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Broken chime rod repairs. "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
I am restoring an old German mantle clock that has screw in chime rods. It is a Westminster chime and the rod that is broken is the hour chime, not one of the tuned rods. The rod is broken off at the place it joins the screw. Can I have it welded or am I better off just getting a new one? I like to keep every part as original if at all possible.

Thanks for the help.

Rick
 
Posts: 93 | Location: Frisco, Texas in the USA | Registered: August 29, 2006
Picture of Tom Seymour
posted
Richard, I believe the best bet is to remove the stump from the block and get a new rod. I have never welded one, but I don't think it would have a very good tone.

Maybe others will add their experience to the discussion.


Tom
 
Posts: 2537 | Location: Mount Angel, Oregon in the U.S.A. | Registered: November 19, 2002
posted
Thanks, I was concerned about the tone and the longevity of the repair. The vibrations every hour could cause another stress fracture. At least I would think that would be a possibility.

I really appreciate the input.

Rick
 
Posts: 93 | Location: Frisco, Texas in the USA | Registered: August 29, 2006
posted
You could try taking out the screw, putting it in the lathe and drilling down the centre at diameter very slightly less than the rod. If my recollection serves me right the chime rod has a small "neck" in it which is usually where they fracture. Reduce the length of the chime rod by removing the neck and make it a tight fit in the screw hole. Use a clockmakers broach if its a bit tight. Then turn a new "neck" in the rod. Job done! The tone maybe slightly different but this shouldn't be a problem. It takes longer to write about than do.
 
Posts: 264 | Location: Westbrook, United Kingdom | Registered: June 15, 2007
posted
I had not though of that. Take a look at this and let me know your thoughts. I suppose I could drill it out but would I need to turn down the rod as well? I am not sure enough remains of it unless I really shorten it. That would not be that big of a deal. It would give me practice on the lathe.

Thanks for the input.

Rick

 
Posts: 93 | Location: Frisco, Texas in the USA | Registered: August 29, 2006
posted
I once tried to shorten a three-chime set of rods because it was too long for the case. I carefully marked each rod and cut off the same amount from each. It changed the tone completely. If you're going to drill out the screw you might try swapping ends of the rod and putting the thick end in the screw and turning a neck there; the rod would stay the same length but I'm not sure about any change in tone. You might be lucky enough to find an older set of rods and the cast iron block at a Mart.
 
Posts: 676 | Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee USA | Registered: December 08, 2002
posted
I'm thinking I should just order the new chime rod. The experiences of people trying to work on these that I have read have not been good.

They are pretty cheap.
 
Posts: 93 | Location: Frisco, Texas in the USA | Registered: August 29, 2006
posted
Go on have a go - nothing ventured nothing gained. Its on the strike side so a change in tone won't make much difference. Seeing what you have I would just turn the end of the tapered end of the rod parallel for a short distance and the drill a hole in the screw so that its a tight fit. If necessary try a smear of loctite.
At the end of the day if it doesnt work out you can order another but you will have gained experience.
 
Posts: 264 | Location: Westbrook, United Kingdom | Registered: June 15, 2007
posted
Hello Richard ,im going to tell you my experience with rods ,im use to made a hole little less than the rod diameter on the brass screw notch and with a punch i take of the broken part ,then with a piece about 1 inch larger in length piece of steel or brass depending the original mterial ,file the new rod end little bit tapered ,after that hold the rod in the vice (soft jaws) and hit on the original screw checj it if it is gently tight ,
ones you finish it ,hold the rod in the lathe chuck ,leaving place between the brass screw and the chuck jaws, make it run and with a fine file start filing near to the screw making this part of the taper thinner than the one near the chuck ,ones the thinner part is about 2 mm stop ,now check the lentgh with the original one and cut it to the same size at the free end of the rod ,now the work is done listen to the tunning and relax!!! ,hope it helps Andrés
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Bahia Blanca, Argentina | Registered: September 25, 2015
IHC Member 1291
Picture of Buster Beck
posted
This old thread is 8 years old and most of the players/posters are no longer around on IHC185. So posting help info will fall on "deaf ears" for the most part.

Annual fees are $12 per year if you would like to join IHC185. That will give you access to all of our forums and the Buy/Sell/Auction Forums also, where there are no fees for buyers or sellers.

regards,
bb
 
Posts: 6361 | Location: Texas in the USA | Registered: July 27, 2009
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