Newman Center Bells Cast

January 28, 2014

On Monday, January 27th, three of the four bells for the St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Newman Center were cast by The Verdin Company at their foundry in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The bell molds, made of sand and epoxy, were prepared over the past week. Three thousand pounds of bronze, an 80% copper and 20% tin mixture, was heated to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. The molten bronze was poured not directly from the furnace but from a smaller ladle that is easier to control. From the ladle, the bronze is then carefully poured into each of the bell molds.

After the bells have cooled, the next steps will be to break the molds, grind and polish the bells, and etch their names. 

Watch the recording of the bell pour:

More information on the St. Thomas Bells from the Verdin website:

St. Thomas Aquinas Church expects to complete construction of their new church in late fall of 2014. The new church will be built at the same location as the old one, 16th & Q Street, which is becoming the front entrance to a growing UNL City Campus.

The church was designed by Clark Architects Collaborative 3 and McCrery Architects.

A focal point of the new church is the 200 ft. bell tower. The bell tower will feature four new bronze bells cast at Verdin’s bell foundry on January 24, 2014. The combined weight of the new bronze bells will be approximately 1,900 pounds.

The four new swinging Verdin bells will be installed by The Verdin Company —a sixth generation Catholic family business. The largest of the four bells (990 lbs.) can also ring while stationary is used for funeral tolls and hour strikes.

Once installed in the new tower a state-of-the-art bell ringing system will provide St. Thomas Aquinas with the ability to schedule and play the bells the call to worship, the daily Angelus, and hour strikes. The bells will also be used to honor the faithfully departed and to celebrate special occasions, holidays, and other special events.

Photo Credit: Don Hartmann, The Verdin Company