The Basic School (TBS) Bell Stand

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Project by Woodbutcher3 posted 07-16-2010 02:22 PM 9262 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Marines (Yes, I am one) have many traditions from their Navy Brothers in arms. One is the use of a ships bell at some of the military functions. For those of us that went through TBS, the Marine’s Officer School (Hotel Co., ‘75 for me), this bell was often used for Mess Nights celebrating many of our traditions.

This bell came from a Navy ship. And the tradition of baptisms using the ship’s bell, was followed using this one. The bell is removed from it’s place on ship, turned over, filled with water and used for the baptism. Then, there is a brass plaque mounted inside the bell where it would not interfere with the clapper. This bell had about ten inside. While it did come from a one time active ship, I cannot remember the name of the ship.

There was an awkward square stand that had just been thrown together to hold this bell for ceremonies. I’m sure it was someone still learning their woodworking skills as it looked a lot like something I would have built in my early experiences.

I designed a goose neck stand with the triangular base as support. I used three slabs of 1” white oak to build each of the three sections that made up the stand. The sections fit together with tendon that was the full width of the neck. I glued up the three pieces of wood with a slot or tongue at each end. Since I had glued three pieces of wood, I didn’t need to do any cutting for the tendons and sockets, I adjusted the middle piece of wood to either be the tendon or the socket.

Once I had the three piece neck glued up, I used the full size pattern I designed to cut the neck out. At the top of the neck, the bell had to fit in. So, I drilled a two stepped socket the bell would fit into. Since there was hole through the top of the bell, it was easy to bolt it through the top of the neck. But, a bell requires a solid rest so the bell would give it’s full tone. So, I filled the socket with bondo (yes, one of my favorite “tools”) to give it a solid seat.

The base triangular base gives the bell a very solid foundation. It takes a lot to tip it over (not that I’ve tried). The lasering on the base was done by a friend of mine ~ (Friends with lasers are very nice to have!)

Semper Fi!

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

9 comments so far

View olddutchman's profile


187 posts in 4415 days

#1 posted 07-16-2010 03:15 PM

That is a great job. I understand. My brother-in-law, and sister-in-law were Marine, and Navy respectively

-- Saved, and so grateful, consider who Created it ALL!!!

View Woodbutcher3's profile


459 posts in 3366 days

#2 posted 07-16-2010 03:28 PM

OldDutchman – love your tag!

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View prime8's profile


42 posts in 4098 days

#3 posted 07-16-2010 05:16 PM

ooo-raaaah! Devil Dog!

-- [\/\/\/\/\/]

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 4222 days

#4 posted 07-16-2010 05:43 PM


-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View RandyMarine's profile


236 posts in 3849 days

#5 posted 07-16-2010 06:50 PM


-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 4287 days

#6 posted 07-16-2010 08:46 PM

Uh Rah! You’ve done yeoman’s work. It’s time to splice the main brace! Most importantly . .. thanks for your service to country. Semper Fi.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 4200 days

#7 posted 07-17-2010 04:08 AM

Semper awosome. Great post, great project. USMC 97-05

-- christopheralan

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3640 days

#8 posted 07-17-2010 09:03 PM

At first I thought to myself “Self, why would he hang a bell on a banana holder?” then I read the text. :D Ya did a nice job dude.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Woodbutcher3's profile


459 posts in 3366 days

#9 posted 07-17-2010 11:37 PM

Rance – You know us Marines are big bananas!

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

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