[Bell Historians] Hanging Formulae etc.

matthewhigby at a... matthewhigby at a...
Tue Jan 27 22:13:54 GMT 2004

In a message dated 27/01/04 20:56:10 GMT Standard Time, aaspland at y...k 

> [Andrew Aspland] So is it +12" instead? I was told that a 2'6" would hang 
> level with the gudgeons (neither tucked up nor hung out) but since I don't 
> know the height of such a bell I need more info. 
> OK a better try would be
> Hang = 2/5dia + 13
> based on a bit of regression analysis of Ossett bells but is that typical?
> I would have thought on a list so knowledgable I would not have had to 
> resort to guessing games. My questions were asked because I would like to have a 
> means of working out what bells will fit in an existing frame and I thought 
> somone on the list could have given me a constructive answer!
> Andrew 

The average of most modern rings seems to be 50% of the diameter + 8 inches. 
Some firms like to tuck up the back end slightly more and hang the trebles out 
slightly more. Older style rings are generally hung out to a greater degree 
(the old 20cwt 6 at Chilcompton were about + 11 inches) and personally I liked 
the way they rolled along - you could easily ring a peal in just under 3hrs. 
The old Chilcompton tenor was easier to turn in to minor than the new tenor, 
which seems to turn slower (its a doddle to major and royal).

Clapper throws are another matter. Some firms like to keep them all the same. 
Others put the shortest possible staple in the treble then add a certain 
amount (up to ½ inch in my experience) on to the 2nd clapper throw and then 3rd 
clapper throw etc etc - normally giving a very long crown staple (and therefore 
short clapper) in the tenor.

Individual bellhanging firms seem to have their own rules (some of which they 
like to keep secret).

As for height/diameter ratio with Taylor bells - they vary enormously in my 
experience (as do other foundries - G&J in particular). See George Elphick's 
"Craft of the bellfounder" for more details. I find it is better to work from 
diameters and hangs when planning frame designs etc.



Matthew Higby & Co Ltd,
Church Bell Engineers.
Jasmine Cottage,
The Street,
BA3 4HN.
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