Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Repair, Restoration, Parts, Cleaning Cracked CS Bell Number 2 – REPAIR??

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    • #12039

      [attachment=0:8bb8jsoi]bell crack.jpg[/attachment:8bb8jsoi]We have a number 2 school bell with a crack that is detectable both on the inside and outside –

      We really cannot afford to have it welded – yes it is cast iron –

      Has anyone had any success in using products you can purchase in a store such as JP Weld or a metal apoxy?? Help!

      The bell is still very much intact and still sounds wonderful – BUT, we are trying to be proactive and stop it from further cracking. We do live in Minnesota so we really need to seal the crack so that moisture stays out and we don’t have a problem with it freezing and expanding cracking further – – –

      THANKS so much@!@!!! New to all this –

    • #16944
      Willie B. Herd

      Yes, it’s expensive to weld cast iron.
      I’m surprised that your bell still sounds good with that crack. JB Weld is a good idea, but may not be strong enough to prevent further cracking, (IF the sound was affected, it would help to fill the crack).

      Doing nothing is an option to be considered….if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

    • #16945

      To stop the crack the old time farmers used to drill a hole at either end of the crack.
      They then put a nut, bolt, and a couple of washers through each hole. It preserved the sound, and stopped the crack.

      Welding was not an option for them. I have seen an old farm bell that was patched this way many years ago. The nuts and bolts were rusty. It looked like the fix worked. They were still using the bell in the mid 1980’s when I saw it at a friend’s farm near Klamath Falls Oregon.

      It would scare me to try it, but if you are like the farmers 100 years ago with nothing to loose…..

      JB Weld wouldn’t do the job. It can’t stop the crack from spreading, and doesn’t transmit vibration well.

    • #16946

      Umh… My metal working friends disagree with me.
      Drilling to stop the crack is an acceptable procedure.
      Brazing the cast iron will help perserve the bell better than the “old farmers’s method” and it does not require expensive equipment.
      Brazing (using molten brass and a flux to bind dissimular metals) does have a molecular bond and will stop the crack.
      JB Weld and other glue based products don’t have a molecular bond with cast iron. As the crack spreads the JB Weld will just be cast off.
      These guys know how to braze cast iron. I don’t……

    • #16947
      Neil Goeppinger

      I had a large cast iron bell yoke repaired with braze many years ago, and it is still functioning. When the machinist did it, he heated the entire yoke first with a torch so the cast iron wouldn’t crack from the high heat applied during the brazing of the two parts. I think that would be even more important on a cracked bell. You would want to heat the entire bell first before brazing. — Neil Goeppinger

    • #16948

      If you are a welder, or can find a good welder, heres my theory…you would have to grind the crack all way through and even a bit farther than the visable crack…. like Neil said ….slowly heat it up, not fast… weld from the lip…. stop and go until you come to the end…this is a filler of welding material. if the bell has some steel in it, you can use steel rods. warmer weather or in a very warm place is even better. wrap it in insulation and let it cool for a day. then test it for tone. its a 50..50 chance. when I reattached yoke and clapper I would turn the bell where the clapper does not hit the repaired area.

    • #24457

      You will find out that trying to drill a hole in cast steel alloy very hard to do. It will dull a normal bit.

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