Sunday, January 19, 2020

Binns Road's invisible knots

The 0-E book of models for the 'alphabetical period' of Meccano contains hundreds of models to build. No step-by-step instructions, but a single picture with sometimes a caption with guidance on the construction.

Small, relaxing puzzles still, to put together. E.g. this little model of a band saw for Outfit A.

In this simple model a length of cord (part no. 40) is used to represent the saw. Remarkable is that the cord is smooth, continuous and of the right length. There isn't a knot in sight, did the Model Room at Binns Road have a secret way to create smooth, invisible knots?

By turning the knot out of sight, the model can be made to look the same. But the knot is there...

Wanting to be able to untie again easily, it's not an actual knot but a bow. Not cutting to size every time, it has excess length too - all makes for a rather excessive knot.

Even with this over-the-top knot in the cord the model still works fine. Perhaps Meccano did have a way to create invisible knots, but quite possibly the Model Room also just turned the knot out of sight for the picture. Or possibly re-touch the picture even.

A question to write the company about (ask the Editor or Spanner), or would've been in '37. Today we'll just wonder - and have a bow knot :-) 


  1. Yeah, that's totally gonna put dings in your cuts :D

  2. I guess no string is not made like rope since I spliced (woven) many ropes knot free. It;s not just a sailir's skill, but a lineman's.

    1. Ah, hadn't thought of proper splicing! Hm - could try, but probly a bit too much for such a quick puzzle to build and take apart again :-)