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Thread: What's a clock chime rod made from?

  1. #1
    gregl Guest

    Default What's a clock chime rod made from?

    I note on the net complaints that the rods will break during a move if not supported, which suggests to me that they are hardened (and therefore brittle). Other than that, what would a clock chime rod be made from? What type of steel? Or not steel? Would it be just a straight rod or would it have a taper?

    Just wondering if I could make one for an upcoming project.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Southwest Georgia, USA


    It's been forty+ years, but I seem to remember it was very hard steel that needed to be cut with a Dremel-type abrasive cutoff wheel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Grand Blanc Michigan


    Chimes? Use music wire...

    No kidding. ASTM A228. Usually used for making springs. Be careful how you work or apply it though, as it begins to anneal above 250F.

    Chimes can be straight or curled, depending on the space available in the clock case. Curling may also change the tone or timbre.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Mountain Brook, AL


    Ditto Mr. Bye, the chimes in my school clock from Emperor in the 70's
    were music wire, worked well (German works/chimes). Fairly large gauge,
    above 0.060" IIRC and clamped at one end in a casting. Also the wind
    chimes sold everywhere by crafty types are electrical EMT tubing, easy
    to tune by length and diameter. Easily painted.

  5. #5
    gregl Guest


    Thank you, Mr. Bye. Of course.... why else would it be called thus? Off to experiment!

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