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Compressed Gas Cylinder "Temple Bell"

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I saw some fantastic "Temple Bells" at a local garden center that were made from welding tanks.  I really wanted one, but didn't want to spend $350 to get one. 

A few months ago, I came across an Instructable on making a compressed gas cylinder wind chime: http://www.instructables.com/id/Compressed-Gas-Cylinder-Wind-Chime/.  Using it as a starting point, I started working on my own. 

It turned out pretty cool.
 
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Step 1: First Steps

I started with an old aluminum CO2 bottle from a kegerator setup.  I put an abrasive cut off blade on my table saw and started cutting sections off about an inch at a time.

I researched the length to diameter ratio of temple bells and found that most of them were approximately 2:1 length to diameter.

I cut the bottom of the bottle a little at a time until I got close to a 2:1 ratio.

Step 2: Finishing the outside of the bell

Once I cut the bottom off the bottle, I needed to smooth out the cuts and make it look better.  Using a pneumatic die grinder with Scotch Brite pads, I smoothed and rounded the bottom edge where I cut off the bottom of the bottle.

I also removed the paint at the top of the bottle, and ground off the numbers that had been stamped into the metal.

Using a cut-off wheel on the die grinder, I cut off the valve mount.  I then returned with more Scotch Brite and smoothed it over.

For a final touch, I used a swirling pattern with the Scotch Brite to give it the pattern on the outside.  People have told me that from a distance it looks dented at first, but it's actually very smooth to the touch.  It has a nice, almost iridescent, look in sunlight.
rimar20002 years ago
Aluminum is VERY sonorous. Years ago I read it is the most sonorous metal, and I think it it true. Good instructable!
lemonie3 years ago

Looks good - can you upload an audio-clip or video?

L
I would not think you would get a good ring out of a aluminum tank. I's love to hear it also.
for a real good resonant ring, you need copper. Aluminum doesn't ring that way. Balance an old US cent (before 1982) on a fingertip and tap it with another coin. You could also use a bronze, brass or copper coin from another country. You will know what I mean.
silver must be good also. I can detect the ring of a silver dime over the copper/nickel alloy.
All genuine copper, silver and gold coins have a good ring. If you look on the periodic table of the elements, you will notice that the standard coinage metals of Cu, Ag and Au all line up in the same column, meaning that they have similar properties, so silver (pre '65) coins, and copper (pre '82) cents will ring like a bell when balanced on a fingertip and tapped with another coin.
tin (or rather pewter) has a dull thump to it, where as zinc alloy rings rather nicely.
The price of silver is on the rise, someone might borrow it unless it is not easy to get to.
K0JSY (author)  lemonie3 years ago
Video clip is finally up.
lemonie K0JSY3 years ago
that's a nice sound -i was expect in more of a "dong".

L
I run a fire safety company and have loads of old fire extinguishers kicking about. I might use some old 2 kg and 5kg CO2 cylinders for this and the windchime instructable.
Also thinking of making a smoker from the larger water fire extinguisher cylinders.
Could I have one of those? The valves are usefull, you can attach it to a water hose for one example.
Absolutely, feel free to pick it up from Bristol or Tetbury in the UK whenever you're passing. :0)
Ok i will keep that in mind lol
pfred22 years ago
I cut the bottom off a cylinder once to make a crucible and I've had the top part kicking around now for what seems like forever. Now I know exactly what to do with it! Thanks. Super durable funnel just never came up in all the time I've had it.
sh0rtl!d3 years ago
Think this would be possible with oldish paintball Co2 containers or maybe good old Coleman gas canisters (fully evacuated of course with plug out, and probably washed for good measures)? I'd like to do something a little smaller scale. Mainly worried about the combustible chance of the coleman canister as that's what I'd like to use. I like booms just not in front of my face...
K0JSY (author)  sh0rtl!d3 years ago
I don't know much about paint ball, so I couldn't really say. I wouldn't do the small propane bottles, but I'm just overly cautious :)

I have seen smallish bottles from beverage supply companies, and also for small welding projects. Maybe one of those might work?

I've started on my next bell. It's half of a condemned SCUBA tank. It's steel, so it has a very different sound from the aluminium one. I've discovered that aluminium is much easier to work with (softer) but it just doesn't have the same sound. The steel offers a much deeper gong kind of sound rather than the higher ping the aluminium does.

I'd love to see what you come up with. Good luck!
I used make wind chimes and bells from scrap pipes, circular saw blades, oxygen tanks, etc... I thought they were cool, but the neighbors didn't care for the cacophony of sound when the wind blew at night.
ChrysN3 years ago
I'd love to hear it too. That looks really nice!
K0JSY (author)  ChrysN3 years ago
Video clip is up.
ChrysN K0JSY3 years ago
That sound great!
EmmettO3 years ago
How did you put a scotch brite pad on a die grinder? Do you have a plate that you mount it to or did you wrap it around a bit or something else entirely? I'd be cool to know.
K0JSY (author)  EmmettO3 years ago
I have a mandrel for my die grinder. I used 3M Scotchbrite discs. Here is a link to 3M for them. I got them from my brother-in-law, but I saw them at our local hardware store, so they're not too hard to find. Let me know if you want more info on them. They're great!
K0JSY (author)  K0JSY3 years ago
http://www.shop3m.com/3m-roloc-tr-hv3rhgrqdt.html
EmmettO K0JSY3 years ago
Oh, cool! I do some metal work and this would really be useful for polishing up things.
K0JSY (author)  EmmettO3 years ago
I added a stock photo from the internet that shows the kind of pad I used. They're really easy. This was actually the first time I'd ever used a die grinder or Scotch-Brite pads.
EmmettO K0JSY3 years ago
Oh! I see. I used to (or still might) have one of those pads, I just never had the mandrel that they attach to! I can find the pad easy enough, I just have to find the mandrel. Now that I know what it looks like it should be easier. Thanks!
Another good source of used tanks would be your local dive shop- most have a stack of old tanks that failed inspection, collecting dust.
K0JSY (author)  hullscrubber3 years ago
I recently contacted a local dive shop. They happily gave me 6 tanks for free. Looks like I've got some more bells to make :) Thanks for the tip!
gravymatt3 years ago
So did you place the tank over the lowered blade - then turn on the saw - then raise the blade into the tank?
K0JSY (author)  gravymatt3 years ago
Yes. I put the tank onto the saw with the blade lowered. Once the tank was in position, I started the saw and cranked the blade up until it was making a very shallow cut. Then, I slowly rotated the tank until it had made the shallow cut all the way around. Then I just repeated the process making progrssively deeper cuts until it was cut through.
carnyboy3 years ago
Dude! Awesome looking project! Try this with a cast iron tank (old O2 bottle or CO2 tank). Nice pics and I LOVE the clapper idea. Mine was an old casy iron weight wrapped in electrical tape. Cheers on a wicked good ible!
K0JSY (author) 3 years ago
Thanks for all the complements! I'm working on a video clip and hope to get it up soon.
NutandBolt3 years ago
Great Ible, even if it doesn't sound like a cast iron bell it makes a great decoration :-)
At my college the have very large bells made from old gas tanks outside of the welding classrooms. They are almost as big as me.
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