Rod chime

Emerson Pansarin

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Feb 28, 2021
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Dear all,
I need to restore a westminster Mauthe clock. Two rod chime are broken.
I need to know the material that these iron 3,2mm rods are made.
All the best,
Emerson Pansarin
 

wow

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Dear all,
I need to restore a westminster Mauthe clock. Two rod chime are broken.
I need to know the material that these iron 3,2mm rods are made.
All the best,
Emerson Pansarin
Welcome, Emerson. Probably the best solution is to replace all of the Westminster rods. Finding rods that match the ones you have is almost impossible. If you find rods, they will not be tuned to the proper pitch. You can order complete sets from suppliers such as Timesavers, Merritts, and others.
 
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tracerjack

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The old chime rods were not all made of the same metal. The only chime rods available today are made of either steel or copper. You can purchase single rods that are longer than what you need, but then you will then have to spend some considerable time tuning them to match the ones you have. It can be done, but having done it myself, it is a lot of work. Wow is right that it is much simpler to buy a tuned set.
 

disciple_dan

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Not to highjack this thread but I have a related situation. It's from a Seth Thomas Granddaughter clock. The rod that is broken is a 3.4mm x 17 11/16" steel rod. So, if I install the closest rod I can find which is 3.3 x 17 1/4 at Timesavers. It may or may not be tuned, correct?
So, would it be wise to get the 3.3mm x 18 and most likely have to shorten it to tune it, or is that the way it works at all?
I know it's better to get the whole set but I just want to try.
Thanks, Danny
 

Willie X

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It WILL NOT be tuned to your other rods. Yes, get the longer new rod. And, nobody knows exactly what length the new rod will need to be. And, if you cut the new rod to short, you get to start over, so be sure to order 2 or 3 new rods.
You can tune the other rods to make the correct chord with the new (to short) rod.
But, I would highly recommend that you work with the one (new) rod only and leave the others alone.
A professional piano tuner or musician can be a big help. An electronic tuner can also be a big help. Willie X
 

wow

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Dan, two rods that are the exact same length and diameter may not be the same pitch musically because the alloy is different. Like Willie said, just buy two of the 18 inch rods and cut or grind one slightly shorter until it is the right pitch. Are you talking about Westminster or bim bam?
 

Willie X

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A musician or piano tuner can identify the missing note and carefully sneak up on it without overshooting it. An amateur doesn't know where they are going and will overshoot the mark nearly every time.
Willie X
 

disciple_dan

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Hey, thanks for the help. Westminster. I'm definitely an amateur here Willie. So, I install the new rod. I have a guitar tuner on my phone. I can screw the block to my wooden bench to create somewhat of a sounding board. So, do the hammers start from back to front? This is an Urgos 406-001 which I'm sure must be a Seth Thomas number. Then can I grind and check and grind and check?
 

wow

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Sometimes one of the rods on the strike side matches the pitch of the missing rod. Try that first. If so, you do not have to be as exact on the strike side. Any note that is not dissonant will work. Mounting the block on your bench is not the best idea. It is difficult to hear the overtones that way. Mounting in a box of some kind is better for hearing the tones and helps in tuning it perfectly.
 

disciple_dan

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Good idea. The rod that is missing is the one closest to the movement. What note will that be? Is it G#4 or B3 or another?
 

wow

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Good idea. The rod that is missing is the one closest to the movement. What note will that be? Is it G#4 or B3 or another?
They are not all tuned to the same key. You will need to listen to the ones left and figure out what note is missing. Have you checked the pitches of the remaining rods and found their names? If you know the other notes, I can tell you what the missing one is.
 

disciple_dan

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Yeah, the shortest rod is the farthest from the movement. I'll try to see if I can come up with the other notes with my guitar tuner on my phone.
Thanks for all the good help, Danny.
 

shutterbug

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Your guitar tuner may not be of much help. They are designed to detect and tune to exact pitches for E,B,G,D,A,E. Your chime rods are not likely to be close to those pitches, so the tuner will show them as terribly flat or sharp - and not much more. If you have a good musical ear, the mind/ear combination will make the necessary adjustments for the key your chimes are tuned to, and adjust for flat or sharp as well. If you don't have a good ear, find one of your friends who does and persuade him to help you tune it.
 

Willie X

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As Bug's just mentioned, there is no 'note' that can be spoken of. You have to use a tuner with a sliding scale. Once it's registered, then you can go from there. It's all about 'intervals', in relation to a non standard "note", sometimes called an "in-betweener". Ha. Willie X
 

disciple_dan

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My tuner is called "Cleartune" It's an app on my phone. I don't know if it will work or not.
So really, would it be my best bet to mount the block and install the movement and then tune it by ear? It's one of those Seth Thomas granddaughter cases with the hood that slides off forward. It would be very difficult to tune with the block and movement installed. I brought only the movement to my shop.
Where can I mount it outside of the case and wrap on the rods to get a clear resounding note?
Thanks again, Danny
 

wow

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Make a video of it as you tap on the three rods and I will tell you what pitch the missing rod should be. It may be on the strike side already.
 

disciple_dan

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Yeah, Will. I've been thinking about the strike side as you mentioned. If it has one tuned to what I need it only makes sense to swap them out and try tuning the new one on the strike side.
I have to go to work at my job for the next few days so I'll let you know when I get the rods and am ready to try.
Thanks, a bunch to all, Danny
 

Rod Schaffter

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Often on Westminster clocks, the long rods on the strike and chime side are the same pitch.

Getting the note with an electronic tuner hasn't worked well for me as there seem to be a lot of overtones that interfere. The free gStrings app on an Android phone worked well for me for matching pitch. Screwing the chime block to a piece of plywood will increase the volume for testing.

Cheers,
Rod
 

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