The 4’s stay replaced

The 4’s broken stay has been replaced (photo at right).

In the photo survey of the state of the bells done last October and November, no crack was visible in the 4’s stay, though it is possible that the crack was not yet large enough to show in the angles that were photographed.  Rob was farsighted enough to have a spare stay made for each bell from the measurements provided by Whitechapel, so the replacement was ready at hand.  Interestingly, the 4’s replacement was marked “3, 4” on the back.

The tower’s replacement stays are drilled but not countersunk.  The original stays had 28mm diameter countersinks drilled in the angled side, so the bolt heads and washers were seated flush against the wood;  this is not shown in the drawing provided by Whitechapel.  Most of the time needed to replace the 4’s stay was spent cutting a flat seat for each bolt on the angled side of the stay, using a 1½” mortising chisel and mallet.  The flats are visible in the top photo.  The bottom edge of each flat angles because the top of the stay is not quite perpendicular to the sides.

The 4’s stay bolts are ½” M10 (10mm diameter) 1.75mm pitch galvanized bolts, the upper one 7″ 18cm long and the lower 6¼” 16cm, each with a (metric-sized) washer on the stay side.  Two ¾” or 19mm wrenches are needed, one for the bolt and the other for the nut.

The lower washer, near the heavy damage, was distorted into a shallow cone and had to be replaced.  Although the bolts are inch-sized, The washer was metric, said the man at the hardware store.  In the photo, the old washer is on the left, new on the right.

The old stay had stuck to the headstock’s paint, and took some paint off when it was removed. Beeswax was rubbed on the new stay in this area to prevent that next time.

Molybdenum disulphide paste was dabbed on the bolt threads to prevent corrosion and help the nuts come off more easily next time.

The broken stay is leaning against the ringing room wall, as a reminder.

Update:  After service ringing and a new ringers class, the stay bolts had to be retightened.


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  1. Pingback: The odd feel of the 4 | miamibells

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