Are black clock chime rods coated black?

Robert Gift

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This Howard Miller grandfather clock's chime rods areasilyisible through the front and side glass doors.
Could the paint be removed to make the rods look nicer? Example: Right photo
Or are they black to make them less visible?
Thank you.
1668954971589.png
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1668955379899.png
 

Tim Orr

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Good afternoon, Robert!

Looks a bit like skin oil corrosion to me. I would try a light application of Flitz or Simichrome polish. I doubt you'll change the tuning.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

Robert Gift

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Good afternoon, Robert!
Looks a bit like skin oil corrosion to me. I would try a light application of Flitz or Simichrome polish. I doubt you'll change the tuning.
Best regards!

Tim Orr
Thank you.
They are all uniformly black. (bluing?)
Thoughthathe same color as the cables and weight wheels would be nice, but boss wants them as is.
 

Willie X

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You can buy brass plated steel rods but they come pressed into their iron block. So ... this might not work in your clock. The brass plated rods are usually seen in curio cases with mirrored back and bottom boards. Willie X
 
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Tim Orr

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Good evening, Robert!

Unless your photo is lying, the rods aren't uniformly black – unless you mean the cast iron pieces into which the chime rods are inserted. If that's what you mean, they are, as others have said, always black. Best to leave them alone. The rods are probably brass or more likely, bronze. That's where I see the darkening stain. Bluing would be bluish not black.

Best regards!

Tim
 

Robert Gift

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You can buy brass plated steel rods but they come pressed into their iron block. So ... this might not work in your clock. The brass plated rods are usually seen in curio cases with mirrored back and bottom boards. Willie X
Interesting! Any pictures?
I would not wanto $pend.
But while waiting for medical transports I could scrape rods with steel wool.
They would look nice if like the chime rods in our mantel clocks.
1669005178541.png
 
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Willie X

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What you have are steel rods which had some kind of surface carbonization (case hardening?) during the manufacturering process. Removing the black will be removing material and mess up the tuning as mentioned by Alex in post #3.
Willie X
 
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J. A. Olson

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The 'black' rods are made of hard steel, blued during manufacturing. They are barely visible from a typical viewpoint and were not designed for the looks. Some had a brass or chrome finish instead and were exclusively used on some of the fancier models. No improvement in sound.

concerto musical.jpg Lite Brite.jpg

The rods used in smaller mantle clocks were a bronze alloy. These are coated in oil during manufacturing and account for the small stains often found along the rods.

The only chimes that were seriously designed with looks in mind were the large tubular bells on older clocks.
 
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Robert Gift

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The 'black' rods are made of hard steel, blued during manufacturing. They are barely visible from a typical viewpoint and were not designed for the looks. Some had a brass or chrome finish instead and were exclusively used on some of the fancier models. No improvement in sound.
View attachment 737580 View attachment 737583
The rods used in smaller mantle clocks were a bronze alloy. These are coated in oil during manufacturing and account for the small stains often found along the rods.
The only chimes that were seriously designed with looks in mind were the large tubular bells on older clocks.
Thank you.
Why some rods of equalength? So a 2nd hammer could quickly repeathe same note?
Interesting seeing the light bulbs!
Mine are to be nightlight bulbs.

Since this Howard Miller grandfather'side doors allow the rods to beasily seen, I was considering chrome plating - if not expen$ive.
Could gold leaf be applied?
But my idea has been overruled.
Now ordered to install a reverse osmosis unit.
PlumBob
 
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JTD

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was considering chrome plating - if not expensive.
Could gold leaf be applied?
But my idea has been overruled.
Great! Glad you're going to leave them as they are (and as they should be). No one is ever going to criticise you for the color of your chime rods!

JTD
 

J. A. Olson

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Thank you.
Why some rods of equalength? So a 2nd hammer could quickly repeathe same note?
Interesting seeing the light bulbs!
Mine are to be nightlight bulbs.
Yes so a 2nd hammer can repeat the same note. A common trick on the musical 'Concerto' chime clocks.



HM and Ridgeway must have learned quick enough that the number of people who care about the color of chime rods could be counted on one hand, given how rare the brass and chrome tinted rods are. The only notable model with colored rods was the 'Coastal Point' and it was one of those clocks that put the looks over all else:

 
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Robert Gift

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HM and Ridgeway must have learned quick enough that the number of people who care about the color of chime rods could be counted on one hand, given how rare the brass and chrome tinted rods are. The only notable model with colored rods was the 'Coastal Point' and it was one of those clocks that put the looks over all else:
Thank you.
Suspecthathe real reason was co$t. May cause them another $2.44 to plate the rods. We customers merely accept what we get.
Brass rods would look good in this brown finish clock.
Chrome would look good in black finish.
1669293496315.png
 

Willie X

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Not to many clocks have open glass side doors and when they do no one looks in there anyway. I would say that around 99% of big clocks have dark (blued to blackened) rods.

If it bothers you that much, it's not to difficult to change the rods on most clocks but the sound will nearly always be different.

You will usually have to remove the dial/movement and then the iron chime block. On a few clocks the chime block comes out with the back board, which is held on by about 8 screws, easy peasey. Getting the rods out of the block, and finding replacements that fit, now that can be the hard part!

Willie X
 

J. A. Olson

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It'd be best to just live with the clock the way it is, then save and invest in something greater for the future.
Perhaps a clock that chimes on silvery little bells, like this:

 
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Robert Gift

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It'd be best to just live with the clock the way it is, then save and invest in something greater for the future.
Perhaps a clock that chimes on silvery little bells, like this
:
Wonderful! I'll have to buy handbells for a lower pitch. Smaller bells placed inside larger ))))))) withedgestruck.
 

Robert Gift

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... If it bothers you that much, it's not to difficult to change the rods on most clocks but the sound will nearly always be different.
You will usually have to remove the dial/movement and then the iron chime block. On a few clocks the chime block comes out with the back board, which is held on by about 8 screws, easy peasey. Getting the rods out of the block, and finding replacements that fit, now that can be the hard part!

Willie X
Thank you.
No bother.
Justhink I would look nice if the rods were more visible and same color as the movement.
Would not seek replacements. Too much co$t and trouble.
 
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