The only dumb question is the one you don’t ask

Duzzy

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Hi there,

As I set of on my 1st grand father clock build adventure I have a couple probably obvious questions but I still need to ask

Does the internal dimensions change the tone of the chimes?


Does wood density change or affect tone?


Regards Darren
 

Duzzy

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So could it be the denser the Wood the deeper tone?

So balsa or pine would sound tinny where as mahogany or our Aussie redgum and jarrah would sound deep and rich am I correct in those assumptions?

Regards Darren
 

chimeclockfan

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Bigger cases tend to give a deeper sound however one must be certain to use a set of gongs or bells which are proportionately ideal for the case. A gong that is too large for a small case will sound flat because it has not enough room to effectively resonate.

Mahogany and Oak tend to be ideal woods where a loud deep chime is desired.
 

shutterbug

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Also, the chime has to be secured tightly to the wood. They have to be "one".
 

chimeclockfan

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On some older German clocks you had a degree of volume control through the screws and washers that fasten the gong block through the wood case paneling. Tighten the screws for louder sound, loosen screws just slightly to make it quieter. Clocks with this feature are typically marked "Gong Controlle".
 

Burkhard Rasch

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interestingly the back board of many long cases is neither oak nor mahogany,but fir wood ,spruce or pine, which is lighter -the cells contain more air- and give a better sound board like in pianos and other wooden string instruments.
Just a thought,though....
Burkhard
 

mauleg

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The OP did not mention whether he was contemplating chime rods, gongs or tubular bells. It seems to me that the last would be more affected by the area of the openings in the case rather than the composition thereof.
 

chimeclockfan

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Some older cases have open carved frets on the sides of the hood to let the sound reverberate out. There are several factors that lead to how the chimes will sound and older manufacturers tended to do it right.
 

Duzzy

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The OP did not mention whether he was contemplating chime rods, gongs or tubular bells. It seems to me that the last would be more affected by the area of the openings in the case rather than the composition thereof.
Thanks everyone, so much to consider, I’m expecting this to me a lengthy project, exciting but lengthy.

Mauleg I’m thinking of using tubes but I’m not sure about what gives a better sound.

Regards Darren
 

mauleg

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...I’m thinking of using tubes but I’m not sure about what gives a better sound.
To an extent, it's subjective. Of the many excellent-sounding chime clocks in my collection, my 5-tube Urgos Grandfather clock remains one of my favorites in terms of sound. Others, however, "...don't like tubular bells at all... [and] think they sound like "cheap doorbell chimes" no matter how high quality the clock may be."

You may want to make a pilgrimage to a clock shop in your area and listen to the difference in person and then decide what kind of sound you like best. If you're still on the fence, weigh the factor that the best-sounding clocks which use rods or gongs are designed so that the case and the chimes function as a single acoustical unit, as others have mentioned. I believe that tubular bells may be a bit more forgiving in terms of case design (then again, I'm biased...).
 

Duzzy

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To an extent, it's subjective. Of the many excellent-sounding chime clocks in my collection, my 5-tube Urgos Grandfather clock remains one of my favorites in terms of sound. Others, however, "...don't like tubular bells at all... [and] think they sound like "cheap doorbell chimes" no matter how high quality the clock may be."

You may want to make a pilgrimage to a clock shop in your area and listen to the difference in person and then decide what kind of sound you like best. If you're still on the fence, weigh the factor that the best-sounding clocks which use rods or gongs are designed so that the case and the chimes function as a single acoustical unit, as others have mentioned. I believe that tubular bells may be a bit more forgiving in terms of case design (then again, I'm biased...).
Thank you I have a cuckoo that has the coil and it’s sound took some time to get right, I’ve been looking around to find a great shop it may need a bit of a holiday to head to my fav shop.
 

brian fisher

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I am not sure that tube chimes are more forgiving. I would guess that they are perhaps less so? they actually move a lot of air when they are struck. tubes with a capped end tend to sound deeper for a given diameter. I have a thread in the newest clock acquisition section that has youtube videos of all four of the tube tunes my hall clock plays. you can search "Jacques" if you would like to hear them.

also, tube clocks generally as a rule have about a 1 foot square opening on the back of the clock that is covered by a piece of fabric which allows air to freely enter and exit the cabinet in relation to sound.

I guess it really depends on your budget and goals for this project. if your budget is well north a grand or two, then a used set of antique tubes would be a good option along with a movement and pendulum to match.

if your budget is a few hundred dollars, I would suggest a 1920's era German Westminster setup that plays on chime rods. I have a Hans winterhalder that has amazing sound. that particular movement is sitting in a cabinet originally designed for another set of internals.

if you buy an old movement and chimes/tubes, I would highly recommend changing out the leathers right away. you will get the deepest mellowest sound in that respect with soft leather.

I don't know how handy you are, but if this were I project I had on my radar, I would just buy a complete antique derelict grandfather clock and rob the parts needed for your project. I would personally avoid anything made after 1930(unless its a herschede) because they were not built to last.
 

Duzzy

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I am not sure that tube chimes are more forgiving. I would guess that they are perhaps less so? they actually move a lot of air when they are struck. tubes with a capped end tend to sound deeper for a given diameter. I have a thread in the newest clock acquisition section that has youtube videos of all four of the tube tunes my hall clock plays. you can search "Jacques" if you would like to hear them.

also, tube clocks generally as a rule have about a 1 foot square opening on the back of the clock that is covered by a piece of fabric which allows air to freely enter and exit the cabinet in relation to sound.

I guess it really depends on your budget and goals for this project. if your budget is well north a grand or two, then a used set of antique tubes would be a good option along with a movement and pendulum to match.

if your budget is a few hundred dollars, I would suggest a 1920's era German Westminster setup that plays on chime rods. I have a Hans winterhalder that has amazing sound. that particular movement is sitting in a cabinet originally designed for another set of internals.

if you buy an old movement and chimes/tubes, I would highly recommend changing out the leathers right away. you will get the deepest mellowest sound in that respect with soft leather.

I don't know how handy you are, but if this were I project I had on my radar, I would just buy a complete antique derelict grandfather clock and rob the parts needed for your project. I would personally avoid anything made after 1930(unless its a herschede) because they were not built to last.
There are so many options I don’t think antique is an option so new it will have to be. I’m still doing research reading etc
 

brian fisher

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you have to follow your own path.

here is a thread of my very first post here on the forum. I didn't know jack about anything related to clocks in January of 2017. I might say I've figured out how to pull off some pretty respectable repairs since. not too shabby for being at this well under 2 years.

Need some help with a Hans Winterhalder 3 weight cable movement

the movement, chime block, pendulum and weights came from eBay as a package deal. the movement is presently keeping time and chiming away in our home as I write this. the cabinet it is sitting in is not what I had intended for this when I bought it. it was more out of convenience to get it going without having to wait several months for me to acquire parts and build the cabinet of my dreams.

originally, I had thought to buy a new movement and build a cabinet around it. however, through research, I found that the quality in every possible aspect of old is just so much better than anything you could buy today no matter how much money you may have.
 

Duzzy

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you have to follow your own path.

here is a thread of my very first post here on the forum. I didn't know jack about anything related to clocks in January of 2017. I might say I've figured out how to pull off some pretty respectable repairs since. not too shabby for being at this well under 2 years.

Need some help with a Hans Winterhalder 3 weight cable movement

the movement, chime block, pendulum and weights came from eBay as a package deal. the movement is presently keeping time and chiming away in our home as I write this. the cabinet it is sitting in is not what I had intended for this when I bought it. it was more out of convenience to get it going without having to wait several months for me to acquire parts and build the cabinet of my dreams.

originally, I had thought to buy a new movement and build a cabinet around it. however, through research, I found that the quality in every possible aspect of old is just so much better than anything you could buy today no matter how much money you may have.
I’m facing the same dilemma new vs old and options. The thing is if I buy old it doesn’t come with sizes for the cabinet where everything is positioned etc

Regards Darren
 

brian fisher

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thats no problem actually. just buy the movement first and build the cabinet around it. as to the chime rods, you can easily figure out how to line them up. everything else just hooks on. as mentioned above, I suggest buying a complete neglected clock. this way you will have everything you need. take your time in the search and make a good choice though.
 

mauleg

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thats no problem actually. just buy the movement first and build the cabinet around it. as to the chime rods, you can easily figure out how to line them up. everything else just hooks on. as mentioned above, I suggest buying a complete neglected clock. this way you will have everything you need. take your time in the search and make a good choice though.
+1 for this method. It worked very well for me, even though I opted for a used and abused modern movement.
 

novicetimekeeper

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You can't beat bells in my opinion, but I'm usually a century or two earlier in my tastes.
 

chimeclockfan

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As far as tubular bells go, the diameter of the tubes and hammer setup make a difference in regards to how loud and deep it will be. Bigger tube diameter yields deeper sound but requires longer lengths for the low notes. Capped tubes will always give a deeper sound no matter the diameter. Larger case gives more room for the chimes to resonate in. Charles Jacques did the most to engineer tubular bell chimes, even offering two different versions of the same basic movement: one to provide louder chimes, and one for quieter chimes in accordance with differing sizes of bells. Herschede also did well with many of their chime setups, but which setup you think will be best is entirely your own choice. I would suggest studying the different types and makes of chime clocks and going with what you decide is best.
 

Duzzy

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I am not sure that tube chimes are more forgiving. I would guess that they are perhaps less so? they actually move a lot of air when they are struck. tubes with a capped end tend to sound deeper for a given diameter. I have a thread in the newest clock acquisition section that has youtube videos of all four of the tube tunes my hall clock plays. you can search "Jacques" if you would like to hear them.

also, tube clocks generally as a rule have about a 1 foot square opening on the back of the clock that is covered by a piece of fabric which allows air to freely enter and exit the cabinet in relation to sound.

I guess it really depends on your budget and goals for this project. if your budget is well north a grand or two, then a used set of antique tubes would be a good option along with a movement and pendulum to match.

if your budget is a few hundred dollars, I would suggest a 1920's era German Westminster setup that plays on chime rods. I have a Hans winterhalder that has amazing sound. that particular movement is sitting in a cabinet originally designed for another set of internals.

if you buy an old movement and chimes/tubes, I would highly recommend changing out the leathers right away. you will get the deepest mellowest sound in that respect with soft leather.

I don't know how handy you are, but if this were I project I had on my radar, I would just buy a complete antique derelict grandfather clock and rob the parts needed for your project. I would personally avoid anything made after 1930(unless its a herschede) because they were not built to last.
I searched Jacques the clock in the corner playing Norte Dame are the tubes capped and isthere material on the back?
 

Willie X

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Duzz?

If you've ever heard a big 'between the wars' German GF, with twin giant gongs on separate stands but close together where both gongs are struck in unison with a single big hammer that weighs about 4 ounces ... now that's a sound! Similar clocks with 5 (or more) extra long steel rods struck together, or as a 'bim bam', can come in as a 'close second' in my - does it for me - book.

Also, always but always, set up ALL the working parts: movement, pendulum, chimes, dial, hands, etc. BEFORE you start planning the final design of your case. It's not a bad idea to make a quick full size mock up of your final design so you can look at it from a distance and from different angles, before you start building in earnest.

Good luck, Willie X
 

brian fisher

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I searched Jacques the clock in the corner playing Norte Dame are the tubes capped and isthere material on the back?

the tubes are indeed capped. I guess I am not positive about the second portion of your question but there is indeed a piece of olive green fabric covering the sound opening. all four of the tunes are on this page:

Herschede/Elite 11 tube Hall clock restoration thread