repairing a cracked cast iron bell?

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repairing a cracked cast iron bell?

Postby stormera » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:42 pm

I have a 20 inch cast iron farm/dinner that became cracked from a vigorous clap a year or so ago. Now it clanks rather than rings.
Can it be fixed?
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:21 pm
Location: Ohio

Postby hjlong » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:49 pm

Your bell is probably cast steel and not cast iron. Cast Iron is crystaline and very brittle and has a clunky tone even without a crack. Cast steel is less brittle and has a sharp piercing tone. If it is iron, there is little that you can do to salvage the bell as welding will not improve the bell or its sound, and may result in its shattering into many pieces. If it is cast steel, you can try welding the crack or braising it with bronze braising rod, but it is unlikely that the weld will hold up and the tone will remain poor. My best advice is to keep it for ornamental purposes only. If you need a functional bell, you should look for a replacement.
Harry Long, MD
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Re: repairing a cracked cast iron bell?

Postby nightflier51 » Tue May 05, 2009 7:05 pm

Hi There are small foundrys that will take your bell use it for a pattern, melt the original metal with other mix and repour it. It will sound the same as it did before it cracked. One man in Florida , John Allen owns the Consolidated Casting Co. will do it for around 300.00. He recast one for me and i am happy with it. It was a 20 incher (morning glory shapped). Go to search and click the firms name above.
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Re: repairing a cracked cast iron bell?

Postby Audinos » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:16 pm

There is a brass and bronze foundry in Salem, Oregon (Valley Brass & Aluminum), that has sand-cast bronze bells up to about 30" from cracked iron originals. I don't know whether the sound would improve much, given the shape and the lack of tuning, but a place like this might be an option.
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:00 pm

Re: repairing a cracked cast iron bell?

Postby hjlong3 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:21 pm

As a 24" cast steel bell, this is probably a C.S. Bell Co. school bell, and you should try to purchase a yoke and "A" frames for a #24 CS Bell if you can find them. I believe that Todd Lower or John Eachus recast the hardware and have it for sale, but you will pay a significant price for new mountings. Earlier comments in this site will give you details about the new hardware.
Harry Long, MD
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Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:22 pm

Re: repairing a cracked cast iron bell?

Postby HeritageCrackRepair » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:48 pm

We might be able to repair the crack for you, we have had success in welding up bell cracks in the past. However the cost is not cheap due to the expensive weld rod that it takes. We have repaired CS Bell with two large cracks in it but it took almost 40lbs of weld rod, at almost $30 a lb plus labor. Not sure how large your crack is and the value you have on the bell, but it can be repaired. Please feel free to contact me at Heritage Custom Fabricators, 800-343-4279 my name is Clint. Thanks and I hope we can help. :D
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