A ‘bell-team’ consisting of the fearless duo Ash van der Schaaf and Dez Vermeulen assisted by Yours Truly (at a safe distance) has embarked upon the project of designing and casting a church bell. First up, some basic funding was needed, which was duly raised by Yours Truly growing certain lengthy protrusions from his chin which certain people then paid to have taken off (for a minimum of 2 years). The first stage is to melt down scrap copper, brass and tin (donations of these items are still gratefully received). When the melting of metals has been completed, we will first attempt to make a small bell, to ensure that we are doing things correctly. If this succeeds we will go on to the production of a larger bell. When and if this is successful the bell will be offered firstly to the church in Rockingham, but if it is not suitable for them, it will surely find a good home in another FRC.
On Saturday 28 May (see below) we tested the furnace and did a preliminary melt of metals – extracting copper from brass etc. It was soon realised that we would need a larger furnace. An old LPG canister was therefore cut and fitted into a drum with appropriate lining. This setup was given a preliminary test on 26 August. Sump oil in an old gas container is fed by a compressor into a tube in which air is being blown and this air-fuel mixture enters the drum and ignites. The idea is to heat the metal in excess of 1000 degrees centigrade.