Instructables

Compressed Gas Cylinder Wind Chime

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Picture of Compressed Gas Cylinder Wind Chime
When I was a kid I used to travel with the carnival and always saw the kitschy stuff they sold on the independent midway. One of the things I remember was a large wind chime made from what looked like one of those big helium tanks.  I thought they were awesome! They had a deep rich tone that was almost like a buoy on the ocean.

When my Grandmother passed away for some reason my family kept her old oxygen tanks. Not those new aluminum ones the old iron ones.  When I picked it up and moved it it hit something and gonged....  I remembered my days at the fair and decided to see if I could make one.

This is the result! It turned out awesome and the clapper is heavy enough that it doesn't whip around a lot which gives you a nice gentle ring on blustery nights.


 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
You will need the following materials:

Cast Iron or steel gas cylinder  (I has an Oxygen tank, but, a co2 or helium tank would work also.)
5 feet of rope
Clapper  (I used a 1 pound weight, but a wooden clapper can be made to fit for a softer tone.)
Various nuts for retainers
6" x 24" x 1/8" "Hobby Board" (That's what they called it at home depot.)
Primer, paint and clear coat

Tools:

Metal cut-off saw or an angle grinder with a cutting blade
Jig Saw
Drill with a 3/4" bit
Table vice
Files (Bench grinder optional!)
Acetone
Rags
Metal coat hanger or a long piece of baling wire
Pliers


bettina-sisr4 months ago

Pure O2 and a match or spark and you'll see fire! Getting it on your clothes for instance and then adding a spark, but doing what you did is good. Also there should be a small regular head screw along the side of the post valve that is the relief valve and you should also unscrew that and take it off. Thanks for the instructable!

carnyboy (author)  bettina-sisr4 days ago

Once you get the valve out you can fill the tank with water which displaced any remaining pure oxygen, but, honestly oxygen isn't explosive (like propane) so if you leave it for a couple of hours with the valve off all you have its normal atmosphere in the tank. If you're using propane or acetylene tanks DEFINITELY fillip the tank with water to displace the explosive gases left behind as a precaution. Drain the water out before cutting the tank.

Those chimes are awesome. I have a tank already cut but was wondering if the clapper needed to be a specific size. I have a chain to hang mine with and had not thought about using rope to hang the clapper. I think it would be easier. Does the wind catcher need to be a specific size? Sorry for all the questions.

carnyboy (author)  Snake Eater 5th4 days ago

I just used the rope through and through. The wind catcher and clapper can vary as well. I used a large wind catcher due to the weight of the metal clapper. if you're using a hockey puck or razor scooter wheel you won't need as much wind to push it around. If it's too small or large you can always make a new one.

bettina-sisr4 months ago

Smart! I see some cool future uses outta those ends!

bettina-sisr4 months ago

Brillant with the oil filter wrench! Those valves are a b*tch to get off!

Jenhaas3 years ago
Does anyone have an idea where I can find some of these tanks. I really would love to make one of these.
You can find a steel recycle phon number in the yellow pages. If not your town maybe one close to you. Or you could goole it.
neeterxxi3 years ago
I discovered a GREAT source of old tanks. If you live in a big city there will probably be one or more recycling yards where they take in steel, iron, aluminum and stainless among other things. In one particulary large yard where I live (Dallas), they take old compressed cylinders and cut them in half with an oxyfuel torch when they reach the end of their usefulness and recycle them along with the other scrap steel. If you bring the yard enough scrap to recycle (they weigh you when you go in and when you leave), after you unload, pick up a few tanks, it's possible to get your tanks for free!
K0JSY4 years ago
 Instead of using a metal clapper, you could use a hockey puck.  It's hard enough to give a good ring, but soft enough to make it more of a gong sound than a clang sound.

I'm planning on making a "temple bell" from an old CO2 bottle from a keg-a-rator. (It's ok, I have another tank).  I'll use a hockey puck as the clapper and a knot at the end as a handle.

Great instructable!  I'm sure I'll use it as my main source when I build mine.

carnyboy (author)  K0JSY4 years ago
I was just looking at a CO2 tank for a soda system.. I think that would be wonderful! The Hockey Puck clapper idea is top notch, but, watch for the throw of the clapper rope.  If you are hand ringing this should not be a problem, however you do not want a lot of throw in a wind powered apparatus. Cheers and PLEASE post some pics when you are done or at least make your own instructable!
K0JSY carnyboy4 years ago
daphnek4 years ago
Your project is brilliant! I can't wait to make one. Just gotta find an oxygen tank and we're in business!
rhaubejoi4 years ago
I love this!  I can't wait to see if I can find some old tanks to make a few!  I think you did a great job on this instructable and thanks for also mentioning your mistakes so we could avoid them. 
ooh, also what about an old razor scooter wheel for the clapper...just a thought
punkhead584 years ago
Nobody likes filing?

Now, now, let's not speak for everyone. I, for one, love filing. As a matter of fact, I consider my steel files to be among my most used and favorite tools.
carnyboy (author)  punkhead584 years ago
 I used to work in a medical office..... Filing allllll flippin' day! *ugh*
Ah, that kind of filing. Excuse my lack of humor.

Being that I'm an engineer, I don't have to touch much paperwork outside of my bills.
ph1lt3ch4 years ago
 Paintball CO2 tanks would probably be really good for this, I think I have a few old messed up ones... :D
Paintball tanks are usually aluminum, so they might not ring very well. Worth a shot, though.
        Some aluminum rings like the best of bells. Ask any skilled drummer about the aluminum bells that look like cymbals.
Rainh2o4 years ago
 I wonder about using one or more of the throw away camping propane tanks...nic instructibles

dchall84 years ago
This is a great use for old tanks.  Tanks!

I think I can get the clank out of it for you and get you into a nice ring.  I once made a xylophone for my daughters out of metal conduit and did a lot of research.  It turns out that most solid objects will ring when you hit them.  That ring sound is a series of waves that are fixed by physics.  The wave forms a low amplitude spot at a point 22.5% of the length from either end.  You can demonstrate this with any piece of wood or metal that is all the same size and density.  Hold it at the top and hammer it to feel the vibrations in your hand. You will also notice that the object does not ring very long when you hold it at the end.  That is because your fingers dampen the amplitude of the vibration.  Work your way down holding it lower and lower hammering and feeling.  When you get to about 1/4 the way down, you can hammer it and it will continue to ring for a long time even though you are holding it.  You will also notice that you can barely feel the vibrations in your fingers at that point.  This is a sweet spot you can use to your advantage.  But your bell is not uniform at both ends to take advantage of this physical concept. 

What I suggest is you cut the top off to make it a tube with both ends open.  Measure the length to find the 22.5% mark.  Hold it and ring it a few times to demonstrate to yourself that you have the right spot.  Then drill a hole all the way through the tube at the 22.5% mark.  Run a bolt (or something) through and hang the tube from that bolt.  You can also hang your clapper from that bolt. 

Another problem with your pipe is the welded seam.  Any unwelded material will have a nicer ring to it. 
Kiteman4 years ago
I imagine that a row of these, of different lengths, might sound like a hank drum...?
Kiteman Kiteman4 years ago
Oh, I've thought of a way to make the chime more sonorous (you know, bongy instead of clangy) - put a layer of felt or thin rubber around the clapper-weight.  It's what they use on the end of the hammer in a hand-bell.


carnyboy (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
Fixed the "CLANK" with a little electrical tape wrapped around the clapper!!
Excellent.
tshallow744 years ago
 Do you think you could do this with an old propane tank from a grill?
carnyboy (author)  tshallow744 years ago
I suppose you could, but, it would probably sound kind of tinny since the metal is so thin.
mdeblasi14 years ago
Carnyboy:
You can't start a post "When I was a kid I used to travel with the carnival"  and just leave it there!!!  What's the rest of the story?  Where's your blog?  I'm dieing here--from the need to know  : o
carnyboy (author)  mdeblasi14 years ago
The rest of the story is I am a third generation Carny.  Basically my Grandfather got into the business after WWII and Korea and my Father got into it after Vietnam.  I was born and raised in the carnival industry primarily traveling in Northern California and Oregon. I still do it to this day.  ~fin~
lemonie4 years ago
I saw something like this on a golf-course...
Very nice.

L
ndinitz lemonie4 years ago
 what did it sound like when a golf ball hit it?
lemonie ndinitz4 years ago
None of us hit it, but basically the same steel-bell, they make a good sound. (dog-leg hole "please ring bell when green is clear")

L