Many, many years ago, just after leaving college and whilst working for Impact Percussion, I made a couple of their frames for 1″ chimes.
I have been asked to make something similar. This is a good opportunity for me to revisit the whole concept, and make it how it should have been made in the first instance.
There are fundamental design issues that are easy to address, and repairs that I have had to make to the other frame’s components that I can just make properly in the first instance. However there is one issue that really needs to dramatically change.
The way the bells hang over the bar makes them difficult to play without hitting the bar. Pretty obvious really, another example of a schoolboy error, and an example of just why I had to set up by myself all those years ago. When working for a boss, they have to be pleased first, before the customer. Working for myself, besides my own job satisfaction, ultimately it is my customers who have to pleased.
So, the first stage is to get drawing to see how much room I have to play with, then make a mock up to see if my ideas work.
On my larger frames, where I have more room between bells, I used replaceable bell hangers because they are prone to be damaged and are difficult (therefore expensive) to repair. The gap between the bells are too narrow on this frame, so I am having to use the more traditional hook. These hooks enable the bells to sit higher than the bar to solve the main complaint.
There are differences to my approach however. Everyone else goes down the path of least resistance, and just uses a flat bit of metal to mount the hooks on. The problem is that they bend very easily, which causes all sorts of problems. I have used right angled metal to give rigidity in both planes, however due to the space restrictions I have scalloped out a section around the bell.
Now I know the design will work, I can start making all the components.