Monday, December 08, 2008

Bayko 1

The other day I built and blogged my first Bayko structure, but didn't manage to say much about it. Today I returned to Bayko, to build the larger structure shown above. If anything, I enjoyed this project even more than my first.

I've known about Bayko for years, and was aware of the attractiveness of the structures, and the intriguing style of assembly (right).But it took me until this last summer to actually get some. Partially because it is hard to find in the US - it may never have been sold here, or only in the smallest quantities. My set came from Canada - -whether bought there new or brought over (or sent as a gift) from the UK, I couldn't guess.

There is a wonderfully extensive web site of information at -- including full sets of manual images.

At left is a typical plan entry, from my own 1952 manual, showing the parts list, view, and plan. Note that the plan shows the stacking order of pieces top down from bottom up, which can be disconcerting at first. The cryptic abbreviations quickly become clear, and construction is not difficult -- nor is it boring.

All of the constructions, large or small, are built up on bases into which the support rods are inserted (illustration above right). There is only one size of base -- for larger structures, multiple bases are connected together with base links screwed to the bases. I am short a couple of screws (long time readers already knew that -- but this time I mean that literally not figuratively). What size of screw? I can't seem to find out online.

But even a couple of screws short, Bayko is Good Block Play.


Alan said...

Well, a bit more effort & internet research suggests that the Bayko base link screws are probably 1/8" Whitworth, and cursory comparison of dimensions suggests that a US #5-40 may be 'close enough' for this purpose.

Even the 3/8" flathead shape is readily available online.

So I will check a local source or two tomorrow, snow permitting. Even if they don't have 3/8" flathead, I should at least be able to confirm the #5-40 part.


Alan said...

I did manage to get some 3/8" flathead #5-40 screws today, along with some nuts.

The screws go into the Bayko base links just fine - alittle loose in the holes, but tightening up nicely to hold the bases in correct alignment.

As one might suspect from the #5-40 screws being loose in the Bayko, the Bayko screws won't quite go in the #5-40 nuts -- I suspect that just a little filing with a needle file would make them fit adequately.

If making my own links with holes drilled & tapped for #5-40, I suspect using a tap drill just a snit large (perhaps the correct tap drill for 1/8" Whitworth?) would allow both screw types to be used.

My new screws are zinc plated Phillips head, so contrast dramatically with the Baykos, as well as being more sparklingly obvious in use -- especially since the heads sit slightly higher in the countersunk holes -- flush with the surface instead of slightly recessed.

I think I will paint the flat top surfaces green.