Another Brass Bell

While looking at a fresh uncut sheet of brass, I wondered if I had enough existing brass scrap to make a conical bell. Indeed there was enough scrap, so a design was made.

Woooweee, what a crap design. On paper, the design was fine, but the paper design didn't take into account the manufacturing process; and it simply wasn't possible to make the bell according to the design.

Life is like that sometimes: it is necessary to implement a design, but the design wasn't made by someone familiar with the process by which the design will become a reality. To make matters worse, sometimes the person in charge is so unqualified, that they will ignore the input from the people skilled in the manufacturing process who make suggestions for ways to improve the design.

Fortunately for me, I have no problem allowing myself to improve a design after it has been made, or after the building process has begun.

Bad design

The plan was for a conical bell, 6cm tall with a base width a golden ratio smaller than the height. A paper mock-up was made and all seemed fine.

Then I cut some brass, and found the problem.

The top of the bell was easy to align when using paper, but brass sheet is not paper, and it simply wasn't possible for me to get the top to bend properly.

At this point, I could have been an idiot and forced myself to follow the bad design, or I could come up with a creative solution that would solve the problem.

Personally, I am a big fan of creative solutions.

Take off the peak

The solution, was to cut off the top off the bell that was causing such difficulty, and replace it with a flat cap.

Here is the finished cone, with the top removed

Skip some steps

oops, I forgot to take pictures of assembling the cap and clapper. Anyway, here are the final 2 pieces ready for assembly: the cone body, and the cap/clapper.

Assembled and cleaned

After the final pieces were soldered together, a wire brush cleaned up the bell, and then the piece was signed.


To date, this is the smallest bell that I have made, and surprisingly one of the most difficult. Much of that difficulty was due to fighting the shitty design instead of just augmenting the design as soon as possible.

Note to self: a full conical bell is a pain in the ass.

Jezra :)