Monday, October 28, 2013

Ship's Bell to Dinner Bell

Many homes have a dinner bell, they're a great way to let everyone know the food is hot and ready. We have a new dinner bell in our house, but ours is a little different, it is very much nautically themed!

We were very lucky to have found this bell for only $20!  It was on clearance from a very pricey model ship vendor at our last festival of sail.

The reason for the marked down price was because it was missing its clapper and was tarnished.

That didn't stop us, we knew we could fix it and it would look great in our house!  So off to the craftstore we went to pick up a mounting plaque and a ball to make a new clapper.  The dowel was actually part of a broken wooden coat hanger!

Ben cut the dowel down to size and then drilled a hole in the wooden ball.

He then glued the dowel into it.  I forgot to take pictures, but next he screwed eye hooks into both ends so that we could attach them.  Currently we have a temporary string; Ben plans on tying up a traditional sailors rope and attaching it.  I'll do an update when that happens!

Back to our mounting plaque.  We picked up some wood stain and applied two coats to darken the wood.

We decided it looked too flat and were about to run out and buy some clear coat when Ben had a flash of brilliance; he decided to check the stash of paint in the garage left by the previous owners, lucky for us they left us a gift!  One coat of clear coat later and our plaque was looking seaworthy!

Look at how beautiful the brass is with the wood!

Next up was to deal with the tarnish to the brass.

I had found a recipe online for brass polish it called for 6 tbsp flour, 6 tbsp salt and enough vinegar to turn it into a paste.

Then using a soft cloth and a little elbow-grease you rub it till it shines!

Check out the difference!

The bell was looking much better!

Ben became more and more excited as he watched the bell transform!

Then we marked the spots for the holes in our cabinet and Ben drilled the holes.  He also pre-drilled the holes into the plaque too.

Solid brass bells are quite heavy, so to add some support we tightened the screws in place with washers and nuts.

Ready for the bell!

Ah, here it comes, moving into it's new home adjacent to the kitchen!

Look at that face, boy was he happy!

The bell's beautiful sound carries throughout the whole house!  I can now make announcements for dinner with it!

Now time for some glamour shots of the beauty!

Ben rings the bell to let me know the time every hour and half hour.  Good thing he doesn't remember to do it while sleeping!

My sailor is a happy man with this new addition to our home!  And I can't wait to use it to call the family to dinner, I think the sound will ring out into our backyard and get our children's attention one day in the future!

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