[Bell Historians] Restorations etc

David Cawley dave at bJS32NH7lGfL-odM4JkcXLYxyoKg0xYyJF_y61_IOrAIu9zm70xLM8V0kUNcwE_L0hofN5Tt8XtqG6nKyak05MUkaJY.yahoo.invalid
Wed Jun 24 14:31:05 BST 2009

As I said, the statement about "unsuitability" was a long standing one of Taylors', and (if you believed it) a good sell for their type. It was sometimes accompanied by deprecatory remarks about the accompanying bedplates as "simple strips of metal", and the method of securing being "mere coachscrews as opposed to proper bedscrew bolts". I've not seen that sort of expression in Taylor reports for many years now.

An attractive feature of the M&S type as opposed to what JT advocated was of course economy, and it enabled many "impossible" rings in cash-strapped churches to continue in use at a cheaper price than JT or G&J would have charged for theirs. 

I note what Rod said about pinching. I remember a Kent job done in the early 70's which was a remarkably successful restoration. At a practice, however, it was stated that one of the larger bells did not go as well as the rest, and there was no visible reason for it. I ascended whilst ringing was in progress and took the back cover off the housing, and came down to find all smiles. Of course, the cover had to be replaced to exclude dirt, but the following week I brought with me and fitted a retaining washer half the thickness of that originally on the gudgeon, and I understand that they've been happy ever since.

On lubricant for bells, do I remember in my youth that certain tower cards advised the use of "Belmoline C" for ball bearings; and exactly what was this substance, supposing it ever to have existed?


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Roderic Bickerton 
  To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:31 AM
  Subject: RE: [Bell Historians] Restorations etc

  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 d5BAaDk8_cEdkn_SmZISpUK3RJLbKwXm_T2Bvih07YDocPj_iGyrWjTexJn6VFmeAviiQvZsLV2wNNZzFQmm7eIq.yahoo.invalidom]
  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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