"Phoenix" Bells of St Mary's

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 07-06-2012 07:54 PM 1666 views 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I named these the “Phoenix” bells because they literally rose out of the ashes. I first posted them in this project- – over a year ago when I made the holder for the original bells of the first St Mary Magdalen church from 1956. Last Sunday night, the church caught fire and was almost entirely destroyed. The biggest loss was the full array of stained glass windows that were made by a single artist, Maria Orr, over the course of 3 years. They were dedicated last year.

I knew where they kept the bells in the front of the church, so yesterday, Tim, Bob and I sifted through the rubble a foot deep with a shovel and rake and we found all three bells. We wanted to have a chance to look before an end loader cleared the area. The 4th pictures shows what they looked like after the fire. The brass inserts also survived and I used them over on this holder.

The holder is a bit different in contour and it is made of quarter sawn white oak with Zar 120 stain. The finish is clear matte spray.

The bells will be a surprise for Fr. Godfrey when he says the 5 o’clock mass tomorrow at the East Kentwood high school auditorium.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

26 comments so far

View littlecope's profile


3018 posts in 2595 days

#1 posted 07-06-2012 08:43 PM

Wonderful Project Jim… Awful about the Church though!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Alongiron's profile


494 posts in 1786 days

#2 posted 07-06-2012 08:52 PM

Too bad about the church but glad you were able to save some of the memories! Great work as always!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....Steve Lien

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2737 posts in 2006 days

#3 posted 07-06-2012 08:53 PM

Great project Jim! sorry about the church.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View peteg's profile


3477 posts in 1915 days

#4 posted 07-06-2012 09:16 PM

Fabulous reconstruction Jim, a fire like this takes an awful lot of selflessly donated treasures with it but there are always good folk like yourself who step up to the mark & do it all again.
Good luck Mate

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

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Joe Lyddon

8558 posts in 3145 days

#5 posted 07-06-2012 09:45 PM

Very nice ‘rememberance’ project.

A real shame about those stained glass windows…

COOL bells!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

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4270 posts in 1605 days

#6 posted 07-06-2012 09:54 PM

Well a very special project indeed and I know the pastor will be over whelmed. Sorry about the church.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View RKaste's profile


144 posts in 1249 days

#7 posted 07-06-2012 11:00 PM

Sad to hear about the church and yes the pastor will be surprised to see the bells, Outstanding job

-- --May you have fair winds and following seas--

View Roger's profile


17851 posts in 1897 days

#8 posted 07-06-2012 11:33 PM

1st off, sorry to hear about such a bad thing. You’re a good guy Jim. You’ve done a fine job of literally bringing them out of the ashes. How bout a little clip so we can hear what those babies sound like?? (if possible) and thnx

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View jack1's profile


2015 posts in 3120 days

#9 posted 07-06-2012 11:59 PM

Plucked from the ashes… What a great thing you’ve done. Hope the church is quickly rebuilt.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Woodwrecker's profile


3769 posts in 2668 days

#10 posted 07-07-2012 01:37 AM

Triumph from tragedy.
Nice job Jim.
You picked up some “special points” for that one !

-- Eric down in sunny Florida.

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Bob Collins

1876 posts in 2776 days

#11 posted 07-07-2012 01:51 AM

Nice save Jim and beautiful piece of restoring. Sorry to hear about your Church and I’m sure your Pastor will be surprised.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

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3212 posts in 2689 days

#12 posted 07-07-2012 02:08 AM

Bless you Jim See you tomorrow. Where is the auditorium?

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

14435 posts in 2198 days

#13 posted 07-07-2012 02:29 AM

Hi Rick. To get to the auditorium, take the drive in like we go to the guild meeting, but do not turn right at the stop sign. Go straight and look for door K on the right…............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View rance's profile


4198 posts in 2253 days

#14 posted 07-07-2012 04:32 AM

That will be a great surprise. Very nice of you to put this together for Fr. Godfrey.

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

View Rick's profile


8287 posts in 2125 days

#15 posted 07-07-2012 06:14 AM

Nice Project! Thanks for Posting!


-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

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