[Bell Historians] Trebles on higher numbers

Carl S Zimmerman csz_stl at s...
Wed Aug 11 06:05:51 BST 2004

At 10:21 +0200 2004/08/10, David Bryant wrote:
>I understand that the treble at the Bullring is measurably quieter
>than the 2nd because it is thicker and therefore there isn't as much
>clapper throw.

I'm surprised that no one has reacted to this point yet. There is no 
*direct* connection between thickness and clapper throw. Two bells 
of the same pitch but different thickness will have different 
external profiles but the same internal profiles, because it is 
internal diameter which controls pitch. (Why else would tuning be 
done on the inside rather than the outside?) Therefore those two 
bells will have the *same* internal space available for clapper 
throw. (The thicker bell may well have a larger diameter at the lip, 
but it won't have a larger diameter at the sound bow--the point of 
impact of the clapper.)

It is certainly possible (maybe even probable) that the bell hanger 
will fit a heavier clapper to the thicker bell than would be fitted 
to the thinner bell. If some of that extra weight is derived from a 
fatter ball on the clapper, *that* will reduce the clapper throw 
(which is approximately the inside diameter of the bell minus the 
diameter of the clapper ball). But that is an indirect connection, 
not a necessary one.

I suspect that the actual purpose of the longer treble clapper 
flights which have been mentioned in this discussion is to increase 
the clapper weight (or mass) without increasing the diameter of the 
clapper ball, i.e., without reducing the clapper throw.


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