Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells clapper geting stuck on large church bell

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    • #10601

      Please help me figure out how to fix my Church’s bell.
      It is a large bell in the bell tower of a 105 year old church.
      I assume the bell is also 105 years old.
      The problem is the bell clapper gets caught behind one of two spring steel devices that push the clapper away from the sides. There is quite a bit of wear on the clapper and it is now “skinny” enough to fit beind the spring thing.
      We do have a member who owns a machine shop and I could remove the clapper and have him weld more “meat” on the shaft of the clapper, but I was hoping for an easier fix? Can someone advise me? I am on the trustees of this Methodist Church and they are asking me when will it be fixed. We have just renovated our Church and we do not have funds for this task.
      Any help would be appreciated.
      Thank you.

    • #13141

      It sounds like you have 2 problems with your clapper. It must be loosely fitting at its hinge allowing it to wobble enough to get caught behind the springs that keep it away from the skirt of the bell except during the strike. The springs should have a broad inverted “T” at the bottom that allows some play of the clapper but prevents it from getting trapped behing the spring. Your clapper may need a shim or large washers at its attachemt to the bell to avoid wobbling. Secondly, you may need new cross pieces (inverted T) at the bottom of each spring in order to prevent the clapper form getting trapped. You will need to remove the clapper to place washers on either side of the clapper attachment and possibly replace the bolt that holds the clapper to the neck of the bell. You should be able to weld, rivet, or bolt as piece of steel across the bottom of each spring to prevent trapping of the clapper.
      HJLong, MD

    • #13142
      Neil Goeppinger

      I read Harry Long’s reply and he pretty well covered the possible ways to fix your problem. In any case, I don’t think you are talking about an expensive repair. Take a good look at the pin the clapper swings from and at the hole in the top of the clapper, and figure out how to get as much of the play out of it as possible (drill out the hole in the clapper if oval and put in a round insert with the proper inside diameter to fit a new pin). My guess is your problem is just wear. When you are finished and putting it back together, be sure to grease the moving parts, and grease the ends of the yoke where it rotates in the top of the A frame stands. Good luck. I’m glad you are putting your bell back in ringing condition. Nothing sounds like church so much as a church bell.
      — Neil

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