Bells

How our Bells are Made

All of our bells, desktop chimes and bowls are made from as much recycled material as possible. Our primary source of metal comes from decommissioned and salvaged high pressure gas canisters. These are largely old oxygen, helium and CO2 tanks which have failed hydrostatic testing. 
Some of our tanks have interesting histories, dating back to the early 1900’s. The stamped markings near the top of each tank can reveal much about what the tank was used for and where it came from. It is increasingly difficult to find these old tanks.
We safely cut each tank into lengths that we suspect will produce the finest sound and tone. The tone and quality of sound is determined by the diameter, thickness of the tank wall, length and curvature or the top. Each tank is truly unique. Two tanks, which are the same size, may reveal very different sounds and tones due to the metallurgy of the steel. We use all parts of each tank - top, bottom and middle sections - and often fabricate tops which produce a delightful long-resonating sound.
After the tanks are cut to size, they go through a sandblasting process inside and outside. This removes old paint, grease and discoloration. Then we weld a hanger into the bell, grind down any rough areas and smooth the rim. Now that the tank has been transformed into a bell, we apply a patina which accelerates the rusting process and allows us some degree of creativity in designing the look. We then apply coats of lacquer and install the clanger. The actual striker is made from a recycled hockey puck. The density of the hockey puck is just right to produce a soft and pleasing sound. Each bell is unique so the final outcome of our process is always a bit of a surprise!

After the bell is finished, we ‘pitch’ the sound. Even though we have a general idea of what note the bell will produce, each one ultimately rings to its own note. 
John holding a one gallon container

This photo and descriptions below show you the relative size of the bells. (Sizes may vary slightly.) 
Numbered 1-5, left to right:
1. Large 18" height, 9" diameter, 45 lbs.
2, 4. Small 11-12" height, 6" diameter, 16-18 lbs.
3. Temple 23" height, 9" diameter, 60 lbs.
5. Medium 16" height, 6" diameter, 19 lbs.
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