Ringmaster Services LLC

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How often should you recondition your bells?

We agree at Ringmaster Services that “if it ainʼt broke, donʼt fix it!” If you take care of the preventive maintenance you can do (as defined on this site), then that is all you need worry about. If your bells look, sound, and work fine, then do not worry about bringing them in for service. If you have a bell or two thatʼs starting to give you grief, get them worked on. When you get to the point that adjusting them yourself will not keep them responding nicely, or there is just so much tarnish or spit spots you canʼt polish off, then maybe it is time for refurbishment. Ringmaster Services hates “rules of thumb” because every bell choirʼs circumstances are different. But, here are some “for instances” based on actual experience.

  • A church with only one adult bell choir using the bells once per week, keeping them well polished and adjusted, might need a Clean / Polish / Adjust and Voice every 5 years and a Reconditioning every 10 or 15 years.
  • A school using the bells hard several periods a day in class with a teacher too busy to maintain the bells sufficiently might need maintenance such as polishing and adjusting every year, a Clean / Polish / Adjust and Voice every 3 years, and a Reconditioning every 6 years. 
  • The bells at Asbury UMC (where Al Paul used to ring) were used hard by 6 choirs. The advanced choir is hard on them because they ring aggressively. The kids choirs are hard on them because they are not careful. End result, the bells were Adjusted and Voiced every summer, got a C/P / A&V every couple years, and a Reconditioning maybe every 5 years.
So, how often should you recondition your bells? It depends on how well you care for them, and how much and hard you use them (and how fussy you are!)

Budgeting for handbell maintenance

It is a good idea to set up a sinking fund for handbell repair / maintenance. If you can get your church or school to budget a few hundred dollars per year for instrument maintenance for your handbells (as is often done for pianos and organs and band instruments) then when youʼre confronted by the cost for reconditioning in 5 or 10 years, it will not look so bad if you have already funded it! Obviously, you do not want to set up a sinking fund for bell maintenance that then “disappears” into somebody elseʼs account because you didnʼt use it fast enough.

Ringmaster Services can work with you if you have money and are in a “spend it or lose it situation.” Directors at some churches have confronted us with that situation. We can take advance payment for work to be done in the following year. For your security and peace of mind, we will want to issue a contractual receipt for such an advance payment spelling out what you paid and what we promised.


Business Changes

After 32 years in Allentown, PA, Al has moved. And after 22 years as your Schulmerich rep, his position has changed to that of "ARC" an Authorized Refurbishment Center. Al is no longer a Schulmerich rep, but he is still in business with Schulmerich. Click here to get his updated contact information and business status.

Westlake Ringers
It had to happen! We started a community handbell choir that rehearses in our Ringmaster Services office. Randi is directing and Al is again the “dumb old bass ringer.” Click here to view our website. All seven of us who work on handbells at Ringmaster Services also ring in Westlake Ringers.
The Jubilation Ringers

If you are looking for information on the Jubilation Ringers, we are no longer hosting a page about them as they have their own site. Visit http://jubilationringers.asburylv.org to get the latest updates.