Silver bell rattles

Nancy, I am no bell expert, but I did have a team of draft horses
with some big jingle bells on their harness, and they made a great
sound. The bells were about 18 gauge brass, about 1.25 inches in
diameter, and made by soldering two half-spheres together. They were
attached to the harness at their South Pole by a rivit, and they had
four holes drilled around their Equator. These holes each had a saw
cut start from them and run all the way to the North Pole. This gave
the bells four equal shapes that could ring freely, not being bound
in by a network of metal. I always thought that such a free-standing
arrangement was what gave them their distinctive ring. It seems to me
that when you don’t allow for such vibration, you dull the sound of
the bell. Maybe you need to have some forms in your sphere that are
more free to vibrate, so that you can get more of a ringing sound
instead of just a clack. HTH!

– M’lou Brubaker, Jeweler
Goodland, MN

Making a jeweled cat’s collar is a lovely idea, and putting a silver
"bell" on it to “bell the cat” an even nicer one.

But before you go to all the effort of making a rattle, gong, or
whatever you want to call it, be sure that it will work to protect
birds and other prey. I believe that your average smart cat can learn
in less than half a day how to move silently, even with a bell on its
collar. Cat collars are sold with little “jingle” type bells, and
they don’t work at all. Years ago I systematically increased the
number of noise-makers on my cat’s collar, but he always quickly
figured out how to move silently in spite of their presence.
Occasionally there would be a noise when he jumped into my lap, but
it never sounded when he was outside stalking something.

This fact may have something to do with the national movement that
is trying to persuade cat owners to keep their cats confined, in
order to reduce the carnage among birds and other wildlife that
results from letting them outside. Hope this helps,

Dian Deevey