# Making a gong stand - will aluminium tubing be strong enough?

• Construction
• Phi_lip
In summary, a gong stand made from tube clamps and aluminum tubing may be strong enough for the instrument, but the user needs to calculate the force that will be applied to the stand.
Phi_lip
TL;DR Summary
I am planning to make a gong stand, using tube clamps and aluminium tubing, but I am unsure whether the tubing will be strong enough.
Hello everybody,

I am planning to make a gong stand using tube clamps and aluminium tubing, but I am unsure whether the tubing will be strong enough. I like the idea of using aluminium, to aid with portability of the stand. As the stand will be used to play the gong itself, which will move back and forth slightly and resonate, I imagine this is quite a difficult calculation to carry out. As the gong cost over £2000, I really do not want to drop this beautiful and expensive instrument. So thought I would ask for some advice.

The gong is 38" in diameter and weighs 15kgs.

The aluminium tubing I had in mind has an external diameter of 33mm and an internal wall of 3mm. It is an aluminium alloy (6082).

This is a rough plan for the stand...

Apologies if my writing is a little tiny and unclear. The top bar is 180cm, it overhangs 30cm on each side. So, the internal width is 120cm, height is 150cm, feet are 60cm. I will be using long tee tube clamps to fit it together. The clamps and tube are designed to be used for hand railing systems.

I could use aluminium with a thicker diameter and wall. I could also use steel. But, as the gong is already 15kgs, I would like to keep the weight down on the stand for easier transportation.

Philip

To get an idea of how much the gong will be moving, here is a video of this particular gong being played. It shouldn't really move any more than in this video:

Suppliers of aluminum tubing provide calculators showing the strength of various sizes. For example here.

But the key is can you calculate how much strength is needed?

Phi_lip
anorlunda said:

Suppliers of aluminum tubing provide calculators showing the strength of various sizes. For example here.

But the key is can you calculate how much strength is needed?

Thank you anorlunda - The supplier I was planning on using did not have a calculator. They were not able to give me any advice on the subject when asked.

I followed the link you posted but could not actually find the calculator you mentioned... how would I go about calculating how much strength is needed?

https://www.roguefab.com/tube-calculator/
But it did not have the specific aluminium alloy (6082) in the menu tab. And, I guess, without the information about the force applied by using the gong, it would not give the all the information I need.

Rive and Phi_lip
Somebody local who does bicycle frames probably has a good feel for this type of fabrication and percussive stress. Just a thought..

Phi_lip
The gong only weighs 15kg. The Aluminum tubing you are using is certainly strong enough to support the gong. (Remember that airplanes are made from aluminum although the aircraft alloy, 7075T6 is stronger than what you are using, it's not THAT much stronger. (It's also brittle and unweldable so probably not a good choice here.) Why are you looking at 6082 Aluminum alloy? If you are going to use aluminum, use 6061T6. It's a lot more common and comes in just about any form you want and it's easy to work with. The fact that you didn't see it on the list of alloys you mentioned suggests using a more common alloy. It's also probably cheaper.

However, if it were me, I would simply use some steel tubing to ensure I had a nice solid base of support that is also nice and rigid. Assuming the gong frame is not going to sit in the same place forever and will be transported here and there for use, you should consider that it sholfd hold up to abuse from unknown forces due to throwing the frame in a truck and piling stuff on top of it. Sure, aluminum is lighter (about a factor of 3), but you aren't talking about a whole lot of material. Personally, I can't see that the aluminum will be any problem at all in supporting 30lbs of weight and a mallet strike, but if you think that the safety of your gong comes down to having to calculate anything, it's not worth cutting it close when you could just as easily use steel and not worry about anything.

Phi_lip said:
As the gong cost over £2000 ... beautiful...
Maybe something like that would deserve something nice as a stand, not something what looks like a last piece from the as-is section of IKEA? I would make somebody do it from wood.

IKEA for 20Kg, might be used as reference design if you want to stick to Aluminium tubes...

Phi_lip
Spinnor said:
View attachment 245689

Only \$364.

https://memphisdrumshop.com/paiste-floor-gong-stand-for-38-c-type-st48138

There are a lot of drawbacks to doing it yourself. If you are doing it for fun or your design fits special needs that is one thing but if your time is valuable and you want something that is of a proven design...

Also aluminum tubing is not inexpensive.

Thank you for your comment. The main reason for building one myself is cost. The stand I have drawn up will cost me £60. I have long term chronic health issues and I spent a lot of money on the gong (a lot of money for me at least!). Rather than buy an expensive stand, I thought I would put all my funds into the gong and try to build a stand myself. Also, I like a project and I like to make and understand things. I like the idea of making a stand that is relatively easy to put up and carry around that won't cost too much money

hutchphd said:
Somebody local who does bicycle frames probably has a good feel for this type of fabrication and percussive stress. Just a thought..

Thanks for your comment, that is a good idea!

bobob said:
The gong only weighs 15kg. The Aluminum tubing you are using is certainly strong enough to support the gong. (Remember that airplanes are made from aluminum although the aircraft alloy, 7075T6 is stronger than what you are using, it's not THAT much stronger. (It's also brittle and unweldable so probably not a good choice here.) Why are you looking at 6082 Aluminum alloy? If you are going to use aluminum, use 6061T6. It's a lot more common and comes in just about any form you want and it's easy to work with. The fact that you didn't see it on the list of alloys you mentioned suggests using a more common alloy. It's also probably cheaper.

However, if it were me, I would simply use some steel tubing to ensure I had a nice solid base of support that is also nice and rigid. Assuming the gong frame is not going to sit in the same place forever and will be transported here and there for use, you should consider that it sholfd hold up to abuse from unknown forces due to throwing the frame in a truck and piling stuff on top of it. Sure, aluminum is lighter (about a factor of 3), but you aren't talking about a whole lot of material. Personally, I can't see that the aluminum will be any problem at all in supporting 30lbs of weight and a mallet strike, but if you think that the safety of your gong comes down to having to calculate anything, it's not worth cutting it close when you could just as easily use steel and not worry about anything.

Thanks for your detailed response. The only reason I was looking at 6082 is that is seemed to be commonly available. I will look into the other alloys you have mentioned, thank you.

When you said "if you think that the safety of your gong comes down to having to calculate anything" I really had zero clue as to whether the aluminium would be strong enough, which is why I am asking on here, to gain a greater understanding.

You have some valid points and I may consider going down the steel road. Thank you for taking the time to reply :)

Rive said:
Maybe something like that would deserve something nice as a stand, not something what looks like a last piece from the as-is section of IKEA? I would make somebody do it from wood.

IKEA for 20Kg, might be used as reference design if you want to stick to Aluminium tubes...

Yes, I have considered this. Spending all that money on a gong, it would be nice to have it hanging on something beautiful and hand crafted. I may go down this route at some point when I have the cash but, for now at least, my gong is sat in its box and I just want to elevate it. Thanks for the suggestion

Rive said:
Maybe something like that would deserve something nice as a stand, not something what looks like a last piece from the as-is section of IKEA? I would make somebody do it from wood.

IKEA for 20Kg, might be used as reference design if you want to stick to Aluminium tubes...

Oh, I only just saw the link you shared - thank you for that. I have heard of people using clothes rails for budget gong stands. This is kind of where the idea came from originally.

bobob said:
Why are you looking at 6082 Aluminum alloy?

I should edit my reply above:

The reason for suggesting I use the 6082 aluminium alloy is that my idea was to put it together using tube clamps, designed for hand railing systems, and that this alloy seems commonly available on all the tube clamp websites. They commonly come in 26.9mm, 33.7mm, 42.4mm, 48.3mm sizes.

https://www.scaffolding-direct.co.uk/tube-clamps-33-7mm/
I just had a search for 6061T6 tubes but couldn't find any in those sizes.

I planned to use the tube clamps as I thought it would be a relatively cheap, simple way to construct something relatively strong.

If you have any suggestings instead of using tube clamps, I would be most grateful :)

After quite an extensive search it seems that, here in the uk, 6061t6 is quite difficult to come by. I have read that 6082 T6 is pretty much the UK equivelant to 6061 T6.

"Alloy 6082 is a medium strength alloy with excellent corrosion resistance. Alloy 6082 has the highest strength of the 6000 series alloy. Due to the higher strength of Alloy 6082 it has replaced Alloy 6061 in many applications. Alloy 6082 is typically used in highly stressed applications, Trusses, Bridges, Cranes, Transport applications, Ore Skips, Beer Barrels, Milk churns."

http://aircraftmaterials.com/data/aluminium/6082.html

With this in mind, I feel that it will be strong enough. What I am thinking now though is whether it will be heavy enough to counter the weight of the swinging gong. I wanted to make the stand light weight enough to carry but had not really thought about the fact that the stand may benefit from being a certain weight so the stand is stable...

My original gong stand plan would weigh 9.42kgs in total.

Any thoughts on this?

How about using PVC plastic tubing, it is relatively inexpensive, easy to work with, very strong if the tube diameter is large enough, and could be painted black so it was not so hideous looking. How small does the frame need to be for transportation?

Phi_lip
Have you considered hanging it from the ceiling instead of a stand?

Phi_lip
Spinnor said:
How about using PVC plastic tubing, it is relatively inexpensive, easy to work with, very strong if the tube diameter is large enough, and could be painted black so it was not so hideous looking. How small does the frame need to be for transportation?

Thanks for the suggestion, I have not looked into pvc plastic. I will have a look into it :) I want to build a stand that can be easily taken down and taken apart. The longest part will be 150cm

anorlunda said:
Have you considered hanging it from the ceiling instead of a stand?

I have considered doing this in my house but, I was hoping to make a stand that I could potentially take to different venues, where hanging from the ceiling may not always be possible...

Phi_lip said:
After quite an extensive search it seems that, here in the uk, 6061t6 is quite difficult to come by. I have read that 6082 T6 is pretty much the UK equivelant to 6061 T6.

"Alloy 6082 is a medium strength alloy with excellent corrosion resistance. Alloy 6082 has the highest strength of the 6000 series alloy. Due to the higher strength of Alloy 6082 it has replaced Alloy 6061 in many applications. Alloy 6082 is typically used in highly stressed applications, Trusses, Bridges, Cranes, Transport applications, Ore Skips, Beer Barrels, Milk churns."

http://aircraftmaterials.com/data/aluminium/6082.html

With this in mind, I feel that it will be strong enough. What I am thinking now though is whether it will be heavy enough to counter the weight of the swinging gong. I wanted to make the stand light weight enough to carry but had not really thought about the fact that the stand may benefit from being a certain weight so the stand is stable...

My original gong stand plan would weigh 9.42kgs in total.

Any thoughts on this?
that is a good observation: the aluminum is so light compared to steel that it could tip over or slide if you hit the gong with a heavy strike. Also, aluminum is far less rigid than steel, causing unwanted deflections and vibrations. Might work, might not.

PhanthomJay said:
that is a good observation: the aluminum is so light compared to steel that it could tip over or slide if you hit the gong with a heavy strike. Also, aluminum is far less rigid than steel, causing unwanted deflections and vibrations. Might work, might not.

As long as the base is made wide enough the weight of the frame does not matter, it could be massless. The weight of the gong itself gives stability to the system of gong and frame. Tipping force is a function of total weight of the frame and gong and of the width of the base.

Does the quality of the sound depend upon the dynamics of the stand?? If so the materials choice is much more interesting...

If possible, for strength there should be triangulation somehow at every corner, particularly on the base.

Why is there a one ft overhang at each end he top bar?

gmax137
I have a 30" diameter chao gong. I made a stand for it out of PVC tubing which does the job just fine, so I don't see you having any trouble with aluminum even though your gong is a touch bigger.

PhanthomJay
Need to triangulate stand so it doesn't parallelogram and collapse laterally. Also triangulate at least one side of feet so it doesn't collapse fore & aft. Probably triangle on back side so less of tripping hazard. Sure there's some triangulation in lugs holding tubing together, but it's very small. You want triangles with sides of about 1/2 length of each tube.

To allow for gong's movement, you can curve triangle's centre away from stand's axis.

Tubing diameter is used for rigidity since stiffness goes up by 4th-power of diameter. So 25mm tubing with at least 1mm thickness should do. Avoid thinner than 50:1 ratio diameter to wall-thickness as that's when crumpling sets in.

Spinnor
It seems to me that the handset will be strong enough for such purposes.

Phi_lip said:
Summary: I am planning to make a gong stand, using tube clamps and aluminium tubing, but I am unsure whether the tubing will be strong enough.

Hello everybody,

I am planning to make a gong stand using tube clamps and aluminium tubing, but I am unsure whether the tubing will be strong enough. I like the idea of using aluminium, to aid with portability of the stand. As the stand will be used to play the gong itself, which will move back and forth slightly and resonate, I imagine this is quite a difficult calculation to carry out. As the gong cost over £2000, I really do not want to drop this beautiful and expensive instrument. So thought I would ask for some advice.

The gong is 38" in diameter and weighs 15kgs.

The aluminium tubing I had in mind has an external diameter of 33mm and an internal wall of 3mm. It is an aluminium alloy (6082).

This is a rough plan for the stand...

View attachment 245660

Apologies if my writing is a little tiny and unclear. The top bar is 180cm, it overhangs 30cm on each side. So, the internal width is 120cm, height is 150cm, feet are 60cm. I will be using long tee tube clamps to fit it together. The clamps and tube are designed to be used for hand railing systems.

I could use aluminium with a thicker diameter and wall. I could also use steel. But, as the gong is already 15kgs, I would like to keep the weight down on the stand for easier transportation.

Philip
The stand would work initially (the static load will be actually well supported even by D=25mm & t=1.2mm tubes), but it have bad longevity - forces of beating gong would be highly leveraged at tee clamps, eventually deforming them and making entire stand wobble and tilt.
If you use this design, use only steel tee clamps with longest possible sleeves to reduce leverage. Zinc casts and especially plastic clamps are out of question.
Also, it is better to have set screws in the upper and middle clamps - these 4 clamps would have torques resulting in much fretting and damage after beating gong if set screws are not used.

[Spam link redacted by the Mentors] : Aluminum metal tubes are frequently used in the plumbing and construction industries. In order to boost its hardness and strength, aluminium can be alloyed with copper, zinc, manganese, silicon, and other metals due to its strong corrosion resistance and poor tensile strength.

Last edited by a moderator:
This isn't a suggestion for an alternative but it would give you a great idea about how strong your structure could be. A car engine hoist is very strong and safe and cheap. Steel is easy to make frames with and there are many shelves and stands that are quite strong enough. Your friendly nearby car mechanic's supply shop would give you some good ideas.
The test is "would I risk hanging on it?" As an aside, we recently had a fairly top-end kitchen fitted in our house. Whilst we were looking round the various kitchen supply stores, a salesman in a top end kitchen supplier demonstrated how well they're made by sitting and swinging (with confidence) on the door of a floor unit. That impressed me about strengths of 'thoings'. His prices were crazy, btw.

Last edited:
We are not building an aircraft or a bridge. Strength / weight is way down the list of important properties. Cost and workability (plus aesthetics) are want count here. This gong stand is unlikely to need to be portable, nor will it be subjected to the weather so steel would probably be the best way to go. There is a wide choice of sections of steel - square / round / U / L and off the shelf jointing / fixing bits.

I wonder if the OP has considered wood as a medium? It's a very suitable DIY material although there may be a risk of a dog's dinner if the maker has my level ability as a joiner - give me metal any time.

hutchphd
Phi_lip said:
I would like to keep the weight down on the stand for easier transportation.
sophiecentaur said:
This gong stand is unlikely to need to be portable
?

Anyway the OP hasn't been seen for over 3 years, this is a zombie thread unfortunately reawakened by irrelevant spam.

pbuk said:
?
A well justified query but I am making some assumptions. The spec was 'transportable' and not 'portable'. The 'design sketch' implies a much stronger frame than would be portable anyway. Just how big would the gong be if it needs 120 cm width of stand? Several kg of gong if it's that sort of diameter and it would be swinging (6m of alloy tube at 1.6kg per metre, plus clamps and a Tam-Tam can be 30kg). A commercial Tam-Tam stand. This is more than a classic boarding house dinner gong, of course.

The op design has only right angled joints in it, which implies sheer brute strength of the bottom support brackets. We'd be talking six metres of scaffold pole. A few 60 degree angles in the design and some braces could reduce the frame's mass by a lot.

We'll never know the outcome of this.

## 1. Is aluminium tubing strong enough to support a gong?

Yes, aluminium tubing can be strong enough to support a gong depending on the size and weight of the gong. It is important to choose the appropriate thickness and diameter of the tubing to ensure it can withstand the weight and force of the gong.

## 2. What are the advantages of using aluminium tubing for a gong stand?

Aluminium tubing is lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant, making it a good choice for a gong stand. It is also relatively inexpensive and easy to work with, allowing for more customization options.

## 3. How do I determine the appropriate thickness and diameter of the aluminium tubing for my gong stand?

The thickness and diameter of the tubing will depend on the weight and size of your gong. It is recommended to consult with a structural engineer or use a gong stand calculator to determine the appropriate dimensions for your specific gong.

## 4. Can I use other materials besides aluminium tubing for a gong stand?

Yes, there are other materials that can be used for a gong stand such as steel, wood, or PVC. However, aluminium tubing is a popular choice due to its strength, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant properties.

## 5. Are there any special considerations when using aluminium tubing for a gong stand?

When using aluminium tubing for a gong stand, it is important to ensure that the tubing is properly secured and supported to prevent any accidents. It is also recommended to use rubber or foam padding on the tubing to prevent any damage to the gong.

• Mechanical Engineering
Replies
12
Views
3K
• Mechanics
Replies
4
Views
2K
• Electrical Engineering
Replies
9
Views
8K