Welding bells

Richard Offen richard at ...
Tue Aug 30 23:28:46 BST 2005

--- In bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com, "Mike Chester" <mike at m...> wrote:
> Sedgefield's c15th tenor (now retired) was cracked in 1968 and was 
> subsequently welded - was this an early Soundweld job?
> Mike

Yes, it was - it was welded in either 1970 or 71, as was the second at 
Snargate (in 1972). I'm not surprised Sedgefield tenor has been 
retired, it sounded dreadful, even after welding! In those days you 
had to wait a very long time whilst Soundweld did the work ...certainly 
not the case these days!

Great Dunstan at Canterbury was welded in 1988, as was one of the clock 
bells about ten years later. Dunstan originally had a huge wrought-
iron cast-in crown staple, the remains of which (there was so much of 
it, it was impossible to drill it all out in 1981 without seriously 
weakening the crown of the bell) were thought to be the cause of the 
crack. Soundweld removed all remaining iron and welded the crown back 
together. It is clear that the entire crown design has serious stress 
problems, which, I guess, is why the bell has cracked again. However 
is was felt that the crack was not of any imminent danger to the bell 
and it certainly hasn't, so far, affected the superb tone of this 
magnificent bell.

The third, fourth and tenor at Southfleet, Kent were welded by Barrimar 
in 1926 and are still in use today.



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