[Bell Historians] Canon removal and faculties

Roderic Bickerton rodbic at ...
Thu Nov 3 14:07:23 GMT 2005

Headstocks contribute to sluggish performance but consider the wheel rim.
Although its mass may be only 10 or 15% of the stock it is mass times
distance that factors the inertia that slows things down. The rim has the
largest distance of anything from the baring line. Its mass has near 10
times the effect of the stock mass.
Looking at a modern, (well last 150 years) installation it is obvious that
wheel weight has been minimised to the point at which its life expectancy is

Eventually plastic composites will provide ideal materials for headstocks
and wheels.
Admirable materials now exist but are to currently expensive. A look at the
automotive industry will show that light weight stressed components are
becoming affordable.
The yachting industry went that way 20 years ago, and is based on small

The time must be near for ringing gear.

The wheel rim would seem a mass critical component that is both difficult to
fabricate and of shorter life than most other parts of the installation and
therefore a candidate for a plastic composite.

There has been so little use of plastics and such problem with rope pulleys
and clapper bushes that it would seem possible that the whole bell hanging
industry has no access to a good plastics technologist.
(I think these problems are now well understood and solved.)


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