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Bell casting in photo documentation (Part 1)

All fittings must be allowed to dry slowly. After that, the coating can be raised, the false bell can be removed, the core mould can be set in the casting pit and the coating can once again be carefully inverted over it. At the end, the bell mould is completed with the crown (suspension) and the gating and ventilation system.

Beginning of the moulding process
Bell foundry
You can see how a bell is moulded in our bell foundry. However, the most important work has already been done with it if the rib (the bell profile) has been calculated and its marked cross-section has been attached as a template which can be rotated around the mould.
Manufacture of the core and the "cavity" of the bell
Bell foundry
Bell foundry
The bell creator builds the core from clay blocks and layers. It corresponds to the inner profile of the bell. The application of the following loam layers is then done by hand. The surface of the core is flattened with the inside of the stencil.
Finished core with cut out template
Bell foundry
Bell foundry
The second part is known as the model bell or the "false bell", whose circumference corresponds exactly with the to-be-cast bell. To create it, the template is now cut up to the second (outer) line, and fine loam layers are applied on the core until the intermediate space is filled in.
False bell with bell jewellery
Bell foundry
Bell foundry
The false bell represents a model of the to-be-cast bell. The bell decoration (whose details have been determined in a wax model beforehand according to the client’s wishes) is then applied on the final layer which is smoothened down with the template.
Further false bell examples
Bell foundry
Bell foundry
Additional false bell examples with applied bell jewellery.
Application of the first loam layer of the mantle
Bell foundry
After all decorative elements have been applied the first loam coating of the mantle is applied. The modelling clay used for this is extremely fine, and is carefully applied with a paintbrush. It contains clay and brick dust sieved multiple times, in order to guarantee good bonding and to prevent cracks.
Application of the mantle and the finished mantle
Bell foundry
Bell foundry
The finished mantle includes all previous mouldings with a thick layer and is deformed(to the point where it hardly looks like a bell any more) in the foundry. Supplemented with the crown, the mould is located in the casting pit and is filled with bell bronze (so-called stannite) at approx. 1100°.
Cut through a finished bell mould
Bell foundry
A cut through a finished bell mould with core, false bell, mantle and attached crown.