BAYKO - Hollow Rods

Immediately after the war, even BAYKO's most basic raw materials were in short supply - if, indeed, they were available at all! Not least amongst these was steel, for which, for some unknown reason, priority was given to reconstruction rather than to BAYKO - unbelievable!
Consequently a few post-war BAYKO items occasionally surface, which are made from unusual materials.
Hollow BAYKO Rods
BAYKO was scarcely a big user of metal - then again, it was hardly a key strategic product either!
It's one of the oddities of nature [should that be physics?] that a hollow tube can be stronger than a similar sized solid bar, even though it uses much less metal…
…it's because of the way any stresses acting on the tube are distributed evenly around the outside, to a degree balancing each other, rather than being concentrated across the middle, if memory serves.
This fact wasn't lost on BAYKO's inventor, C.B. Plimpton…
…his engineering course at Birmingham University clearly wasn't wasted!
Conversion set 2X appearing to show Hollow Rods
In the early war years, and again in 1946 or 1947, I believe, Plimpton experimented with low gauge metal sheet, rolled into tubes, as substitutes for the more conventional solid rods.
Thanks to Gary Birch for the difficult image [above, right] - click on it for a close-up.
The #2X conversion set lid from around 1947 [left] appears to confirm these dates, as it seems to show Hollow Rods - click on the image to see a close-up of the Rods, to see if you agree.
Thanks to Steve Carr for spotting this.
Several of these rods have survived for over half a century, so they must have been a passable alternative. However, I can only assume that the additional costs associated with the extra manufacturing stages needed to produce them, inevitably sealed their long term fate.
Life is never easy when trying to make deductions from precious little evidence, but, in this case, the fog seems to be thickening rather than clearing!!!
New Series set 3 which contained Hollow Rods
At first glance the BAYKO set [right] looks to be a perfectly normal 'New Series' set #3, but thankfully from my perspective, life is never quite that simple!
The manual it contained is the second version of the 'New Series' manual, dating from around 1940. The manual also has the oversticker advising the young buyer that Tie-Bars have been replaced by, in the case of set #3, one Small and one Medium Floor - and these were present - as were the correct number of Paxolin Corner Ties!
The most surprising fact, however, is that all the Rods, except for the 1-Brick Rods, are Hollow Rods, so, clearly, it is reasonable to deduce that they do belong to this 1940 set!
Whilst not conclusive, I think we must assume that some, at least, of the Hollow Rods do indeed date from 1940, though the post-war dates are still equally possible. Ian Cole tells me that the gentleman who sold Peter Crook a pre-war 'new series' set #6 confessed to having thrown away some of the hollow rods that came with it! The pre-war evidence is mounting.
If you have any further evidence, or just want to debate the Hollow Rod issue, then I'd love to hear from you…
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Latest update - August 10, 2022
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