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creativehum

Removing A Bell From a Chapel Belfrey [obscure and specific]

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Hello smart people.

Let us assume a group of adventurers have come across a ruined abbey in the middle of nowhere. They find a valuable bell in the fourth story belfrey of a chapel. Now they want to remove that bell. 

How complicated would it be to remove the bell. What sorts of tools, manpower, and time might be required?

This has nothing to do with Pendragon. But I thought, "Where would be the best source of knowledgeable people to sort this out?" And my first thought was this forum.

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Stonemason and apprentice plus peasant support. They'd have the ropes, wood and expertise to get up there and get it down. Imagine if you wanted to put a new stone cross on top of your belfry, who would you get to do it. Depending on the size two people climb up and dismount it, lower down with a rope, depending on ruin stability, longer if wooden supports needed. Knights look on and point.

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1 hour ago, creativehum said:

How complicated would it be to remove the bell. What sorts of tools, manpower, and time might be required?

Depends on the weight of the bell and if they are just after the metal, or the actual, functioning bronze bell? Is the belfry intact, as in, they can get to the bell? If so, a big enough pulley and strong ropes would seem to be in order. And yes, like David said, some peasants to do the actual work. Basically the best people to do this would be the builders who hoisted the bell up in the first place.

If you are just after the metal, you can probably find a way to break it (the support beam if nothing else) and send it crashing down to the floor, and then just pick the pieces.

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2 hours ago, creativehum said:

Let us assume a group of adventurers have come across a ruined abbey in the middle of nowhere. They find a valuable bell in the fourth story belfrey of a chapel.

Watch the Vikings film for a good example of this.

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1 hour ago, creativehum said:

Welp, this was a brilliant execution of how NOT to get the bell down.

How so? Like the man said, it was the quick way of getting it down. :P

Besides, less shares to split it into! Win-win!

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I never saw the movie, do they give a weight for the bell.

Just going with the fluff of it being 3 times the size of a man, and scaling up a steel bell and adjusting for gold I estimate about 47 tons! That would be something in the neighborhood of £100,000 depending on just how pure the bell was (it would have to be some sort of alloy in order to keep from caving in under it's own weight), as the exchange rate of gold to silver (10:1-20:1 ?). Still even if we went with a "low" of £47,000 libra it would be quite a lot in Pendragon. 

 

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I never saw the movie, do they give a weight for the bell.

Just going with the fluff of it being 3 times the size of a man, and scaling up a steel bell and adjusting for gold I estimate about 47 tons! That would be something in the neighborhood of £100,000 depending on just how pure the bell was (it would have to be some sort of alloy in order to keep from caving in under it's own weight), as the exchange rate of gold to silver (10:1-20:1 ?). Still even if we went with a "low" of £47,000 libra it would be quite a lot in Pendragon.

I would have serious doubts that the bell would be of solid gold. Gold is way too malleable to make for a good bell. The poor vikings probably came across a brightly burnished bronze bell or one with gold leaf on it, and decided that it must be gold. Still, pretty huge amount of bronze.

47 000 tons of silver would be, roughly, 100 000 pounds in weight = £100 000. If it would be pure gold, then, with the 20:1 ratio, it would be £2 000 000. Insane amount of money in Pendragon.

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I'd have to think it would be more or less casted as solid bronze then decorated with gold and silver during cooling. Which seems to be a relatively common 5ft x 5.5ft would be reasonable dimension for it, it seems. Which, should be roughly 100000 pounds, according to the numbers for the Tzar Bell, it would probably have about 400 pounds of decorated gold and silver. So, 400£ + the cost of the bronze.

A brass cooking pot (bronze would be probably slightly less expensive then this, but I didn't have any good weights there) was worth 2 schillings in 1349. Assuming a relatively equal ratio between British Pound and a Pendragon Libra, then a Libra would be 20 schillings. I would guess the cooking pot would be 4-6 pounds, but we'll go on the low side to be safe. Based of this, you're looking at the bronze cost being roughly 25000 cooking pots (haha) or 1250 Libra 

Estimated total 1250 + 400 = 1650 Libra. 

Assuming the succeeded the first time or were able to recover their failure with no material loss. Probably very unlikely to succeed on the first try considering the state of metallurgy. Though it would definitely be possible to do.

Edited by Username

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19 hours ago, Morien said:

I would have serious doubts that the bell would be of solid gold.

Me too.  

19 hours ago, Morien said:

Gold is way too malleable to make for a good bell.

Not to mention the fact that it would probably fold up under it's own weight. 

19 hours ago, Morien said:

The poor vikings probably came across a brightly burnished bronze bell or one with gold leaf on it, and decided that it must be gold. Still, pretty huge amount of bronze.

Yeah, I haven't seen the movie but gold plated seems far more likely than a gold bell. Even a light coating of gold would be a good amount amount on such a huge bell. Considering the surface area  even a 1 micro coating would still end up being  a tidy sum of gold. Then, as you mentioned, there is the bronze, which i probably worth at least 1/20th the price of silver. So that still £5,000!. . 

19 hours ago, Morien said:

47 tons of silver would be, roughly, 100 000 pounds in weight

Which is probably far to heavy for the Vikings to transport, especially by long ship. Maybe they were planning on breaking it up into more manageable pieces?

19 hours ago, Morien said:

 

 

= £100 000. If it would be pure gold, then, with the 20:1 ratio, it would be £2 000 000. Insane amount of money in Pendragon.

Yeah, that's what I was getting at. If truly gold it would be a game changer. It would be like winning the lottery. Smart PKs would give a good percentage of that to the King and to their Liege Lord, and probably wind up as Barons somewhere after the King uses some of his wealth to go conquer another country or three. And they'd have to get permission, and fortify their homes ASAP, as that much wealth puts them at the top of the list for anyone wanting to go raiding. 

With that kind of money a PK could hire the Huns for a couple of decades and carve out his own kingdom -at least until they turn on him -although they might not. They might just marry off a daughter to him, and get the rest of the gold that way. It's just so much gold that all bets are off. 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Username said:

Which, should be roughly 100000 pounds, according to the numbers for the Tzar Bell, it would probably have about 400 pounds of decorated gold and silver. So, 400£ + the cost of the bronze.

Where do you get those numbers???

Tsar Bell is 20' by 22' and weighs around 450000lbs. If you scale it down by a factor of 4 in linear size to 5' by 5.5', as I imagine you are doing, the volume and hence mass goes down by a cube of 4, so 1/64. -> about 7000lbs, or 7% of your original estimate. Tsar Bell had about 1160 lbs of silver and 160 lbs of gold added. Assuming that this would actually scale with only the surface area (power of two), you'd divide by 16, for about 72 lbs of silver and 10 lbs of gold (total cost of about £270), which would be way too much for an ordinary abbey bell. Tsar Bell was THE Bell of the Russian Empire, so I would actually drop the decoration other than just bronze relief.

So, how much for the bronze? Even if it is just the 5% of silver as Atgxtg suggested, this would still be £350! If you look at the cost of building an abbey or a church in ESTATE, this is many times the cost of the building. Using your estimate of about £0.01 per pound of bronze (assuming work is half of the final price and that the pot weighs 5 lbs), then this would be just £70 in bronze, which is still awful lot. Sure, if this is the main abbey of a prosperous order, then I can see it, but similarly, if the loot value is that high, you need to explain why someone had not already looted it? Is the abbey haunted or something? (I think you mentioned that this is not a KAP campaign.)

A third estimate for bronze can be made from Byzantine coinage... A follis weighed a bit more than half again that of a gold nomisma, and was 1/288th of a nomisma. Thus, we can see that the conversion of bronze to gold was about 1/450, pretty close to Atgxtg's 1/20th of a 1/20th = 1/400.

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Some bronze bell sizes and weights from 19th and early 20th century. You can see that 7000lbs is at the upper end of the scale. In short, it would be uncommonly big even in modern era. Not impossible, obviously, but quite big. 

http://www.towerbells.org/data/BellWeightTables.html

 

Here is a summary of church bell sizes in Venice:

 http://www.venipedia.org/wiki/index.php?title=Bells#:~:text=From the graph above%2C it,a standard deviation of 0.106.

Most common ones are around diameter 3 feet and the biggest almost exactly 5 feet. Using the tables above, these would be about 900 and 4200 pounds respectively. Using 1/20 to silver conversion, the price is such a bell would be £45 and £210 respectively. 

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On 6/5/2020 at 1:18 PM, Morien said:

imagine you are doing, the volume and hence mass goes down by a cube of 4, so 1/64

I used the same weight that was mentioned earlier in the thread. And based everything off of an equivalent division of the weight. It seemed to be a reasonable dimension for the dimensions mentioned (man-sized.) But, you're right. It should be factored as a volume based on the weight of the bronze in the bell. And the silver/gold price is probably better as a surface area calculation as well.

 

As to the cost of the bronze I based it off of the cost of brass as I said since there's commercial price lists for brass pots. It's from the price list here which is a good reference, I think. http://medieval.ucdavis.edu/120D/Money.html

 

As to the feasibility of the bell, it's not feasible. I thought we were idly speculating as to the weight of an obviously comical scene where Vikings were taken out by a bell obscenely large. Bells of this size are only find in the Asia were they are hung and hit or in Russia where they are mounted with a knocker. Most of western Europe would have used much smaller swinging bells which would only be a fraction of the size. 

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7 hours ago, Clydwich said:

Anybody noticed that the bell in the movie floats, after hitting the water?

Floats and rolls. I wonder how many weeks some magician had to sleep to pull that off!

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On 6/18/2020 at 4:49 PM, Atgxtg said:
On 6/18/2020 at 9:42 AM, Clydwich said:

Anybody noticed that the bell in the movie floats, after hitting the water?

Floats and rolls. I wonder how many weeks some magician had to sleep to pull that off!

Shallow water

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On 6/21/2020 at 12:32 AM, soltakss said:

Shallow water

What? At the bottom of a steep cliff, with a dragon ship at anchor and not on the beach? Doesn't look shallow to me... ;)

Edited by Clydwich

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Shallow water on a rock shelf with a dragonship moored off the shelf. Dragonships don't need much water to sail on, as they have a low draught, if that's the right term.

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I assumed it was some sort of enchanted bell in the movie, considering how it floats and rolls, and that's it's behavior makes sense in the context of the film. I suppose it could just be a foam bell prop.

 

As for a Drkkar, it only needs 1.5-3' of water -. very shallow draft, so that part works. Getting the Bell on to the ship would be the tricky part. 

 

 

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