Ted’s essays

trombone misuse

dualing doorbells 5xWith our mud room added on, I needed a way to let guests announce their arrival. Knocking on the old front door wasn’t going to work if they couldn’t get to it.

I theorized a ship’s bell might turn the trick. I found a new one on the Internet, but found a bigger, older, heavier one that I lusted after as I suspected it might be heavier, louder and cooler… probably having served a long and full life on an actual SHIP. It was missing its clapper, but I knew I could figure something out.

There was A LOT of elbow grease into it before it looked at all okay. But I wasn’t turning up a solid piece of brass to make a clapper out of. I was trying all sorts of salvage and hardware sources to no avail. I had lots of ideas, none of which worked out.

It had to be brass as anything lighter wouldn’t ring it well, while anything harder might beat up the bell from the inside out.


brass-mouthpiece-in-bell-5x When I found it, I could hardly believe I didn’t think of it long, long before. Am I a trombone player or not???

An extra brass trombone mouthpiece that couldn’t be played as its silver plate was long gone and wasn’t worth replating as that would cost more than a replacement and, besides, I have several functional examples of that same size, shape mouthpiece with full silver plate.


And just oozes trombone geek coolness

While it does ring true, clear, beautiful and loud, the insulation and construction of our house was enough to silence it. Our guests were still unable to announce themselves.


Thus the newly-installed conventional, electric doorbell now underneath.