The problem was, it was just too much work for me to try and work the metals using what little tools I had at the time, so I had to put it aside for a while. Later (much later) as I was walking back from work, I found a old bicycle tire lying by the curb. Not being one to let things go to waste, I picked it up and took it with me.
Now, it took a few weeks but I suddenly realized exactly what I could use it for. After prying the the wheel and innertube off the rim, I took one of those 3 inch corrugated aluminum vent tubes, filled it with dried rice, zip-tied it to the rim and had my second prototype. It worked fairly well, only it was much too loud, and the aluminum dented (and in some spots, punctured) way too easily.
Later that week, I was volunteering on the USS Midway, and noticed they were throwing out an old broken vacuum cleaner. Again, ever the re-purposer, I convinced them to let me take the hose. It only took a second after setting it down in my room to pick it back up again and put it to use. I removed the old aluminum tube from that good old bike rim, trimmed down the plastic hose, dropped in some rice, snapped it shut, fitted it to the rim, and behold... it was too quiet! Thinking quickly, I replaced the rice filler with .117 cal. steel BB's, and ended up with my Endless Rain Wheel, version 2.22.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
-A sharp knife
- (1) 22" bicycle rim (size is up to you, this is just what I had on hand)
- (1) 8' long by 2" diameter corrugated plastic vacuum hose
-(~30) .177 caliber steel BB's
-(6-10) 12" zip-ties
Step 2: Cutting to Size
If you do happen to have a hose like mine you will notice that at some point, the end flares a little bit. (fig. 2) This is key to getting the hose to close together securely without using any extra tools or fasteners. Leave as much of it intact as you can.
Step 3: Adding the Filler
A quick warning, if you do get a used hose, please, please, in the name of all that is good, clean it thoroughly inside and out! First off, it's just nasty (fig. 2), and second, it may have a detrimental impact on your sound quality, as well as the response time of your instrument.
Step 4: Assembly
Once you have your hose closed off you can (if sized correctly) simply stretch it over the rim, and it should just hold itself in place. (fig. 2) Optionally, you can use zip-ties to secure the hose to the rim, using as many as you think are necessary. Please note that zip-ties are almost a requirement at anything higher than 120 RPM.
Step 5: Final Notes
Alternatively, if you're like me (and by that I mean you have a bunch of old drum hardware lying around) you can work out some sort of clever mounting system. (fig. 2) I'm actually planning a mount that will let me attach this to a standard percussion clamp/rod.
Thank you for your time, and if I've made at least one person smile, it will have been worth it...