Recent steeplekeeping

The tower’s steeplekeepers have been busy lately.  Here is a summary of activity over the past few weeks.

The 6’s slider replaced

2013-05-14.6slider_4266The 6’s slider was cracked some years back and repaired by Ken.  A new slider was obtained later from Whitechapel but had never been installed.  Someone there had marked directions for drilling and cutting on it in ballpoint pen.

2013-05-14.6slider_42712013-05-14.6sliderI drilled the hole for the pivot pin, filed it to the right size, cut the far end off to the right length, and installed it.  You can’t slip the slider off the pin ordinarily, since the bell is in the way (that’s a good thing).  The trick is to unbolt the bracket for the pin, exchange sliders while the bracket is off and there’s plenty of room, then bolt the bracket with slider in place back onto the frame.

The repaired slider is sitting on the ledge above the 6, where the replacement had sat for so long, in case it is needed in the future.

Chains to hold upper hatch when it is open

2013-05-14.HatchChains_42692013-05-14.HatchChains_4270The upper hatch had been held by a plywood bracket on the back side of the raised sill around the ladder head.  This bracket had gradually worked itself loose so that the hatch was at risk of swinging too far and damaging the 4’s wheel.

Two chains now run from the inside of the hatch to the inside of the sill, and stop the hatch just beyond its balance point.  I couldn’t find stainless steel chains, so they may have to be replaced some years in the future, but the mounting hardware is stainless steel.

The chains display a tendency to kink, so each one has a wire bracket that lines them up so they usually don’t kink any more.

Sound absorbing panel fell in intermediate chamber

2013-05-14.soundPanel_4282 2013-05-14.soundPanel_4283I got a tube of construction adhesive and put it back in place, bracing it with ladders (that’s what was available) until the adhesive set.

Loose plies in the 7’s rope box finally all removed

2013-05-28.7ropeBox_4301 2013-05-28.7ropeBox_4309The 7’s rope box was the one most severely damaged by water in the bad old days when the ringers left the bells mouth-up and they filled with rain water, dumping enough onto the bell chamber floor that damaging quantities came down through the rope bosses and holes and soaked the rope boxes, bosses, and everything else.  The 7’s box had the most separated plies, and due to its height it was the most difficult to remove them from.  The last ones were pulled and pushed out at last.  A few of the larger ones are shown in the lower photo.