Fitting a Mechanical Front Door Bell Pull
We've just updated this article with a video 'How To' guide.
We get asked a lot about fitting both antique and reproduction front door bell pulls and how you deal with corners and actually connecting the pull to the bell. The principal for fitting the original and reproduction ones is basically the same so we've set a couple up across a work bench to try and show how its done. We've used one of our Claverley front door bell sets but the principal is also the same for all style of reproduction pulls.
Fitting a reproduction bell and pull
The most important thing is that there is some kind of return spring on both the bell and the door pull so they 'return' to their original position when pulled it gives the bell the 'springy' type action and returns the pull.
There are 3 basic type of pulleys to deal with taking the cord around corners and make turns. Blanking pulley to take the cord from the hole in the wall on the inside and either up the wall or across the wall (we have it set up going up). A directional pulley for turning corners and an extension pulley for inside corners of keeping the cord straight over long runs.
Before installation I'd recommend setting out the pulleys to make sure you can turn any corners and the hole in the wall roughly lines up with the arm on the bell, the straighter the cord the less likely it is to snag or pull it out of alignment. You could use lengths of conduit to take the cord.
Once the pull is installed the wire then needs to go up the wall to the height of the top of the arm on the bell and then possibly back toward the wall (depending how far away from the wall the pull is positioned). When setting the height of the wire to the bell arm its worth double checking the angle of where the bell arm will sit under tension.
Once the pull, bell and all the pulleys are in position its time to set the tension. Take the wire or cord from the pull end (keeping it tight against the pull), once you get to the bell, pull the bell up against its return spring and tie the cord through the eye on the arm. It might take a couple of go's to get it right, have it too tight and it'll ring for a while after being pulled, too loose and it'll only ring a couple of times.