Thursday, June 21, 2018

Big Bicycle Bell Ringer

I had always fantasized about putting a train bell on my bike, but since those things are made of cast iron, it would be an unnecessarily heavy addition to my bike (like, even more heavy than the stuff I already put on).  I decided to settle for second best when I found this bell at a garage sale that looks like it goes on a boat.
Ring my bell!
I began work designing a new ringer that wouldn't rattle all over the place while riding.  I used a spring that I found in the street connected to an aluminum tab and bolted the original striker to it.  For the handlebar mount, I modified a bicycle shifter lever mount I had to accept a 1/2" bolt which I tapped a hole in to accept the bell's 5/16"-18 eyelet piece.  To ensure adequate clearance between the bell and handlebars, I turned an aluminum spacer to go in between the bell and mount.  See details below:


Firstly, bending the spring to the proper shape to attach to the 5/16" threaded eyelet piece (upper right of picture).  I also had to bend the other end around to get the proper bolting location.  To avoid cracking the spring, I heated it red hot over the gas burner on my stove before bending.
Testing the striker location and spring mounting.  It appeared the holes in the striker didn't have enough clearance around them to secure the screws properly, so I went ahead and ground away some material.
Grinding some space to fit the nuts and bolts flush.
Now drilling corresponding holes in the aluminum tab.
All the ringer pieces assembled.  I later adjusted the striker position closer to the inside because like this it was too close to the bell, and would ring randomly while riding over bumps.
Now for the handlebar mount; first milling some extra material off to make the mating surface flat.  Before it had a squarish boss on the surface to attach a shifter lever.
Then milling the opposite end flat since it was slightly angled.  The top of the 1/2" bolt will rest on this surface.
Then in potentially the worst lathe setup of the year, I clamped the entire piece by the 1/8" round length to drill the 1/2" hole.
Tapping the 1/2" bolt with 5/16"-18 tap.
The bell mounted on bike.
Inside of the bell with new striker position.
Video demonstrating use (around 40 second mark):

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