Novelty Right Angle Drive

by Colin Croft

A Curious Right Angle Drive

"The Curious Meccano Model shown here, is inserted in view of its general interest rather than its practicability as far as Meccano model building is concerned. It is a model of a device designed to provide a method of transmitting motion from one shaft to another without the use of bevels or other toothed gearing. We are unable to call to mind any instance in actual practice where this mechanism is employed."

As described by Spanner in the suggestion column of MM Dec 1927. I wonder whether anyone has ever been able to find a use for this model?
I have modified this mechanism slightly, but it still functions in exactly the same manner as the original. In the IsoMec drawing you will only be able to see 3 rods connected by couplings at right angles. In fact there are 4 rods, but due to the isometric projection, it is not possible to show the fourth. However, they can all be seen in the plan view.


First, a suitable frame needs to be constructed. The mechanism is then attached by the 2" strips (optional) at each end of the 8" Axle Rods (13a). These rods are secured in the centre hole of two pairs of 8 hole Bush Wheels (24). Four 5" rods (15) are passed through one pair of the Bush Wheels, which are spaced approximately 2" apart. The same then applies to the right angle section. Four couplings (63) connect the rods as per the drawing. At first glance it would appear that the device would rotate with great difficulty, if at all, but in actual fact it is surprisingly smooth. Care should be taken however, to ensure the rods are exactly at right angles. Also a little oil should be applied to where the rods slide in the Bush Wheels.

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