October 28, 2011

Butler's Bell

Rose is not at her best in the mornings until she has had a good cup of tea. As I am frequently up early it falls to me to supply this while Rose is still in bed. The problem lies in knowing when to present the said cuppa!

My solution - a butler's bell.

We purchased one from Doorchimes.UK and it duly came, complete with string and three brass pulleys. The rather limited instructions suggested the length of string and number of pulleys be limited.

Original brass pulley

el Cheapo pulleys
Of course I had to get the string through a wall, upstairs through the ceiling, along a kick wall and then over a cathedral ceiling. This meant I had to purchase two more pulleys.

Old rock drill bit for weight
To get over the ceiling I used some heavy twine in a plastic conduit and then to overcome the friction I placed a large weight at one end. A hefty pull down from the other end lifted the weight. When it was released it was meant to pull down on the string leading to the chime. Unfortunately the length of string and the number of pulleys meant the whole thing didn’t work. I increased the weight (to 0.8 kg - using an old broken rock drill bit!) but still no action.

Ball bearing from old router (1)
Ball bearing from old router (2)

I surmised that the friction on the el cheapo pulleys was the problem and I needed two decent ball bearings. These came from an old router that had blown up. Luckily I was able to make them with grooves so the string didn’t come off. A few bits of home-made mounting brackets (which would have impressed my Dad!) and we were in business.

So now I can rest easy in the morning knowing that I will be summoned at an appropriate time to supply a cuppa and some toast – As a friend of ours once said, “It's not breakfast, but it's certainly a good start!

Actually come to think of it, I'm not sure if this was such a good idea of mine. Maybe it wasn’t my idea at all?

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