Turning Archive

Re: handbell ornaments
Response To:
Re: handbell ornaments ()

John K Jordan
>>> Mine do not make a pleasant tone.

Mine make kind of a clack! Hard exotics like ebony and rosewoods make a louder clack. I've been meaning to try making one from sassafras - thin sassafras has more of a ring to it than any other wood. Maybe I'll do one with the batch I'm making now...

(This reminds me of the guy who turned a working trumpet. He said it sounded kind of like a duck.)

My clappers are turned from the same wood as the handle, mostly for looks. I thought about turning a brass clapper; it might make a better sound.

I know some people turn bells without clappers. That's not fair! I think a bell should have a clapper even if it thuds instead of rings! :-)

I turned a couple recently from acrylic. One came out very nice, turned from green acrylic so dark it looked black. Since the bells are thick at the top and very thin at the rim the color was perfect, dark at the top and lighter green at the rim. I took pictures so I'll post some when I get time. The acrylic bells "click" instead of "clack."

I also learned the hard way not to use acrylic that is a light color. I make these so thin that the color is almost gone - might as well have used clear acrylic!

I turn a little bead for the clappers and a small piece for the top hanger, both on the same piece of wood. I cut a little cone, flatten it with a scalpel, then drill a hole sideways for the wire.

As I mentioned, I used to make a loop on the wire on both top and bottom but I do it an easier way now. I found straight brass wires at the hobby shop with a loop formed on one end. I spread the loop and fit it onto the hanger, the part that has a tenon that is then glued into the end of the handle to hold the thing together. Then I drill a hole in the clapper (an elongated bead now) straight down into the top, cut the wire to the right length, and glue it into the clapper. This is easier and works as well.

I know some people use a flexible bit of something like stiff fishing line and just glue it in top and bottom.


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