Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Repair, Restoration, Parts, Cleaning How can I take my bell off the harp?

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    • #10910

      John in Wisconsin asks:

      have a brass bell & harp, bell is 13″ tall , 16 1/4″wide stamped ” 103 ” harp & bell are about 250#s any idea where it’s from? Here are some bell pictures. The harp has two oil caps on each side. Is there any special way to get the bell off the harp so that I can sand blast the harp? I appreciate anything that you can tell me about this treasure.

      To see pictures of John’s bell, please click on these links:





      If you can help, please post a response.

      This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.

    • #13950

      This is a brass railroad locomotive bell. There is a Hex bolt where the yoke attaches to the axel. I can see it in your first picture. Some railroad bells have a bearing that is bolted together, but yours appears to have an axel that inserts into the bearing and is bolted to the yoke. If you can remove the hex bolt on each side, then you should be able to gently drive the axel laterally through the bearing until the yoke separates from the bracket (harp). You may wish to remove the bell first as it will make the job easier. The bell is held to the yoke by the nuts on the top that are attached to the Clapper Bracket. These are best removed by turning the bell on its head to relieve the weight on the nuts. If there is considerable rust, you may need to remove the paint & rust and soak the bolt and axel with WD40 for several days to loosen the threads and the axel so that they can be removed. The bell can be pollished, but do not sand blast it. The yoke and harp are steel and can be sand blasted. If you cannot loosen the hardware, you may simply want to use a good paint remover and a wire brush on the yoke and harp. You would need to mask the bell prior to repainting the yoke and harp if yopu cannot remove the bell.
      Harry Long, MD

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