Seeking Info on How to Cast Bells
July 17, 2014 at 12:58 am #12416Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
I am looking into how to cast bells. I have been doing some research and I was wondering if you could put me into contact with someone or some resource that could help me answer the following questions.
1) how does one determine what the prime resonance frequency will be before the casting?
2) what is the proportions for the curve of the bell that is used traditionally in the English style bells? I would very much like to have a CAD drawing of one.
I thank you in advance for trying to help answer my questions,
July 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm #17804Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
Our “Bell Expert” John Eachus has sent me the following response:
Have him contact Richard Fisher at US Bells in Prospect Harbor, Maine. Richard and his family operate a foundry casting small garden, door, and ship’s bells of bronze. His bells are high quality. (http://www.usbells.com)
Historic foundries had a “bell master”. The foundry cast a bell a certain weight and a certain diameter, and a certain profile, thus producing a bell which would ring a musical note….according to the bell master’s hearing pitch. Each foundry produced bells with an approximate musical note. When forming peals, chimes & carillons, one had to use bells from the same foundry. In any set of bells, there were always a couple bells that were discordant.
With WWII, the bells were confiscated for munitians [materials used in war, especially weapons and ammunition]. At the end of the War, technological analysis of the bell’s tone, the original foundry was identified, i.e. each bell master had a distinct bell tone. From this analysis and with the aid of a computer, a foundry can produce any historical bell profile and musical tone. The profile determines the pitch; the weight & diameter determines the musical note. English bells were typically heavier, but produced very limited vibration over tones. Dutch & French bells produced long vibration overtones, making cords very harmonious.
Iron bells, brass bells & bronze bells have different profiles.
The attached file is the data sheet produced by the Royal Dutch Eijsbouts Bell Foundry in Asten, The Netherlands. The data sheet indicates weight & diameter to produce a musical carillon bell; profile determines A440 musical standard. (Other musical standards are cast.) Joep Von Brussels is the international sales manager for Eijsbouts.
The foundries consider the profile, CAD drawings, etc. to be proprietary [manufactured and sold only by the owner of the patent, formula, brand name, or trademark associated with the product].
Many thanks for your informative response, John!
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