The Making and Sounding of a Temple Bell

Every temple should have a bell, even the Cabal Fang Temple.  Whether it is a cathedral or a chapel, a Buddhist temple or a Shinto shrine, there just has to be bell to to summon and unite the faithful, drive away the negative spirits, and gain the attention of the positive ones.

The problem is, bells are hard to find, and even when you do, they’re expensive.  And they take up a great deal of space, unless your temple has a bell tower or belfry, which ours does not.

So I decided to make a tubular bell from materials I had around the house (after all, the third Vital Grace of Cabal Fang is Frugality).  Here’s the final product:

Before I got started I did a ton of reading at Lee Hite’s Hands-on Engineering website.  This guy knows just about everything there is to know about making tubular bells a.k.a. chimes (and about other stuff too)!

I found a piece scrap of chain link fence pipe out behind the shed and sanded off all the rust.  Shot out the inside with a hose to remove any dirt.  Cut both ends off clean and filed them smooth.  Then, per Lee Hite’s recommendation, I drilled two mounting holes 22.42% of the way from the top end.  According to Mr. Hite’s math, this results in the longest possible sustained note.

To save space, rather than choosing the classic wire-through-the-middle-wind-chime method, I opted for a single hanging wire.  Using a heavy duty paperclip, I made an inverted “V” hanger.  As you can see by the pictures, I attached some picture hanging wire to the hanger and installed it with ease.  Once it was in place, I bent up the tips and it was hung.  Two coats of gold spray paint and voilà — one pretty tubular bell.  While the paint dried I made a striker from a scrap of maple and added a leather thong.

Refer to the picture set below for clarification.  I love this bell.  I can’t believe that, for just pennies and about an hour of work I was able to make something so beautiful.

2 responses to “The Making and Sounding of a Temple Bell

  1. Pingback: I am so High Right Now | Robert Mitchell Jr.

  2. Pingback: The Temple Bell: Hermetic Antidotes to Modern Problems | Robert Mitchell Jr.

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