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Thread: steel MUSICAL gong

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada


    If it's a Yoga gong then you want something muted and melodic. Such a gong does not need to be anything fancy. And in fact most of the posts suggesting things like hydroforming stuff and using a cut down welding or other high pressure cylinder are deeply over thinking the need at hand.

    Go out to the shop and grab a piece of 3/4" cold rolled that is about 3 ft long Hold it roughly 1/4 of the length from one end. Give it a tap with a hammer than with a piece of wood. You'll get a remarkably musical tone from the bar that lasts for some time.

    Hot rolled will likely ring too. But without the harder skin like with cold rolled I think you'll find it a bit damped sounding. But try it anyway. It may be what you want.

    Frequency obviously varies with length. A piece of tougher steel alloy rod I tried that is 3/4" diameter and about a foot long was quite a high pitch. Not enough to make the local dogs twist their head around but quite high pitched. A 3 ft piece of 5/8 made a rather nice mid range "DONG!" that lasted and resonated nicely but which would not be really be an intrusive sound. And that same piece struck with a piece of wood instead of the brass hammer had quite a nice soft muted tone.

    In all cases there was a stronger lower frequency harmonic that remained resonating in the rod and a couple of pieces of tubing for quite a while. Held to my ear it was very noticeable at a very low frequency and could be easily felt in my fingers.

    I would suggest you try a few things from your own shop. And if you're after a melodic and subtle gong that you forget about a dish shape. Consider that dish shaped gongs are cymbals on drum kits or those big dish shapes that crash the sound through a large palace. If you are after something that fits in with meditation that is pretty much the LAST sort of sound you want.

    And remember that the key here is the 1/4 length thing. Look online for xylophones. The "keys" are resting on bars at their 1/4 and 3/4 length points for a reason. So a hanging tube or rod should have a support cord that connects to the 1/4 point even if it means drilling a couple of holes for a "Y" shaped support cord.

    So try out just about everything you have in your scrap metal stash. Try holding the pieces at 1/4 and 1/3 their length. Heck, try the end too. But you won't get the long term resonation like you get if you hold it exactly at a nodal point. Try holding it just slightly off the 1/4 point too. As you move away from the exact nodal point it alters the tone and sustain.
    Last edited by BCRider; 08-04-2019 at 08:52 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    USA MD 21030


    1. Cut a 48" round piece of plywood
    2. Cover it with gold colored paper or paint it gold
    3. Mount a big speaker (or several) on one side, and an amplifier
    4. Mount a pushbutton switch on the other side
    5. Connect a cell phone to the pushbutton and the amplifier
    6. Record whatever gong sound you like, and strike the pushbutton to play

    As a more serious idea, perhaps the lid of a 55 gallon drum might work.

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