Chime Restoration Services

It is rare to find a chime that is beyond hope. I advocate repair whenever possible, and as far as I have observed, that is almost always the case.

Do you have a vintage door chime that needs renovation? I would be pleased to provide you with an estimate for my services.

Honestly, I really enjoy working on these and would almost do it for free, but I really need to charge to justify taking time away from my other so-called responsibilities, you know, like working for a living or renovating the KNOCK World Headquarters Building ( aka, The Humboldt County Center for Deferred Maintenance). All work is bid based on my estimate of time involved x $50/hr

If you have read all Tech Advice topics on this site (soon to be moved over from my old site you should have a pretty good guide to do your own DYI repair job. I encourage people to do their own simple repairs, or even complex repairs if they have experience with servicing delicate devices. Word of warning though... so far I have run into very few chimes that I could not fix. A. few of these were victims of a prior repair experiment that went horribly wrong - and one of those was at the hands of a professional clock repair shop. My advice is that if you have a chime you really care about, the story will probably end better if you just send it to me.

I’m glad to discuss your DYI project, but please read the tips on this site first because most of the typical problems are already covered here. Feel free to write to tell me how wonderfully it all went. Please, if you write with a question about your chime, include a picture of the chime, inside and out, and describe sort of what’s going on.

I frequently get email from people who say they have a bad transformer, or maybe bad wiring, or a bad chime but just not sure where the problem is... and can I help them figure it out? It's almost impossible for me to diagnose a chime or house wiring by remote control. Here's my advice for anyone who wants to debug their own. Like any multi-variable system, whether its an algebraic equation or fixing your car, the variables need to be solved for one at a time. My own chime test station consists of a miniature of a house door bell circuit, with 110v into a transformer of correct voltage, door bell buttons and appropriate wires. With this set up I can see all the parts, I can identify each one for sure, and I know that all are wholesome. If you make a set up like this, you can at least isolate the problem to your chime, or outside your chime, plus you can determine the correct connection scheme by quick trial and error if necessary.

If you are not inclined to tackle the project on your own, perhaps you need help. For clock repair, I recommend that you see a local clock repair shop. For chime mechanism repair, bell refinishing or cosmetic restoration, that would be me. I do basic repair as a humanitarian service to people stuck in a crack, but my joy and special skill is in making these things as beautiful as they once were, or perhaps a bit more so.

If you have found my site seeking help for an ailing chime, the following bit of advice may be too late, but I offer it in the hopes of helping someone avoid troubles. Aside from age, chimes have only two natural enemies-- children and contractors. Assuming you like your children better than your chime, I can't help much with that problem. As for contractors, grab your chime by the bells and take matters into your own hands. It's just not realistic to expect a painter to think that your dusty old chime has any particular value and exercise due diligence. Don't for a minute think that a contractor is either going to know as much or care as much about your old doorbell than you do. Typically painters will leave a chime in place and try to paint around it, invariably getting paint slop on everything in sight. Or they might knock the cover off and break it. If he removes the chime, he will invariably miss the crucial step of marking wires so that the chime can be reinstalled without tedious trial and error wire swapping. Do yourself a favor and remove the chime to an out of the way place before he arrives and reinstall it yourself after the paint is dry.

1937 Rittenhouse mechanism before, during and after complete renovation.


1930's vintage cast aluminum cover, before painted with sloppy wall paint, after- much better than new.

Early 1940's Nutone chime wooden clock case, before and after.

Typical 50 year old bells, before and after refinishing.

New bell hanger loops made from braided nylon to exact length needed for a perfect stike.

Solenoid plungers polished for super smooth action, and new strike pins added.


  KNOCK Doorbells | Portland Oregon