Painting/restoring C.S. Bell & Co. F1 Bell-NEW QUESTION
April 19, 2008 at 4:18 pm #10852
I have a C. S. Bell & Co. bell with the following inscriptions:
Yoke: “C. S. Bell & Co. Hillsboro, O.” on one side, and on the other side “No. 1 Yoke 1886.”
Upright: “No. 1 Upright 1886” on one side, and on the other side “Crystal Metal.”
This bell has the same, but not quite, measurements as Prindlestation.com’s image of a CS Bell F1 bell that shows all the dimensions.
I have read a little here in this forum about wire brushing, sanding using a rust-proof primer, and painting a bell, but I have a few specific questions that I would like to ask.
1. What is the best rust proof primer to use?
2. Is it best to paint the bell with a flat or a glossy paint, and are there specific recommendations as to the type/brand of paint to use?
3. Is Rustoleum OK to use?
4. Should the inside of the bell be painted?
5. How should the pivot points be treated where the yoke rests in the upright?
6. How should the eyebolt that holds the clapper be treated, as well as the nut?
7. Should, and could, this eyebolt and nut be replaced, or should/could they be painted?
There appears to be another piece of metal, about .5 inch thick, between the nut and the top of the bell – what is this for?
This bell has been, and will be, mounted on a deck post, in the open.
Any more specific information about painting/restoration would be greatly appreciated.
April 21, 2008 at 4:08 pm #13737hjlongMember
This bell is cast steel alloy and is hard and durable. It will tolerate sand blasting or buffing with a wire wheel. Being steel, it will rust rapidly with exposure to the elements unless protected with a rust retardant coating. Rustoleum is an excellent brand of metal primer and paint, but there are other cheaper brands that would do the task just as well. My grandfather who had several of these bells, used cheap aluminum paint which protected the bell without a thick layer of enamel. He painted the yoke and bracket with black enamel. After cleaning to the bare metal, the interior is also subject to rust and should be protected with a primer and possibly paint. You can paint it any color that you desire. It is my impression that heavy enamels and acrylics may deaden the sound slightly, but given the crisp tone of these bells, any dampening of the sound will be barely noticable. The material that you note between the head of the bell and the yoke is a rubber or leather washer (gasket) that protects the bell and yoke from contact vibration that could damage the metal at the contact point and create an additional noise. There is also usually a metal washer between the nut and the yoke at the top. The moving parts will not hold the paint for long and will need a periodic application of a heavy grease which will avoid wear & tear and protect the metal on the metal moving surface. If you live in a frigid climate and plan to ring the bell in the winter, consider a silicone grease (white grease) rather than a petroleum based grease which will harden in the cold.
Harry Long, MD
April 22, 2008 at 1:27 pm #13736
Thanks very much, Harry. This is a big help.
May 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm #13738
I have had this bell painted, I forget when, and it looks good. The bell, or bowl, was not removed from the yoke, though.
One problem – the bell does not rock smoothly when ringing. It jerks into awkward positions with a rapid jerk. I think, therefore, that my painter failed to restore the gasket/bushing between the pivot points of the yoke and the upright.
Is there any source for gaskets of this type? My image of the bell with dimensions of a Prindlestation No. 1 bell and my actual bell is still in this thread.
Thanks very much.
June 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm #13739Willie B. HerdParticipant
U might try using some steel washers IF possible….or maybe a short section of pipe to slide over the ends of the Yoke….I eventually used 2 pipe sections, (one inside the other) to achieve desired inside and outside diameter to fix one bell.
“There appears to be another piece of metal, about .5 inch thick, between the nut and the top of the bell – what is this for?”
This allows the bell to vibrate longer….IF the nut is over tightened, the duration of the sound, (resonance) will be shorter.
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