Stayless trebles

Richard Offen richard.offen at o...
Fri May 14 00:02:43 BST 2004

--- In bellhistorians at, "Chris Povey" <cmpovey at 3...> 
> Thanks to Richard (Offen) and Jim (Phillips) for the reasons for 
using deal/pine as stays for small bells, ie it is cheaper: even 'a 
good deal cheaper'. 
> But is it? The basic material will be cheaper, although parana pine 
won't be much cheaper than ash. Matthew (Higby) tells us that the ash 
stays at Warden Hill didn't break easily, so the tower Captain asked 
for pine ones that did (!). I would guess that ash lasts at least 
twice as long as softwood (deal/pine/parana pine), because it's known 
to be the best for flexibility and shock absorption (otherwise, why 
do we use it?).

At Seasalter (whoops, sorry, St Alphege, Whitstable!), as far as we 
were concerned, it was as much about availability as price. Pine 
was readily available from the timber merchant round the corner, 
whereas ash frequently wasn't. It was also pretty galling to see 
good bits of ash reduced to a size that Swan Vesta could use by ham-
fisted ringers ...somehow it didn't seem to matter when it was a bit 
of spruce!

With our standard section pieces of wood and a complete set of tools 
in the belfry, we had replacing a stay down to a fine art and could 
do it in two or three minutes flat!


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