Window railings installed

2013-08-07.WindowRailings_0535Workmen installed new railings on the inner side of each of the tower’s three windows, apparently on Monday or Tuesday since they were present when we arrived for practice yesterday evening.

The railings prevent any unwary ringer from falling through the open lower pane of a window, and perhaps more to the point will let the windows pass the building inspection.

The new door locks

2013-02-06.DoorHandle_0441A locking handle was installed in the new fire door at the bottom of the spiral stairs, unexpectedly.  Being a fire door, it has spring hinges and closes automatically.  At present the handle is unlocked because we have only one key among the ringers.  Be careful not to change the setting meanwhile.

The workmen plan to install the little bumpers that cushion the door when it closes, but until then the door slams shut with a crash.  We are propping it open when there are ringers in the tower meanwhile.

New door for spiral stairs

2013-01-27.StairDoor_0435A metal doorframe and self-closing wooden fire door has been added to the spiral stairs.  There is no doorknob at this writing.

Update: Although the door has veneer surfaces, it is a code-rated fire door as shown by an information plate on the hinge face and verified by Ken.  The interior of the door is a mineral substance, visible in the doorknob mounting hole.

Springs in the hinges swing the door shut with a loud bang, so watch out.

Tower door usable

The tower door and frame have been replaced, ending the concern that we might be unable to get in to (or back out of) the tower appear to be usable.  Jim and workmen were in and out of the tower several dozen times today without difficulty.  We duct-taped the bolt’s plate against the door meanwhile to keep it from catching on the door frame again.

The door and frame will be replaced at a later date, as part of other work on the bell tower including the addition of a non-locking interior fire door for the spiral staircase.

Tower door jams shut

When we arrived to open the tower for service ringing, the door could not be opened.  We had to jimmy the door open in order to get in.  We blocked the door open during service ringing to ensure we could get back out afterwards.

The tower door has been sticking in its frame since the concrete work a few weeks ago.  It appears that the frame was bent at that time, and since then the door scrapes where the lock bolt is mounted.  The workman apparently tried to work around the problem by tightening the screws holding the lock in the door, and stripped the threads on both the screws and the door.  Since then it’s been impossible to fasten the bolt mechanism firmly in the door, and the two screws have floated in their holes.

Today the sticking became jamming.  The bolt plate and the upper screw holding it in the door projected enough to catch in the door frame.  Thomas had a 16″ screwdriver with which he levered the plate back enough for it to clear, and a second screwdriver with which he levered the screw back while holding the plate with the first one.  Rob made a sign warning ringers not to close the door, and Thomas put Barbara’s large spring clamp on the door to prevent it from closing accidentally.

Jim says he’ll see that the contractor replaces the frame and door ASAP.

New A/C intake over the tower door

Knocking out the hole for the intake

As part of the renovation of the Cathedral, a new A/C intake is being added over the tower door.  The exterior of the sanctuary building can’t be modified due to historical preservation regulations, so options were limited.  A workman started cutting a rectangle through the concrete on Wednesday (photos at right and below left) and had completed it by Friday (below right).

The steps outside are coated with white dust, and to a lesser extent so is the downstairs room of the tower.  Some dust but not much seems to have made it into the ringing chamber.

No light over the tower door for the time being.  When a fixture is wired into the box, it will be higher, just under the window, and changing the bulb will be a job.

The rectangle was cut through the outer decorative layer on Wednesday2013-01-18.NewIntake_0434

Renovation downstairs

Workmen have been wiring up the electrical panels in the tower’s downstairs room, and moving the internal walls to get a larger doorway.

Portions of the old walls were taken out.

The end of the old plenum was concreted over at floor level, the wall behind the ducts was cut back and the light switch moved, and a new angled wall was put in place.

Concrete repairs at tower


The workmen have started repairing the spalled places up at the bell chamber level, as part of the cathedral renovation work.  The two lower spots are at the ledge level in the bell chamber, and fix spots where the concrete had chipped off and the rebar was exposed.  The two upper spots probably are fixing the same sort of weathering at the level of the floor below the louvers.  Meanwhile, watch out for concrete chips on the tower stairs.