Dave Ware's Millenium Set Crane

Dave writes: "My wife bought me an Erector Millenium set for our anniversary. (What a thoughtful wife). It is much different than the Erector sets we are used to. It is made in France by Meccano but with the Erector name. The crane pictured here was built by following 14 pages of pictorial directions (that's right 14). Each step shows the parts needed down to the last nut and then has an exploded view showing how they go together. The parts are only shown by picture except for dimensions for screws and axles and quanities. You do not always get much of an idea of just what the purpose of the assembly is until you are done. It is much like those directions you get for a desk or shelf that comes all in pieces, except with no words. (The back cover does have text in 13 languages that covers the necessary cautions about batteries and other legalese.)

A battery powered motor with a reversing switch drives the boom up and down and also moves the hook up and down. This is accomplished with flip over idlers that engage belts that drive each mechanism. The boom rotates on 19 cylindrical 'bearings' which otherwise would be used as spacers. This is the feature model for the set. It uses most of the parts in the set. In keeping with the wordless directions and vertually textless manual, none of the models have names attached to them. The screws have Allen heads which are in some ways easier to tighten. But, it is hard to get used to putting together parts that have 'Meccano' etched into them."