BAYKO Rods certainly aren't the sexiest part of the BAYKO hobby - but just you try building anything without them!!!
Raw material for the Rods was almost certainly [it's the industry standard anyway] supplied on a reel as a continuous piece [and was thus curved]. This 'wire' was then 'drawn' [and straightened in the process] and cropped to the required length.
Pre-war Rod Boxes
Even parts as simple as Rods, or Wires as they were known in the early days, have evolved over the years...
...and so has the packaging in which they were supplied to retailers.
The correct gauge for BAYKO Rods is 75 thou [thousandths of an inch], 1.905 mm.
Rod sizes are always described in terms of the number of Bricks they can support - e.g. 5-Brick Rods will support 5 Bricks!!!
Post-war Rod Boxes
BAYKO Rods were cut 3/8 inch [half a brick] longer than their Brick count description...
...this is to allow for the length which has to be stuck into the Base, and also to facilitate the use of a Floor on top, and even one in mid structure.
Sets in the early and mid 1930s had rods up to 10-brick long.
'New Series' sets and post-war Plimpton era sets contained rods up to 8-brick long.
>½-Brick Rods were introduced immediately after the war - though they were not included on a postcard / Spare Price List postmarked July 1945.
There's another pointer to the timing of their introduction in the early post-war manuals...
MECCANO era sets had rods up to 7-brick long.
MECCANO era Rod Boxes
Longer MECCANO era Rods were generally supplied to retailers in flat boxes with a rectangular cross-section [right]...
...shorter MECCANO era Rods were usually supplied in sealed polythene bags [below left].
Rods up to 12-bricks long were available as standard from retailers, particularly in the 1930s and then again in the 1950s.
Smaller sizes of MECCANO era Rods supplied in sealed polythene bags
However, both Plimpton and MECCANO would produce longer Rods, of any length, to order, though I picture this was a relatively slow, sedate service.
Generally Rods were produced in mild steel so collections kept in damp sheds, cellars or attics often deteriorate - that's posh for rust!
Some later Rods seem to preserve their shine and so may be a cheap stainless, I really don't know - I'm no metallurgist.
However, post-war, materials were in short supply. Steel was scarce, but aluminium, no longer needed for aircraft manufacture, wasn't, and many sets were produced with aluminium Rods.
There were also experiments with rolled, hollow tubing, of the right gauge. I only have a small number of these but they are surprisingly strong. This happened in in 1940 or 1941 and may well have been repeated in 1946 or 1947.
There are examples of Rods, from the immediately post-war period, of copper coated 'wire' being used, and this may also has occured in the early months of the second world war as well. This I am certain was part og the "buy what ever was available" phylosophy forced on much of industry during the war-associated austerity period.
Let me apologise, in advance, for the Rod images [below], but I haven't found it easy to 'capture' them - thanks to Simon Brassell for help with the copper coated Rods.
Pre-war Rods
Steel Rods
Copper Coated Rods
Aluminium Rods
Post-war Rods
If you're going to build a large model, you will almost certainly need longer, replica Rods of the correct gauge.
1.905 mm or 75 thou animated GIF file
Present day standard wire is available in 1.8 or 2.0 mm gauge.
1.8 mm fits the Bases easily enough, but provides a very slack fit and models built with these don't travel well!
2.0 mm provides a very tight fit for brickwork etc. but won't fit into the Bases... each individual Rod has to be ground down by hand to make it fit!
I have now identified a source of correct gauge [1.905 mm] replica Rods.
75 thou or 1.905 mm animated GIF file
They are available from me in 1 metre or 2 metre lengths at £1.75 per metre [£1.50 for BAYKO Club members] plus post and packing.
I have also now started a service to supply orders for Rods cut to size from my stock of replica Rods.
Below here are links to related info : -
Click on any of the links below for related information.
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