February 13, 2009 at 8:53 pm #11064
Hllo Iam new here today and I have been searching for info on making a two piece bell.
The bells that I am interested in making is called a “hawk bell” in native american circles; it’s actually a two piece crotal bell, with a wire or brazed hanger on the top
If there is anyone here that has an article on how these bells are constructed from sheet metal I’d sure be interested in looking at it.
Please if anyone here either can send me a link and or post any images of bells found in a native american context I would sure like to see them,,, from any where in the America’s, dating prior to 1900 and as early as possible.
Thanx very much to the moderator for accepting my apoplication adn to those who virew this post.
February 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm #14455GarryParticipant
Interesting bell, I believe this is a photo of one that I found on the internet – but correct me if I am wrong.
From what History I have found on these, they originated in Europe, primarily as trade items from both Britain and Spain. Originally used on the leggings of hunting hawks, the natives of America used them as decorations sewn on to ceremonial clothing. They do turn up from time to time on auction sites and garage sales.
I managed to pick a couple up that were apparently from a military temporary encampment in the 1800’s. I haven’t quite reconciled how they came to be there, apparently there were a number of them. But I digress.
I haven’t researched much on the construction, but I would start looking around European bell factories if I were you. They might be able to tell you something about how they were made.
February 16, 2009 at 1:44 pm #14456hjlongMember
I’ve seen bangles on “Fancy Dancer” costumes that are made of sheet tin, usually the lid of a snuff can that is crimped into a bell shape and attached to the dancer’s robe with fine wire or thread indise each other so that they rattle or ring like a bell.
Harry Long, MD
February 19, 2009 at 7:38 pm #14457
Hello, well the bell image is not what I am looking for sorry, the bell type is a small 2 piece bell with a small pebble or piece of iron inside to amke the sound, I have heard of them called dexter bells, but I have not seen an image of a dexter bell, basically the bells that I want to make are soldered aound the 2 edges that are formed during pressing the brass, they are small and have several forms, I have seen web sites that show bell construction but is a bit of a hassle to adapt what they have to say.
From what I can gather the sheet brass is pressed into form and then the 2 halves joined.
These are also called crotal bells or pellet bells.
thank you for your replies.
February 19, 2009 at 9:58 pm #14458hjlongMember
Dexter Bells were pressed brass or steel in 2 parts and crimped in a ring around the middle. They were mass produced by the N.N.Hill Brass Company and subsequently by Bevin Brothers in East Hampton, CT. They were used as sleigh bells on straps of leather and as “Sunday Straps” on hinged metal belt. They were often Nickel plated when on a “Sunday Strap”. I’ve never heard them called Hawk Bells.
Harry Long, MD
February 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm #14459
I have some of the “Hawk Bells” you refer to. They were often used on baby rattles and childrens toys. They were called hawk bells as they were also attached to the legs of hawks.Indians used them to adorn ceremonial clothing, and the originals are still valued for this purpose. They are stamped brass made of two pieces without solder. The two halves are attached by crimping one part over the other at the seam in the middle which sticks out like a flange. I suspected they may have been made by N N Hill Brass Mfg. Co. of East Hampton because N N Hill was one of the earliest adopters of the pressed steel process of making bells, in a time when most bells were cast. I don’t have nor have I seen any catalogs of N N Hill that predate the bell toy catalog of theirs from 1905. In that catalog they have bells that look like hawk bells that they called “Sterling (that was a name they used for many of their toys) Toy and Masquerade Bells”. They were sized from No. 1 through No. 8. N N Hill also made many pressed steel bells for toys and such, that they advertised as”Cold Rolled Steel Sleigh Bells”. These bells do not have a seam at midpoint. New and old versions of the hawk bells can be found on ebay usually just by searching with the keywords hawk bells. New hawk bells differ from the ones produced in the 1800s in the way they are attached to something. The old bells had a single hole hole in the base through which one would send a wire loop, Y’d out inside the bell and looped outside. The new ones don’t have a hole, and instead have two slits, and the area between the two slits is pressed outward from the bell allowing a small loop for the tie on point. Both versions contain a small jinglet inside. Dexter bells show up in my 1910 N N Hill catalog for the Hardware and Saddelry Trade. They are larger than hawk bells and shaped more like a traditional sleigh bell, whereas the hawk bells were squat. Dexter bells have a seam at the midpoint, and are flattened at the pont where they would attach to a sleigh bell strap. I hope someone can help more with the manufacturing process. If anyone out there has any early N N Hill catalogs or other bell toy catalogs, or advertisements, I’d love to get copies of them. I’m especially interested in the bell toy making history of East Hampton Connecticut. Life is good, Bob If you’re interested please see my web site about bell toys: http://belltoys.ning.com/
February 23, 2009 at 3:13 pm #14460
Here’s a photo of some hawk bells. I found this on ebay. They are the old style. Life is good, Bob Watrous
February 23, 2009 at 9:40 pm #14461
Hey Robert thank you for thereply.
This is what I am looking for , you nailed it,.
I have not found a good repro. of these bells, so I am just going to make them, but I could use some help, perhaps someone knows where I can find a how to article, I did enquire on “blacksmiths.com?” but so far after weeks there has been no reply.
Once again thanx for your reply, would it be possible for you to post some printed materials from your books etc?
February 24, 2009 at 3:54 am #14462
I haven’t written any books yet. I’ve been researching, and one day may write one, but I keep finding more questions I want answered the more I research! I doubt you’d find anything for this subject under blacksmithing. This is more of a machine shop issue. You would need a metal press and other machine shop type equipment to do a good job of making these. I’m sure you’d have to invest a small fortune to do these so they looked professional. You could otherwise make them by simply pounding your sheet metal into a void you created in a block of steel, and cutting out the openings with a dremel or such tool. The originals would have had the openings cut out with a die specially shaped. The tricky part is wrapping the two together at the seam. This would require some tool I am not familiar with. Perhaps someone else out there knows what it would be called. It would have to press and roll the edge. I looked into having reproduction steel wheels for the Watrous bell toys made. While the material is harder to work with it was a simple pressing operation. It was going to cost over a thousand to make a set of dies to make one wheel design. Then it was additional for each wheel made, and then add plating costs. Of course a die wears out also, so it’s only good for ? how many wheels before it’s back to making another. If you can buy old hawk bells at about 6 for $20 there isn’t much in the way of dollars and cents in making them. It would be cheaper to buy them unless you are planning on making thousands, or you’re just challenged. Life is good, Bob
March 12, 2009 at 11:30 pm #14463bobbamParticipant
I’ve heard them called “falcon bells” Make an internet search in that term, and you’ll find all sorts of manufacturers, sales companies, and such about them … used in the USA and Great Britain (and other countries I’m sure in the sport of falconry. I’ve never heard them called Hawk bells, or Dexter bells.
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