Casting a bell an age old process

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    Topic: Casting a bell an age old process Read 252 Times
  • Jonathan Cross
    Jonathan Cross
    Participant
    Posts: 19
    Hand of Man
    on: May 3, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    One of our Church’s bells cracked.  At 500kg (1100lbs) it ws gently lowered from the tower and taken to the only remaining bell foundry in the UK.  It could not be repaired, so a new bell was cast a week or so ago.  The foundry has been on the site since 1859 and is mostly unchanged as is the process of casting.  Bell metal is heated to 1200 deg C (2200 deg F) decanted  and craned to the mould.    The metal is allowed to cool to 1000 Deg C (1830 deg F) and poured into the mould.  Most of the mould is buried in a sand pit as if anything goes wrong, none of the casters  want 1000 deg C bell metal spilling on their feet.  The bell is cooled for 4 days where it is, and then removed from the mould.  It is then carefully tuned by shaving bits off the inside.  If too much is taken off then another bell has to be cast, so it is a highly skilled job that can take a couple of weeks.

    Attached are some images I took of our bell being cast.

    Jonathan

     

     

    Christopher Sanderson
    Christopher Sanderson
    Gold Member
    Posts: 290
    Re: Casting a bell an age old process
    Reply #1 on: May 3, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    Marvelous stuff! Many thanks for posting.

    Jeremy Roussak
    Jeremy Roussak
    Gold Member
    Posts: 788
    Re: Casting a bell an age old process
    Reply #2 on: May 4, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    Good set, Jonathan. Where?

    Jeremy

    Jonathan Cross
    Jonathan Cross
    Participant
    Posts: 19
    Re: Casting a bell an age old process
    Reply #3 on: May 4, 2022 at 5:12 pm

    Jeremy, it was at the J Taylor Foundry in Loughborough.  It is the only bell foundry left in the UK now that Whitechapel in London has gone.  Over 100 years ago they cast the biggest bell in the UK, the Great St Paul, 15  3/4 tons, still ringing in the SW tower of St Pauls Cathedral in London.

    Jonathan

     

     

    Jonathan Cross
    Jonathan Cross
    Participant
    Posts: 19
    Re: Casting a bell an age old process
    Reply #4 on: June 7, 2022 at 4:25 am

    The new bell was installed yesterday in our Church tower in Surrey, UK, and rung for the first time.  Attached is an image of it in the ‘Up’ position, ready for ringing.  It should last for many, many years.

    Best wishes,

    JonathanDSF3052

    Russ Lewis
    Russ Lewis
    Silver Member
    Posts: 1944
    Re: Casting a bell an age old process
    Reply #5 on: November 13, 2022 at 4:36 pm

    Really fine work, Jonathan.

    Jonathan Cross
    Jonathan Cross
    Participant
    Posts: 19
    Re: Casting a bell an age old process
    Reply #6 on: November 14, 2022 at 6:46 am

    Thanks Russ.  It was an opportunity not to be missed to photograph the process from removal of the old, cracked, bell to installation of the new one.

    Best wishes,

    Jonathan

     

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Silver Member
    Posts: 1071
    Re: Casting a bell an age old process
    Reply #7 on: November 16, 2022 at 9:12 am

    Boy, that’s quite the place – not to mention the process.  Would love to be there to feel the heat, smell the smells and hear the noise.  Great photos.

    Kevin Raber
    CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com

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