I was wondering what to use for a bell on my latest restoration, when I came across a lonely and rusted chromed bell. In a past life, I was a junk magnet …
Once rust gets underneath chrome there’s not much that can be done except to remove the loose and flaky or blistered chrome, as it will eventually come away anyhow, as the rust continues eating away underneath.
I always try to return rusted bells to their smooth shiny chrome at first, but sometimes this doesn’t really work. They seem to look better then if “aged” by hand.
So if the rust is beneath the surface and chrome is spoiled I sometimes get brutal with a small file or sandpaper and steel wool. I don’t worry about scratch marks in this case because they give an additional surface character. In this case there was still some “shiny” left in places. Anything loose has been removed and the surface is rust free and smooth, yet visually scratched and worn. To prevent rusting again and keep the shine, I clear coated it with “White Knight” brand clear epoxy. Fishoil or rust converter can be useful inside where appearance doesn’t matter as much.
These newer bells with plastic internals seem fragile, but generally last OK if not abused too much, as the mechanism is at least mostly out of the sun’s U.V. (unlike me!)
I know it’s a bit obsessive, but here is how they reassemble :
Ahh, metal – there’s only so much you can do with plastic – or someone would have made it ring by now, I’m sure.
Anyway, enough faffing about, I feel like going for a ride on a stormy Tuesday … ding-a-ling !