How to Change the Sound of a Clock Gong
So you have a clock and it does not sound right when it gongs. Is there anything you can do to improve the the sound? The answer is yes.
1. First off start by ensuring that the gong is secured tightly to the sound board (base) of the clock case. Also take a look at the the sound board, is it mounted nice and tight against the rest of the clock case case? If not, you need to correct it. A loose gong can sound sick!
2. Take a look at the gong itself. Where is the hammer striking it? You want the hammer striking about 1/2 inch from the base going towards the spiral as this will give it the best sound.
3. Set the height of the hammer. You will want it to rest 1/8 inch from the spiral after it strikes. This will allow the gong to reverberate with out any obstructions.
4. How is the hammer striking the gong? Is it glancing off? You want the hammer to hit squarely on the spiral
What is the condition of the tip of the hammer? Is it worn down and you now have metal on metal contact? Is the leather hard and brittle? You want the tip to be leather for old American 8 day clocks (leather boots laces work great). You also want the leather to be soft and pliable, not hardend from 100 years of striking metal. To replace the leather the best way i have found is to use a drill and drill bit that is slightly smaller than the leather tip and then drill it out. You will not be able to get it all, so use a pick to remove the rest of the old leather. Cut your piece of leather (from the boot lace) and apply a drop of carpenters/wood glue to the tip. Next press it into the hammer use a vice or channel locks. You also find replacement hammers on eBay prety easily that you just screw on to the rod.
5. Gongs are made with different types of metals and as such are of different qualites. As a general rule it is best to use the same gong that came with your clock, but if you think you need to swap it out we do have a nice selection at our store.
6. Lets take a look athe gong itself now. Is the spiral coated with rust? If so, lets take a wire brush and clean it off as it does effect the sound of the gong. When you are done, give it a good coat of black paint to help prevent the rust from coming back.