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Thread: steel MUSICAL gong

  1. #1
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    Default steel MUSICAL gong

    I would like to make a 40 or 50 inch musical gong for my backyard for when we have a yoga party.Most musical gongs are made from brass. I want to make one out of steel.When you google steel gongs,all you get is information about firearms target gongs.Has anyone ever made a large steel musical gong? Thank you, Edwin Dirnbeck

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  3. #3
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    I would suggest hydroforming, and you make two at one time. Two steel discs, round, welded all around for a seal, and with a small input tube welded on also. Introduce water at domestic water pressure.

    If the water pressure isn't high enough, then leave the water in and switch to shop air. Stand back, way back- this is my only safety warning. If you go with air from the start, the explosion potential is way higher than if you went water only, or water fill then air. You could even do this in your swimming pool- it would be interesting if it exploded under water-

    I don't think you would need much of a dishing anyway, just enough so the final gongs can maintain a flat shape. But the degree of dish is going to affect the sound, so there could be something experimental done here, or brush up on gong technology. Cut them out, smooth the edges, build stands and maybe some custom 'strikers'- different effect for a felt ball, urethane rubber ball, maybe a hockey puck for one, maybe a brass ball or even a large marble for a striker- sounds like a good project, I'd kind of like to make one myself.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  4. #4
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    To be sure, the disc type are more "authentic", but if what you care about is the sound, then the ones in the "compressed gas cylinder" thread of two days ago sound pretty much the same, and are dead simple to make. With your eyes closed (hey, you're meditating, right?) you likely wouldn't detect any difference.
    "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Dirnbeck View Post
    I would like to make a 40 or 50 inch musical gong for my backyard for when we have a yoga party.Most musical gongs are made from brass. I want to make one out of steel.When you google steel gongs,all you get is information about firearms target gongs.Has anyone ever made a large steel musical gong? Thank you, Edwin Dirnbeck
    You can buy a 30" harrow disc for about $ 155 bucks, and while your at it, buy two and make a cowboy wok.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by darryl View Post
    I would suggest hydroforming, and you make two at one time. Two steel discs, round, welded all around for a seal, and with a small input tube welded on also. Introduce water at domestic water pressure.

    If the water pressure isn't high enough, then leave the water in and switch to shop air. Stand back, way back- this is my only safety warning. If you go with air from the start, the explosion potential is way higher than if you went water only, or water fill then air. You could even do this in your swimming pool- it would be interesting if it exploded under water-

    I don't think you would need much of a dishing anyway, just enough so the final gongs can maintain a flat shape. But the degree of dish is going to affect the sound, so there could be something experimental done here, or brush up on gong technology. Cut them out, smooth the edges, build stands and maybe some custom 'strikers'- different effect for a felt ball, urethane rubber ball, maybe a hockey puck for one, maybe a brass ball or even a large marble for a striker- sounds like a good project, I'd kind of like to make one myself.
    Darryl,thanks for the reply, I didn't know that the gongs needed to have a bulge to them.The big brass gong that I listened to at a street fair appeared to be flat.Edwin Dirnbeck

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by darryl View Post
    I would suggest hydroforming, and you make two at one time. Two steel discs, round, welded all around for a seal, and with a small input tube welded on also. Introduce water at domestic water pressure.

    If the water pressure isn't high enough, then leave the water in and switch to shop air. Stand back, way back- this is my only safety warning. If you go with air from the start, the explosion potential is way higher than if you went water only, or water fill then air. You could even do this in your swimming pool- it would be interesting if it exploded under water-


    I don't think you would need much of a dishing anyway, just enough so the final gongs can maintain a flat shape. But the degree of dish is going to affect the sound, so there could be something experimental done here, or brush up on gong technology. Cut them out, smooth the edges, build stands and maybe some custom 'strikers'- different effect for a felt ball, urethane rubber ball, maybe a hockey puck for one, maybe a brass ball or even a large marble for a striker- sounds like a good project, I'd kind of like to make one myself.
    Good idea on the welding but I am afraid that I would fall asleep at abot the 140 inch mark A pressure washer should be safe. Edwin Dirnbeck

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Dirnbeck View Post
    ...I didn't know that the gongs needed to have a bulge to them...
    The point of having a bulge in the gong is that you introduce some stress or tension into the metal. A flat, unstressed
    piece of metal will make a sound when you hit it but the long, drawn out ring comes from the harmonics created by the
    stress factor. The type of material, thickness, size and shape all contribute to the final sound--the possibilities are
    almost limitless...
    Keith
    __________________________
    Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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  10. #10
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    I hydroformed a dished reservoir out of 1/8” thick steel 12” in diameter using a cheap 1200 psi pressure washer. Dome was about 1-1/2” high when done and the edges were bolted because after forming we added a rubber diaphram.

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