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4x4 span load for 600# bell

1444 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Daniel Holzman
We obtained a 4-600# old church bell and have constructed a small bell tower from which to hang it. The top portion is essentially 4'x4' outside dimensions and is well sized to carry the load, now I need to put a crossmember from which to hang the bell. As such, it will only have a free span of about 3'5" and will be bearing 3 1/2" on either end. The bell will hang from the center.

I assume that a treated 4x4 would probably handle that fine, but would probably double it. We don't want to hang our giant paperweight until I find some span calculations to ensure it is quite safe. Where or what are the calculations for such? I know how to find tables to tell me lumber sizes for all kinds of typical building scenarios, but have no idea how to find the capacity for a single heavy object, and I thought someone here might be able to help.
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Thank you!!! BTW, what would a reasonable safety factor in such calculations?
Thank you. One more question: I happen to have some 3/16" - 1 1/2" steel angle iron on hand. If I placed two pieces of this angle iron supporting the lower corners of the 4x4 (one on each side wrapping the corners and under the 4x4 at the supported ends), I'm guessing that would that provide the support needed?
Or should I stick to the 6x6 and head off to the lumber yard :)
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