The first part of this post is 1206: 1.1/2″ Tubular bell (part 1)
In the first part of this post, which is the first day of work on the instrument, I made the cap, and the tube, and joined the parts together. On the second day, which gives everything 24 hours to settle down, I tune the bell.
Tuning is a simple job of gradually shortening the length of the tube to raise the tone to the desired pitch. When they are made in mass production, all the tubes are cut to standard lengths then chrome plated. This is why they are never in tune, even the fundamental (the overall length) is at the wrong pitch. Obviously my standards are a lot higher, and the fundamental is bang on the correct pitch, what I find out in the tuning process is whether my tweaks to the design have worked. In this case I was delighted.
There are two main tones in a tubular bell: the fundamental and the strike tone. The strike tone is the “clang” when the bell is hit, and it is this pitch that is hard to get correct. On this bell I was within 20 cents of a perfect octave, which means I might have cracked the problem. I have to replicate the bell now, and then work out the solution for the other 19 bells!
Once tuning is complete, I just clean the bell so it is shiny.