Frames & Fittings
With the ability to manufacture fittings in many different materials and designs we always strive to maintain the most cost effective as well as responsive methods to creating our fittings. We have the ability to manufacture both frames and fittings in cast iron, fabricated steel and hard timber.
Cast Iron lasts for decades, even over a hundred years, when properly maintained and is specially designed to work with our bells. Each headstock, clapper and crown staple starts with a wooden pattern that is carved on our CNC and is then used to create a sand mold off of this pattern. This sand mold is then filled with molten iron to create an exact duplicate of the pattern. This casting is then machined in order to finish and fit the casting into others and the rest of the ringing assembly. Because of the ability to create special designs with our rapid prototyping machinery and keep overall manufacturing costs at a minimum in the foundry, these fittings are our preferred method of fitting bells into our installations. All of our headstocks are cast in either hollow box type for change ringing, curved girder pattern design for slow counterbalanced pealing or straight yoked designs for flying clapper ringing.
When there are special circumstances or issues that prevent normal iron hardware to be fitted into the tower, steel can be welded and fastened together in order to create custom designed fittings. Radiated girders and double C channels for chimes and carillons are a special item that is normally fabricated in steel. All steel frames and hardware are either galvanized or powder coated to prevent rust and corrosion.
All essential components in transmission systems and clapper assemblies for chimes and carillons are fabricated out of stainless steel and are bushed with synthetic and special purpose materials to make sure that proper function is maintained. This extends the life of the carillon and greatly improves the ability to service the instrument because replacing hardware that is corroded is virtually nonexistent. All of our bearings used for swinging bells are self-aligning and are fitted into cast Iron blocks for careful positioning on the frame.
All of our wheels are manufactured from locally sourced hardwoods like ash and oak. All hardware used to fabricate these wheels are of Stainless steel and reinforced with steel when appropriate. Wheels may also be fabricated out of steel to ensure complete rigidity and proper corrosion resistance.
CLAPPER AND CLAPPER ASSEMBLIES
All of our clappers are cast in SG iron and are balanced to provide the most accurate and balanced strike of any bells produced in the US. All of our clappers are also fitted with sintered bronze bushings or double row needle bearings and zerk fittings to allow for greater ease of maintenance and lubrication.
Crown staples are made from either cast Iron or fabricated steel. All clapper assemblies are fitted with locking hardware for the independent head bolt. Virtually all other American bell manufacturers that practiced in the 19th and early 20th century supplied confusing or outmoded hardware that makes maintenance and repair sometimes very difficult. We go to great lengths to properly design all of our hardware and fittings to make continued work simple, easy and safe.
Specialty hardware and fittings are available and usually replaced when conducting maintenance or refurbishment for existing tower bell installations. We can carefully replicate other fittings for older American as well as European founders upon request. We utilize both traditional as well as newer 3-D scanning, printing and rapid prototyping technologies to maximize production time as well as hold extremely tight tolerances for our work.
Frames are custom designed to work with the client’s needs and to fit within the tower for easy access and maximum efficiency.