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Old 11-13-2005, 10:43 AM
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Painting church bell and steel supports

Knowing I've painted a couple of cars, some folks at church foolishly concluded I'd be the ideal candidate to head up a repaint effort for our rusting and peeling church bell. This bell is in the front courtyard of the church, and is mounted on a steel frame at ground level so it will be easy to get at. The bell is not just an ornament, however. It is rung on Sundays as well as many other special occasions.

My thought regarding a repaint is to haul over my portable (Sears) sand blaster and strip the thing down and then brush paint it with POR 15. But if any of you have experience with this sort of thing or have a better idea how to refurbish the bell and frame so that it won't just start rusting again, I'd be grateful for your input.

Dewey.

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Old 11-13-2005, 01:41 PM
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I don't see why that wouldn't work. The only drawback is the temperature this time of the year. I think POR-15 has a range of application temperatures, i.e. warmer than it is now. Can you wait until spring?
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Old 11-13-2005, 06:02 PM
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Yup, this will definately be a spring or early summer project...so temp should not be a problem.
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Old 11-13-2005, 06:39 PM
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WOW! I've never heard of anyone painting a bell. I need to email you about the setup of your bell. We had to remove ours from the belfry also. Not safe anymore. It was swaying really bad in a thunderstorm. Thought the whole thing was going to come down.
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Old 11-14-2005, 03:15 AM
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Hotrodders do the darnedest things.

There's no doubt that it's steel?

Can you get it down and haul it to your garage?

Can it be plated?

If you do paint it, at least it won't face any worse extremes of weather than cars do. The trouble spots will be where the clapper hits. Maybe just those areas could be brass or copper plated? Heating it to apply a brazing rod would likely kill the sound. Maybe any kind of plating operation would also hurt the way it sounds.

You sure came up with a puzzler, Cboy.
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Old 11-14-2005, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grouch
There's no doubt that it's steel?
Well, it's whatever metal bells are usually made of. And it rusts. Plus the frame it hangs on also has steel components.

Quote:
Can you get it down and haul it to your garage?
I could probably get the bell down without too much trouble and haul it to the garage but I know it wouldn't fit through the door of my blasting cabinet. Also, there is the steel framework which needs to be repainted as well, so I figured I would just do everything right in place.

Quote:
Can it be plated?
You got me there...but the first thing I think of regarding plating is the expense. But that DOES raise another interesting question. Could it be powder coated and would that be a better alternative than POR 15. I don't think we could get the frame apart to powder coat that, but at least we might be able to do the bell. We have a local outfit that makes steel piers and docks and they have a powder coating facility large enough to accommodate something the size of the bell. So it could be done if that sounds like the better choice.
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Old 11-14-2005, 04:45 PM
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would it be easier to switch religions?
Powdercoating should be more durable then if you painted it, no idea what that would run though.
I am thinking maybe some industrial type paint. If you are going to blast the stuff, maybe some kind of epoxy once cleaned up. They make all sorts of epoxy products.
What the heck do they use to paint bridges and junk that are exposed to the elements, and may see salt water or who knows what?
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Old 11-14-2005, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenseth17
What the heck do they use to paint bridges and junk that are exposed to the elements, and may see salt water or who knows what?
You might have something there!

From http://goldengatebridge.org/research/facts.php (about 1/3 of the way down the page):
Quote:
HOW OFTEN IS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE PAINTED?

Many misconceptions exist about how often the Bridge is painted. Some say once every seven years, others say from end-to-end each year. Actually, the Bridge was painted when it was originally built. For the next 27 years, only touch up was required. By 1965, advancing corrosion sparked a program to remove the original paint and replace it with an inorganic zinc silicate primer and acrylic emulsion topcoat. The program was completed in 1995. The Bridge will continue to require routine touch up painting on an on-going basis.
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Old 11-14-2005, 05:43 PM
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Zinc rich primer and moisture cured urethane would be the most durable with the exposure and would also be the least likely to dampen the bells tone too much.

There are some other specialty products with a thinner dry film but they are also very expensive. I spent a decade or so selling the stuff and applying it, it works. Just remember to wear gloves because it doesn't come off with any solvent that'll leave your skin alone.

Larry
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Old 11-15-2005, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenseth17
would it be easier to switch religions?
Problem is this is a Lutheran Church. And if you try to escape they hunt you down, encase your feet in a bucket of banana filled red jello and throw you in the lagoon.
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:06 AM
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Oh no! Not the old banana-filled jello torture. When will the persecution end?

I've never tried it, but the guys that sell POR-15 at meets usually beat on their sample with a hammer or something. Of course, you're talking about a big hammer.
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