Chime Rod Renewal

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Cheezhead, Sep 13, 2019.

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  1. Cheezhead

    Cheezhead Registered User

    Dec 30, 2010
    Retired Mech Eng Tech
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    #1 Cheezhead, Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    This German clock is branded "New England Clock"; has five chime rods and a Franz Hermle two jewel 340-020 Westminster chime movement and was an interesting buy for thirteen dollars at a Goodwill store. The case is hacked up but will be refinished. The shortest chime rod was crooked but that could be straightened or so I thought. The crooked chime rod soon broke off leaving the Westminster song visual equivalent to a missing front tooth.

    Repair part sources included Ebay, Timesavers, Merritts, a large local clock store or taking a chime rod from a bim-bam mantle clock. Before pursuing those I went to a local farm supply store and for 7.99 plus tax bought a package of eight 1/8" (.1275") dia. 18" long copper coated steel welding rods. They also had brass rods if a steel rod would not work. The broken rod was .109" dia. by 6-1/16" long. I reasoned that I would cut the new, thicker rod longer, shorten and thin it to tune it to "D" according to a Korg CA-30 tuner.

    The longest chime rod that could be installed in the case was 8-1/8" so I cut the steel rod to that length. Putting the original chime rod holder screw aside I chose a 3/8" long 6mm slot head screw to make a new holder screw. A .125" dia. drill bit was used to make a 3/16" deep hole in the end of the new holder.

    One end of the new rod without the holder was clamped in a bench vise and a screwdriver was used to strike the rod to compare it to "D" on the Korg tuner. Using a bench grinder to neck the rod down with about 3/8" of taper near the clamped end amazingly brought the new rod to life. The new rod was a light press fit into the improvised holder. Later I can reuse the original chime rod holder screw if I can drill a .125" hole through the embedded broken off rod end.

    Much luck was with me during this venture. The new 8-1/8" rod did not need to be shortened, lengthened or reduced in diameter to bring the note into tune. The volume and timbre were a good match as well. The 1/8" drill bit made the press fit just right. The new rod was straight in its holder. It was lucky too that the shortest rod was the one that broke.

    The new rod, the only one that is magnetic, is the highest note in the Westminster song and is not used for the hour strike. Check out the sound with the link to YouTube.

    Pic2.jpg Pic3.jpg

  2. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Sep 4, 2008
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    Good work! And you got lucky, too!

  3. wow

    wow Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    Retired Music Minister
    Pineville, La. (central La.)
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    Perfectly in tune. Great work. Great luck!
  4. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    #4 Willie X, Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    A 40 year old Hermle lookin pretty good too. Probably in a closet simewhere since about 1990? Ha.

    These rods are made from a copper berylium alloy. Same stuff used for spring contacts in the electronic industry for many years.

    Willie X

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