[Bell Historians] Restorations etc

Roderic Bickerton rodbick at GwYdNO45OFpxQHaKHvm1g7fhCwXYm_0aMDPgk4MOPl9Co8vJbFpwuetBun4zL7dKjxq2WQGDYzmRt_0lAak.yahoo.invalid
Wed Jun 24 10:31:38 BST 2009

I would challenge the statement of unsuitability of Whitechapel single row
races, they were excellent by design, but some suffered from 3 possible
installation faults, the first being an unsuitable grease which attacked the
housing and turned into a substance resembling chocolate.
The second was not allowing enough end float sometimes resulting in
The third was the design of the gudgion baring retaining washer, which
sometimes came loose, allowing the retaining screw to rub on the housing
causing contamination, which resulted in destruction of the bearing.

Over enthusiastic grease packing causes grease pumping losses, and can cause
the baring to fail. There needs to be enough space in the bearing housing to
allow the moving parts of the bearing to clear themselves of grease, and run
un encumbered by grease. This is well known.

The bearings themselves were self aligning because the outer raceway had a
spherical outside which was housed in a spherical holder with a plain

-----Original Message-----
From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com [mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of David Cawley
Sent: 24 June 2009 01:06
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Bell Historians] Restorations etc

Rod's remarks about that good old M&S eight at Axminster pre-restoration are
very much to the point and in my opinion most appropriate. It is a pity
therefore to read of his recent disappointment. Rings like Axminster was
deserve to be cherished. It was always a pleasure to go there and enjoy what
Rod describes and then go to the marvellous heavy six (JT 1925)  at
I also concur with his remarks about the pre-restoration ring at King's
Lynn. I rang there regularly in 1964-5 including a couple of peals, and
found them tough going after a while. They all had Mears single race ball
bearings of 1953, but the majority of the fittings were Mears 1887, with a
frame partly of that date and partly of 1766. This frame remains in the
tower, the new frame beneath it. At the time of the recent restoration it
was suggested that the two 1887 trebles might be recast, being vastly
inferior to the other bells (including the 8th of 1893).  Taylors' recent
tuning has made them far more acceptable, and the money was better spent on
recasting and enlarging the uncharacteristically horrible Dobson 9th. The
L&P tenor is a superb bell even at only 28-1-4 in C# ; this untuned bell
retains its canons, which may account for some people finding it slow
turning or "ringing its weight". If the natural speed of the bells is
respected they can be appreciated as a fine ten and a good job in every
respect, notwithstanding the recent, well-aired and now resolved problems,
which were not of the Foundry's making. 
As I say, the bells were previously on Mears 1953 single race bearings. It
used to be a "stock phrase" of Taylors that "these are of a shafting type
which we do not consider at all suitable for church bells." In fact between
about 1925 and the 1970's (when they went over to the off-the-peg double-row
housings) Mears & Stainbank fitted thousands of these units. The substantial
housings are beautifully engineered and I would hazard a guess that a
sizeable number continue to give good service to-day. The main danger, as
Rod says, is dirt, which may enter through over-greasing and bursting the
seals; another danger is of course lack of use, which may cause spotting of
the ball races. These are equally enemies of double-race bearings.     


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