Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Are you mechanical?

When I was growing up there was a popular "test" at the time, named The Kudor Preference Test. It might still be around today-not sure. Anyway, it was made up of what seemed like 100s of questions and for each one you had to select from the three options what your favorite was and what your least favorite was. Here's a sample I'll make up!
a) Walk a dog
b) Play with a dog
c) Teach a dog to fetch
So after answering thousands of these you got results that predicted, I think, possible jobs or things you were good at, or I suppose, areas to avoid...something like that. Anyways, in those kind of things I always scored pretty high..not 99%, but high enough, in "mechanical" ability.

Flash forward decades and here I was a newly arrived substitute for our handbell choir whenever a member was absent or sick for the weekly practices. I enjoyed it very much because it greatly improved my reading of music and it was a nice transition back to music after years of being away. A couple years of being a "sub" led to an invitation to be a permanent member when a position opened up.

Flash forward another few years. One day, one of the hard rubber hinges that is in each bell, cracked and I'm not sure of the next step, but "Yes," I said, "if there is an instruction booklet, I'll give a try at replacing it." (Memories of those pins used in the Kudor Preference were flashing through my mind!) Reading the directions carefully and trying not to break anything else on it, I finally managed to take the bell apart, replace the hinge and put the bell back together. The whole process probably took 2-3 hours, over a couple days, if I recall correctly.

So here we are today, dozens of cracked hinges have been replaced and I thought I'd share this adventure with you, as so many of you have probably heard us playing at various Mount liturgies. An aside to others of you who are "a little mechanical": I'm sure you'd guess which part is the hardest--not the taking apart, not the replacing of the hinge--yes, it's the putting it back together! Best to give the most attention, however, to the taking apart....that's what helps put it back again!

Here's the bell in one piece (D4).

Here it is with the handle and the inside taken off. The offending hinge is the black piece on the right,
held by the two small silver screws.

And here it is with every single piece separated. A very scary moment.
BTW, you'll notice that this is done on my bed. Nothing falls on the floor
or rolls off of the bedspread. They just stay quietly where you put them!