Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells OK now I bought this thing…….

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    • #11159

      The bell appears to be a MIL-B-674C specification bell with a railroad mount. Can any of you railroad bell guys confirm?

      My guess is the bell was re-purposed forecastle bell from the WWI era.
      Any ideas?

    • #14702

      A locomotive mount does not have a wheel. The rope would fall out of the groove too easily. Looks like a Meneely (W Troy, NY) yoke and wheel which might have been removed from a damaged bell.

    • #14704

      Thank you so much for the information.
      I may purchase this bell.
      I am mostly interested in ship’s bells and suspect I would restore the mount as a separate project.

    • #14705

      Thank you again JackBell!
      There is so much online information on the Meneely foundry and their products.
      This is so interesting.

      I spent some time yesterday reading about C. S. Bell, today it is Meneely.
      What fun!

    • #14703

      I won the auction so I now own this bell.
      The bell will be separated and restored.
      I am amazed as less valuable bells were going for more money.
      The parts mismatch may have scared some off.

      Happy boy.

    • #14706

      You have to laugh. When I asked the seller to separate the brass from the iron, I found they were not able to be separated without considerable force.

      I asked the seller to pack the brass well and ship the whole thing. If they can’t get it apart, it may stand shipping.

      Please do not install the clapper or Homeland Security will be involved. One bell clang from a box and they will turn a robot loose on it.

      I did find out which metal expands more from my mechanical engineering handbook:
      Linear Temperature Expansion Coefficient:
      Brass = 10.4
      Steel = 7.3
      Therefore brass will expand or contract more than steel.

      It looks like heat and cool, heat and cool. Eventually these dissimilar metals will give up. I have time, a torch, and dry ice if necessary. It has worked before. I did suspect this bell had been pounded into the iron yoke. I was not surprised, and now I have a puzzle I can solve in several different ways. I will have a shop full of MEs with alternate suggestions. They will have to bring the beer to have an opinion 

    • #14707

      USN bells. The yoke has to come off before I make a decision on restoration of the bell on the left.

    • #14708

      Remove the wheel and those pieces on the tips of the yoke. Find a cradle to fit or have one made and this bell would look great as a post-mount.

    • #14709

      Exactly what I was thinking when I bought the bell. The caps on the end turned out to be house paint on the metal yoke.
      I have decided to remove the yoke, as this bell and this yoke should not have met.

      the yoke is in marginal shape. The bell is in great shape. Once I get the two separated I can start making decisions.
      A little work and this can be a display bell.

    • #14710

      You have to love Harbor Freight for cheap tools you may only use once.
      I purchased a two jaw pulley puller set for $18.

      I used WD40 and a little more pressure every day.

      Today I heard the “pop” sound I was waiting for.

      So it took patience, a little heat, WD40, a pulley puller, patience, and patience.

      The bell will now be polished by a professional.
      I will post photos when the bell is complete.

    • #14711

      Congratulations! Now you can put the cheap tool on eBay and maybe make a little profit.

    • #14700

      I look for excuses to buy tools not to sell them 🙂

      I am going to sand blast the old yoke.
      I will have it powder coated.
      I will wait….. someone will ask….

    • #14712

      I took it to the polisher today.
      I asked them to polish the bell exterior, hex nut, and clapper assembly.
      They will soft media blast the inside of the bell to take it back to original, without removing any metal.
      All pieces will be dipped in an easily removable clear coat for indoor display.
      I should end up with a very nice bell.
      I should have photos early next week.

    • #14701

      The metal finisher called this morning and told me the bell had been chrome plated….
      I don’t see it. I worked with the bell for the last few months, and it looked brass.
      The photos above look brass. I saw no indications of plating.

      I told them to go ahead and polish the bell.
      Who knows what I will get back? The metal finisher says it will be shiny chrome.
      My money is still on brass.

      Does this look chrome plated to you?

      The puller on the bench is steel. I would expect chrome to be more that color.

      Anyone ever hear of a US Navy bell being chrome plated?
      It is a new one on me.

    • #14713

      I’ve never seen a chrome-plated naval bell or locomotive bell. It’s the right size for a fire engine brass bell and they were nearly always chrome-plated. Could someone have had USN engraved onto it then added the yoke and barn pulley? If so, there are plenty of old fire-fighting equipment websites.

    • #14714

      I have no idea why the woman that owns Top Brass thought this was chrome plated.
      The bell with the black lettering is a bell I refurbished some months back.
      The bell on the left is definitely not chrome plated, and looks like brass to me.

      Here is a closer look.

      UPDATE 2-2013 The bell was made of Nickel Brass which is composed of 70% copper, 24.5% zinc and 5.5% nickel.

    • #14715

      Before and after snapshots of the bell

      As purchased 8/2012

      After seperating it from the cast iron yoke.

      After polishing and clear coat.

    • #14716

      Looks great! Start searching for another one.

    • #14717

      Jack that was an excellent idea.
      I kept my eye open and was lucky enough to find two more 9 7/8″ US Navy ship’s bells.

      They came from different sources, but both had been worked over by someone to remove the tarnish.
      This eliminates the “save the patina vs. polish as original” issue.

      With some TLC by the guy with the largest polishing wheel I have ever seen, they will look like the first two US Navy bells I had polished in the photo below.

      The process they use is interesting.
      1. They media blast the bell, clapper, and nut with a soft media to remove all tarnish. The bell looks flat at this point.
      2. Details like the lettering are hand polished with a small air powered rotary tool and polishing compound.
      3. The polisher named Scott uses a large commercial polishing wheel and polishing compound to make the bell shine. Minor defects are polished out at this time.
      4. The parts are dipped in a hot degreaser bath to remove all the polishing compound and dirt.
      5. The cleaned and shined bell and components are dipped in a tank of lacer and allowed to dry.

      There is a lot more to refurbishing a bell than a can of Brasso and some elbow grease.
      ‘Top Brass’ in Santee CA does a good job.

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