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  1. #1

    Default Cast Iron Bell Repair?

    I just received a cast iron clock bell from a seller on E-Bay that was soft soldered back together where it separated in half.Needless to say the tone is not very good.Is there any way to weld,or braze it together and restore the tone?Thanks,
    David

  2. #2

    Default Cast Iron Bell Repair? (RE: David 62)

    I just received a cast iron clock bell from a seller on E-Bay that was soft soldered back together where it separated in half.Needless to say the tone is not very good.Is there any way to weld,or braze it together and restore the tone?Thanks,
    David

  3. #3
    Registered User erngrover's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
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    Harrisonburg, VA
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    Default Cast Iron Bell Repair? (RE: David 62)

    The generally accepted means of repairing a bell crack is as follows:

    1. Mill the crack to prevent either side from touching.
    2. Rivets are installed along the crack. The objective is to terminate the crack on both ends, and perhaps one or two rivets between the ends to keep the bell from possibly changing shape over the course of ringing.
    3. The holes should be equal to or slightly larger than the milled crack to accomodate the rivets.

    The use of too many rivets will change the tone slightly, but there must be one at the each end of the crack as a minimum. Fillers will tend to dampen the sound of the bell. Short of casting a new bell, this is the only repair I know of. There are perhaps some welding techniques available, but I'd hazard to conclude that the heat applied would possibly damage the tone of the bell further.

    Nothing's perfect.
    Ern & Anneke Grover, Father & Son Precision Time, Harrisonburg, VA, www.fsptime.com (540) 478-3925 "Clockmaker to the Shenandoah Valley"

  4. #4

    Default Cast Iron Bell Repair? (RE: David 62)

    They just had a discussion on the clockmaker's list on yahoo. Different successful methods were mentioned, including soft solder. Other methods, were drilling a small hole at the end of the crack and running a jeweler's saw through the crack, opening it up. Some claimed that crazy glue was the best fix.

    I just encountered an 8 bell clock, where there was a hole the size of a quarter in one of the bells, and it had solder repairs and seemed to be perfect tune to my tin ear. There were 2 other replaced bells that sounded terrible.

    Ralph

  5. #5

    Default Cast Iron Bell Repair? (RE: David 62)

    Thanks for the input.The bell was in two separate halves,soft soldered together.I will have to heat it to separate the halves,and then bring it to a welder for brazing.
    David

  6. #6
    Registered user. Sooth's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Cast Iron Bell Repair? (RE: David 62)

    I know the original bell is more valuable in a clock, but if everything else fails, Timesavers, LaRose, and eBay are places where you can find new/replacement, or old original bells.

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