Tag: 1226

Premier Glockenspiel (part 3) (Job No: 1226)

This post continues from 1226: Premier Glock (part 2) and started in 1226: Premier Glock (part 1)

The base board gets a fresh coat of black, whilst the frame has its third coat of varnish.

The whole lot is then glued and screwed together.

Now I cut the new felt, gather all the note pegs I will need and re-assemble the whole glockenspiel.

Above is a picture of the instrument back in its case.  I am very pleased with the end result.  Notice the extra note on the accidentals – this is a high E flat I made in 1220: Glockenspiel Notes

Premier Glockenspiel (part 2) (Job No: 1226)

This post continues on from 1226 Premier Glock (part 1)

The first thing I do when building a glockenspiel frame is mark out where the notes will be.  From these marks, I know where the note pins will be going, so can position where I want to fix the note rails to the base board.


Now I can drill clearance holes through the base board, and counter sink them on the underside.  I have only ever met a few people who use clearance and pilot holes; coincidentally I also have respect for their work.  Most people can’t be bothered (good reason!)

The clearance hole allows the screw to pass straight through the base board, so when it goes into the note rail, it will pull the two parts together.  If no clearance hole is used, the fixing will screw through the board and rail simultaneously and therefore not pull the two parts together.  This is really very basic knowledge, and should be a given, sadly it is not.  Next time you need a tradesman, see if they use them, if not, find a new tradesman (good luck!)

The next step is to get the note rails on, and mark them out for the note pegs.


I then remove them to drill the pilot holes for the note pegs.

Pilot holes are used to stop the wood splitting.  They are the same size as the core of the screw to be used, so that only the flutings cut into the wood.

After the holes are drilled I put in braces front to back to support the note rails and prevent them from falling over.  At this stage I put the notes on to have a look at everything.


I like the combination of the oak on a black background, so I will varnish the frame.

This post continues in 1226: Premier Glock (part 3)

Premier Glockenspiel (part 1) (Job No: 1226)

These Premier glockenspiels, like most percussion instruments, are let down by the frame they sit on.  The problem is money.  The manufacturers need to make a profit, because everyone wants a pay rise, whereas the musician wants the best deal possible.  So how do you make a glockenspiel cheap?  You screw your suppliers, and then throw it together as cheaply as possible using a minimum wage workforce.  Only then can the upper managers get new BMW’s.

So when Paul the Porter starts to move the glock around, everything starts to self destruct.


As can be seen in the diagram above, the weight of the glockenspiel note bars, which are steel, tears the note rail off the base board.

So this is the first thing I look out for when overhauling a glock.


There are also pins that are missing, but I will get rid of them anyway.


In the photo above, daylight is visible under the note rail, so I need take it off and see if it can be repaired.  Although the holes for the note pegs had been filled with matchsticks, and there were a lot more holes than needed.  So the likelihood is that I will have to replace them with new note rails.


As can be seen above, the note rails are beyond repair,  one split trying to remove it from the base.


In the above picture, I have zoomed in to show the collection of ironmongery holding the note rails to the base.  A pathetic of upholstery and panel pins, with a few of those square twisted nails that were impossible to get out (the reason why I snapped a rail).  Regardless of the type of nail used, the note rail still lifted – this is because nails are exactly the wrong thing to resist a torsional force.  This really obvious; how does a claw hammer work, or pry bar, pincers, etc etc, in fact every tool for removing nails demonstrates where nails are least effective.

Furthermore, because the note rails were made of such low grade softwood, they split really easily, and because the wood is soft, any hole in them will just enlarge.  The replacements I made were out of Oak.

The project continues in 1226: Premier Glock (part 2)