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Why Your Valuable American-made Handbells
Should be Serviced at Regular Intervals

 

Although your handbells are relatively simple devices, you might be surprised to learn that each bell is comprised of over 25 separate components. Many of these components
are friction-bearing parts that exist only to absorb wear. Every time the bell is rung, a tiny bit
of wear occurs, and after a year or two of consistent usage, enough wear has occurred
to affect the playing action of the bell.

Because this wear occurs so slowly and over such a long period, you may hardly even notice it.
But rest assured it is happening, and whether it is readily apparent to you or not,
the playing action and playing response of your bells is constantly changing.

Handbell Parts

 


Cursor over images for detail.

Many of the parts utilized in modern-day handbells are made of plastic, urethane, neoprene, or other modern polymers. Your manufacturer chose these materials carefully. Their supple and pliable nature wears well, is responsive to fine adjustments, and these light components help to keep the weight down on each bell making them easier to handle and causing less ringer fatigue. However, these materials don’t last forever. As they age, they become less pliable and more brittle. Their responsiveness to adjustments lessens, and eventually this results in cracked or broken parts that cause your bells to acquire a harsh, strident tone, inconsistent playing action, and in some cases, the bells become completely inoperable.

Today’s handbells feature adjustable clapper heads allowing for
individual voicing of each bell.

This voicing flexibility is an important feature that can make or break the sound of your choir. While these adjustable components are designed to be user serviceable, unless you work with this concept of voicing on almost a daily basis, you probably won’t be as comfortable or effective voicing your bells as a competent professional technician would be.

 

Finally, there is the issue of routine cleaning and polishing.
Depending on the climate where you live, the environment where your bells are stored when not in use, the condition of your cases and the effectiveness of your own maintenance regimen, your bells will need to be professionally machine cleaned periodically. Regular routine inspection by your service professional will help you to determine just when your bells become due for this important servicing. Regularly scheduled servicing for your bells, performed by an experienced professional technician will keep your bells in tip top condition at all times. Adjustments will be made to each bell compensating for the natural wear that occurs over time. Cracked or broken parts will be replaced before they can adversely affect your bells. Playing action will be regulated for consistency and uniformity from bell to bell, and the all-important individual voicing of each clapper head will assure that your bells always produce that matched set sound and even-blended timbre that makes your choir a pleasure to hear.

 

 

Checklist

A written service report is provided for each set of bells I service.
This service report is itemized for each bell, and shows exactly what services were performed, what parts were replaced, includes a section for miscellaneous comments, and recommends the date of the next servicing required. Prudent directors will use this report to assist in budget planning.

 

A reminder notice is sent out in advance of the repeat service date allowing ample time for convenient scheduling of your next servicing.
 

 

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