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Meccano Drill Bit

By Michelle O'Brien

Need to make Meccano-sized holes in things where none existed before or to widen holes in non-Meccano items to the exact Meccano standard? I recently discovered the very thing — a 4.1mm (i.e. equivalent to Meccano's somewhat dated 8 swg standard) steel clearance drill — hidden away on the Meccano and Compatible Parts website.

4.1mm drill bit

The drill is perfect for creating holes that exactly fit Meccano axles and bolts and for widening holes made by engineering firms to the industry's present-day 4mm standard. Engineers will know all about this already, of course, but it's all new stuff to me, so bear with me.

Fit the 4.1mm goody into the chuck of your power drill, secure the thing to be drilled, switch on and away you go, and all for 95p. But my advice is don't try it on anything really tough like tough steel or you could come a cropper. I used the 4.1mm drill for widening the 4mm diameter bore holes in MFA/Como Drills' very useful aluminium timing pulleys (about which I wrote here recently) to Meccano's 4.1mm so that the pulleys can take Meccano axles. It saved all that dreary, time-consuming slog messing about with a hand file, which among other things ruins your nails, girls, and tends to make for wobbly holes.

It struck me that the 4.1mm drill could also be handy for making Meccano-sized holes in a whole variety of other things, to cite just one example, the edges of electronic PCB boards … or (Meccano purists look away now, this is sacrilege) even drilling strategically vital new Meccano holes in existing Meccano strips, girders and plates where none existed before in order to meet the model-making exigencies of whatever you're working on (go on, you know you want to).

» This article appeared in the March 2013 issue of SELMEC News.

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