


John Bader, England, was lucky enough to get into contact with Patrick and took pictures of the original.

John's rebuild was featured in the Constructor Quarterly of June 2002.


Inspired by the tough look of the model, I decided to give it a try as well.

I first ran it with an E15R and later ran it with a 1929 Meccano steam engine.


Click here to see how I restored my 1929 Meccano steam engine.


Patrick's built in Red and Green.     (MM Oct 1970) John's built in 1920's nickel and 1930's 'chequerplates'. (CQ June 2002)


I built mine in French yellow and zinc. One of the major obstacles in building the model was that

it calls for 168 hinges to make the track!


I decided to make my own hinges using thin strips of copper, as the cost of buying 168 hinges would literally break my bank account.

The copper shims need to bend only slightly around the pulley (with little effort) and straighten out at the end.


The copper is paper thin and can be cut with utility scissors. I traced out a hinge onto the sheet , drilled 4mm holes and cut it out.


The copper hinges are lock-nutted to the strips to allow for flexibility. Assembly took a while.

I would bolt two hinges onto a strip and line up the next strip. Because of irregularities in measuring and drilling

the strips would not always be exactly parallel to each other, or the gap was too close. 

I would have to ream out the hole to allow the next strip to line up parallel or to have the correct gap. 

Because of these irregularities, the left side track uses 44 2 strips while the right side uses 43!  


The copper strip is drilled, cut out and the edges rounded off


In this close-up of the track, you can see the copper hinges don't have to bend far.


Running off a grey crackle E15R.


Running off a semi-original 1929 Meccano steam engine.



View of all the control levers and constant mesh gearbox. There are about 11 main controls

and another 6 sub-controls to fiddle with while running the model. Functions are engaged by

gears held in sliding socket couplings.


Close up of the semi-original 1929 Meccano steam engine.