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Austin Custom Bells

Austin Custom Bells

Please check out our Youtube page for the latest endeavor at ACB!  

As you may or may not know the history of handbells runs deep here at ACB. My wife and co-owner Laurie Austin is a very accomplished bell ringer and has been for many decades. She currently rings with the KC group Rezound! (https://www.rezound.org) and she’s also a historian for the Area-8 handbell musicians of America. Recently in December, 2022 we purchased a 3-octave set of handbells (the set you will hear in this video) but Laurie in her research found an amazing set of circumstances that propelled this new endeavor for us.

Kansas city has been long known as a hotbed of manufacturing especially during the second world war. A lot of those foundries that made tanks, cars, airplanes, etc were then re-purposed for other uses. This is where the story gets interesting…

In Laurie’s research she came across a gentleman named David Workman who made bells in his basement here in KC. He used a Conn Strobo-tuner and turned down the bells on the lathe to create the proper tuning and resonance he so desired. In one of the articles they talked about the “Ornamental Brass Foundry”. I said to myself that sounds familiar. You wanna know why? Well when I moved here originally I was thinking of a few specific areas for the shop. I was thinking about buying a building before finding our current location (which we have grown too large for). On a side street right on the KC/Blue Summit border was this old building that was a wee-bit run down but had some potential. I vaguely remembered the lettering on the outside from all those years ago but said “I wonder”.

So I drove by before work one day. BOOM! It was indeed the same building, and it was STILL for sale. We have been looking for more space and also some place to start making more bells (the trumpet kind, not the english handbell variety) for a few years. Well, this is pretty amazing! We made an offer and it was accepted.

So guess what y’all? We are going to soon be making handbells for all of the US market ala David Workman. Crazy? Yep… but that’s never stopped me from taking up an opportunity that I know has some serious upswing to it!

In the meantime while we iron out the final details please take a moment to visit the brass site. Thank you to my amazing team who gives you a sneak peek of ACBells! We just HAD to pick a most appropriate selection!

We thank you so much for all the support you bring to our small business and are here for you! 

1st Apr 2023 Trent

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