How to soften a Gong

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  • #49549
    stevefitzwater
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    The New Haven clock I worked on awhile ago is starting to drive crazy, it has a metal hammer hitting a rusty old gong, was trying to find a way to-

    1- make it sound better (sounds like a kid hit a pan with a metal spoon)

    2- Soften it up a bit

    I have tried to bend the hammer wire a bit to keep it from hitting so hard, but no luck. was thinking maybe a coating on the hammer?

    Compared to the other clocks, it just seems like something I need to address… suggestions?

    #62473
    stevefitzwater
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    Ok, took the movement out of the case, it strikes 2 mins after the hour so I have to make an adjustment on the lever and I was looking at the regulator for the strike side, it has been striking faster lately and the regulator is loose fitting, I disassembled it, and rebuilt it, trying to fasten it tighter and it still spins on the shaft although there is more friction now, all that holds it is a wire going from one side to the other and it is conformed to the shaft. I am thinking it needs some form of a binding agent here, ideally I think a drop or two of Shelac, as that would of been era correct.

    Am I just to picky or should it be bound to the shaft?

    #62474
    willofiam
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    Hey Steve, does the hammer head have a hole in it for holding leather? In your second post I am not quite following what your trying to describe, can you post some photos? William

    #62475
    arutha
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    Hey Steve,
    William is correct about the hammer head having a piece of leather in there. Softening the gong would I imagine make it sound even worse than it does now. Shellac, as far as I am aware, has never been used on a clock unless it has a jewelled platform rather than a pendulum! Whatever the problem is there will be another more suitable solution but just to double up on what William asks, if we could have some pictures it would help us understand what you are trying to explain.
    Paul.

    #62476
    stevefitzwater
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    Wow.. old minds… I spent some time tweakin on it and got some positive results…

    1- No hole on the hammer

    2- I was able to rotate the gong around enough to soften the sound, Been thinking about ordering a replacement one, but not a priority

    The movement is back in the case, I will look though what other pics I have, and see if one shows what I am referring.. but I was able to tighten it enough that it has slowed the hammer rate down to a normal rate.. On the other movements, they have weaved a wire through and around the shaft to secure the brass flap, this one just goes over the shaft..

    #62477
    willofiam
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    @SteveFitzwater wrote:

    Wow.. old minds..

    ???? huh ????

    Thanks Paul,,,,,,,,,
    Steve, it just dawned on me that you may be referring to the fly, yes, I have seen those with the wire. they do need to be snug but not tight and solid, the “fly” will slip a bit when the train stops abruptly yet be tight enough to slow down the rpm of the gear train.
    @SteveFitzwater wrote:

    but I was able to tighten it enough that it has slowed the hammer rate down

    and thats about all you would have to do.
    a small piece of leather glued to the hammer head may help also. Have fun, William

    #62478
    stevefitzwater
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    old minds… I completely forgot about this post…

    #62479
    stevefitzwater
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    ok.. apologies on the second post, as with every movement I work on, I take notes so after I responded, I looked them over..

    The hammer originally had a varnish or something on it, but most had fallen off when it got to me, there was a small amount on the side of the hammer away from the gong and around the mounting wire, which is why I was wondering if there was something they coated them with.

    The Gong is a metal one based on the rust, I was thinking of replacing it with a new brass one, but then the ‘its NOT ORIGINAL” light went on, so I left it.

    A tip for someone if they do a counter weight clock… I replaced the rotted string with a metal (brass) cable, when I identify a more “authentic” material, which I will replace in the future, but that metal cable is a pain to deal with, once it gets set, your constantly fighting with it.. not a fan of it.. LOL

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stevefitzwaterHow to soften a Gong