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Steam & Excursion > Dang this bell is heavy


Date: 01/07/22 15:08
Dang this bell is heavy
Author: WrongWayMurphy

A nice lady here in Tyler, Tex was married to an ex Cotton Belt employee who is now deceased, and 
had this locomotive bell mounted in their backyard on a 2.5" steel post with 4" flange welded on top.
She can't document it, but claims he said it came from a St. L. S-W steam lokie.

She fell a couple weeks ago and is in rehab, and will go into assisted living and her house will be sold soon,
so she asked for the bell to be saved and donated to the Tyler depot museum.  Myself and another retrieved
this today.  It took a Herculean effort to get it into the back of my truck.  Good thing l ate my Wheaties today.






Date: 01/07/22 17:21
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: Tominde

Very nice.  How does it sound?



Date: 01/07/22 17:55
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: wcamp1472

About 2/3 of the total weight is the cast iron 'harp' and the pivoting  'yoke' that 
suspends the bell.

I've never seen the base with those deep recesses... what's with all those cavities?

W.



Date: 01/07/22 18:15
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: zoohogger

The Bell I have was at my Dad's house mounted on a 6 foot post.  My dad and his friend undid the bolts, the carefully slid it, holding tightly to lower it gently. As soon as the base of the yoke cleared the post, it went straight to the ground as fast as gravity could take it. No one or the bell was hurt.  I've moved it 3 times since always taking the bell from the yoke. Bell weighs 72 pounds, yoke weight is unknown, call a friend.

Rick Z
 



Date: 01/07/22 18:39
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: WrongWayMurphy

The sound is clear, and loud.

As for the cavities, I was going to ask you what's up with that !



Date: 01/07/22 19:16
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: Milwaukee

People here on TO know where to look the bell over to find builders numbers on bells to determine the locomotive the bell originated from.   Hopefully one of them will speak up and you can help investigate the origin of this bell and share it with us here.   



Date: 01/07/22 19:24
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: WrongWayMurphy

Milwaukee Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> People here on TO know where to look the bell over
> to find builders numbers on bells to determine the
> locomotive the bell originated from.   Hopefully
> one of them will speak up and you can help
> investigate the origin of this bell and share it
> with us here

 Cotton Belt didn't stamp their bells with identifying numbers or codes, nor did the maker other than a casting number.



Date: 01/07/22 19:31
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: wcamp1472

The cast iron base has been modified after being removed from the engine.
A full bell-base is thicker, and has a thickness, between the bottom of the
round base and a thicker cast 'ring',  that approximates the thickness of the boiler 
insulation and jacket. That way the heavy bell assembly is solidly attached
to the boiler shell.

The 'spacer' ring's base is curved to approximate the radius of the boiler shell.
Typically the yoke is secured to the boiler by two studs ( on the top centerline of
the boiler), mounted fore and aft, either side of the yoke's  bottom --- where it joins
circular disk of the base.

Maybe the questioned holes in the circular base were cut to aid in slicing off the
curved portion of the base...maybe to make the bell and bracket suitable for
mounting on a post top?

W.

( I'd bet that the truck rode NICE!)
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/22 20:04 by wcamp1472.



Date: 01/08/22 07:58
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: elueck

Baldwin stamped their shop number code on the bell collar so that the correct bell would go to the correct locomotive on the erecting floor.  If you remove the nut on top of the bell  (careful to not let the clapper bolt come out, you can see if a number is there, and if so, what it is.   Having said that, there is still a possibility that Baldwin put the wrong bell on an engine as it has been proven to have happened. 



Date: 01/08/22 20:25
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: MojaveBill

The  cavities may be there to lighten the weight...

Bill Deaver
Tehachapi, CA



Date: 01/09/22 08:14
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: LocoPilot750

If it's a Baldwin bell, as mentioned above, it should have a hand stamped code on the end that protrudes into the yoke, you will have to take the nut off the end of the ringer and remove the washer to see it, (if it has not been obliterated sometime in the past by someone brutally trying to remove it from the yoke). It should sook something like the photo above. That will only tell you what engine it was supposed to be on when it was new. After that, and during shoppings, there wasn't much of an attempt to keep them on a particulat engine, they got mixed up a lot. I've had bells with as many as three different engine numbers stamped on it, usually around the top or shoulder, even stamped into the steel yoke, cradle, and air ringer parts, so look it over.




Date: 01/09/22 09:58
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: OneToOne

Hi all,

I was curious about those divots in the base as well. After puzzling over the photos for some time and doing some searching on the internet I formulated a hypothesis.

Ran it by Wes who thought it plausible and suggested I post it here. So...

I think I see in 
that first photo a slight concave curve in that bell base running laterally as the base would have been oriented in service.
And with that peculiar 
pattern of depressions (3 - 4 - 4 - 3) and ... are those cutting torch marks(?)
I wonder if the bell 
base was adapted at some point in its life to sit DIRECTLY atop a welt strap, similar the one shown in the photo at this link...

Re: Lap Seam Boilers (ngdiscussion.net)


...but one with round head rivets rather than flat head under where the bell sat.

As to why...? No clue.



Date: 01/09/22 16:02
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: LocoPilot750

Seems to be a boiler top mount cradle, so it either sat on top of an unlagged smokebox, right on the rivets, or recessed down into the jacket & lagging on a riveted seam of the boiler ?

Posted from Android



Date: 01/10/22 09:17
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: BAB

MojaveBill Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The  cavities may be there to lighten the
> weight...
And looks like they were cast in when made not drilled.



Date: 01/10/22 15:38
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: WrongWayMurphy

Removed the nut and washers today, no markings whatsoever.

I guess it will remain a mystery what lokie this came from.




Date: 01/14/22 08:00
Re: Dang this bell is heavy
Author: zoohogger

Pull the bell from the cradle and see what is stamped on the top of the bell itself
Rick Z.



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