Making a Bell

Recently I was trying to think of something new for sales at shows and galleries. I wanted something that would be small enough to be readily affordable yetwould show some uniqueness from "made in China" items. I thought bells would be nice. For sometime I've been thinking about the "yard art" size bells made out of spent gas cylinders, but they're a pain to lug around to shows only to not sell them and have to lug them back home. Then a neighbor got sick and I started to imagine her ringing a little bell to call her husband for something. That brought to mind making smaller little bells. I have some little roses made from thicker guage steel that are hollow in the middle with a hole in the bottom for a stem. What if I added a clapper?

Making bells from a template

A number of bells start life as a sheet metal template which is then pounded into a swage to round it out into bell shape. Don't forget the clapper!

bell template

This is a "storyboard" of one process for making "jingle" bells. This came from Blacksmiths Gallery; they are good people, visit their site for more information:

storyboard of making a jingle bell from Zoeller Forge
How to make a bell storyboard

A Variety of Dinner Bells

    Gee Mom, look what else I've found!

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