Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells 1904 Meneely resto / polish

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    • #12337
      BrightLee
      Participant

      New guy here, I am a metal polisher by trade and I have been asked to polish this bell for display in a town hall. I don’t think they have any intension of ringing the bell once inside and on display. I also don’t think they are completely aware of what polishing may or may not do for its historical value. (nor do I)
      I can achieve a very high luster on the bell without removing more than a couple thousands of on inch. My process does not include the use of chemicals or the need for any type media blasting.
      The bell is in my garage in Coleman Michigan and the bottom of the bell measures 23 inches and it is 17 or 18 inches tall before it disappears into the top support arch / frame.
      http://s1144.photobucket.com/user/brightlee/slideshow/Meneely%20Bell

    • #17653
      huge bell
      Participant

      I have polished many bells..can you post a phone number? and I will let you know my thoughts

    • #17654
      BrightLee
      Participant

      I do thank you Mr. Bell, however I’m not in need of polishing advise. However I am having trouble separating the bronze bell from the steel / iron frame.
      There is a lot of corrosion and I can’t tell yet if the bronze is threaded / bolted to the frame or just press fit and held by the clunker assembly?
      I wasn’t sure if I should polish it or just clean it and paint the frame ad stand but I have decided to go through with the polishing as that is the customers preference. I’ve been polishing all types of metals and many plastics for 25 years now and done a few bells along the way as well. Never one this big or this old though.
      I saw the post from Neal and have been soaking and tapping for almost a week now.
      I’m going to do some filing on the head to get a better look this weekend and post the results.

    • #17656
      jackbell
      Participant

      There is no thread, the yoke just fits over the stem on the bell and corrosion is preventing separation. If you are only going to polish the bell is it even necessary to remove the yoke? Also, the interiors of most bronze bells are left unpolished because they won’t be visible anyway.

    • #17655
      BrightLee
      Participant

      Thanks Jack, I was hoping to take the iron frame and stand to get sand blasted and painted. if it won’t come apart I can still do the job but I would like the frame out of the way. I don’t plan on polishing the inside but will clean the rough cast enough so the bell looks new.

      I’m thinking of painting the frame red, the stand blue and all the letters and clapper white for a very patriotic look.
      You all think that’s too much 😯 ?

    • #17657
      huge bell
      Participant

      was not trying to tell you how to polish..but I have taken apart a lot of bells and you can break the tapered piece if you do it wrong..that is why I wanted to call you..but maybe you don’t have a phone…

    • #17658
      jackbell
      Participant

      Paint everything (yoke, clapper, stands) dark red and that polished bell will really pop. Red, white, and blue will give it the look of a July 4th decoration. Just my opinion.

    • #17659
      BrightLee
      Participant

      Well I got the bell off the trailer and into the shop for polishing, I added a few pictures to the album showing the inside top yoke and a sample of the polished look. I giving up on trying to get the bell and yoke apart as I’m just too nervous something could go wrong and I’m running out of time to complete the job. I’ve decided to paint the Iron a hammer-tone grey and I discovered a crack in the stand that I might repair with a tig welder.

      http://s1144.photobucket.com/user/brightlee/slideshow/Meneely%20Bell

    • #17660
      jackbell
      Participant

      It looks great!

    • #17661
      BrightLee
      Participant

      A few more pictures in the album now showing the crack in the stand. The weld repair went very good and the stand is now ready for paint.
      Using a 2X12 plank and a few bricks, I slid the bell back and forth on the plank lifting the light end up one brick at a time until high enough to slide onto the bench. I work alone and don’t have a hoist or lifting device so,,, 💡
      The plan is to have it ready for delivery this Tuesday 11-19
      http://s1144.photobucket.com/user/brightlee/slideshow/Meneely%20Bell

    • #17662
      BrightLee
      Participant

      The bell is done and was delivered. The customer is very happy. When it goes on display I will go get the final photos.
      Thank you for the tips, and enjoy the pics.

      No chemicals were used and I managed to move this big bell around from the trailer into the shop and back out onto the trailer by myself without more than a plank, a few tie downs and some bricks. No grinding or sanding to keep the original weight and tone.

      http://s1144.photobucket.com/user/brightlee/slideshow/Meneely%20Bell

    • #17663
      jackbell
      Participant

      It looks fabulous. I hope you get more bell business. You might want to invest in a chain hoist though. They aren’t expensive.

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