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Wind chimes are a great way to improve the atmosphere of a garden. But I wanted to see if I could find a way to make the wind play a melody instead of just random notes. So I designed a simple wind powered music box. Now whenever the wind blows, it plays a whole song.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Here is a video walkthrough of the project.

<p>Love this....</p>
<p>Is there a way to make it louder?In the video it was very quiet.</p>
I turned down the volume in the video so that it didn't over-power the narration audio. But you can also mount it on something a little more resonant than a pole. Try experimenting with different surfaces.
<p>A funnel could be used like a megaphone (one of those long funnels for putting oil in a car, or cut from a bleach bottle). I suppose you could array 3 or 4 of them and have it rotate with the music box.<br><br>Or use two conical disks (one above &amp; one below) to direct sound in a more planar pattern.</p>
<p>What happens when the wind blows opposite to the way the music box cranks? or is this a music box that plays backward and forward???</p>
<p>Turn it upside down. :-)</p>
<p>The cups will only spin one direction regardless of the wind direction. </p>
<p>Most music boxes that I have had, use a directional gear, that slips in reverse, so if you use a music box like that then it would just spin, but if not it should just play the music in reverse.</p>
<p>A resonance box as most music boxes would have could be the answer. The traction will still be wind but the wood vibrations will amplify the tune. May be some cigar box adaptation.</p>
<p>I would hot glue the music box to the outside bottom of a small planters nut can and then hot glue the post to the inside bottom of the can. Then paint it. This should make a very nice resonance chamber for the music box. The only downside is that under the right conditions you may get a hum or whistle as the wind blows past the opening of the can (if the wind is strong enough this can actually be almost a howling effect.)</p>
<p>The bigger the can the louder the music.</p>
<p>It is so easy to make, kids are going to love it.</p>
<p>Very creative, I like this one a lot, might be a nice project with the Grandkids </p>
<p>it looks pretty cool</p>
<p>I knew it was going to be those classic crank operated music boxes! This is such a great idea. Easy implementation too! Going to build one this weekend :)</p>
<p>the only two problems i can see are longevity and endurance.</p>
<p>Isn't that one problem?</p>
<p>It's a five buck project, Make one a year, no loss. I mean you could put some more into it and make it weather resistant, lets stain and varnish, while were at it might as well use red wood, Now lets enclosed the music box with a weather resistant cover. Nah I will just make a new one each year.</p><p>I have longevity, but I lack endurance :-)</p><p>long life = longevity<br>the capacity of something to last or to withstand wear and tear = endurance</p>
<p>Great Ible, nice and clear with no difficult bits.. A lot of folk can have a bash at this. The variety and cheapness of cranked music boxes on ebay make this a cheap weekend project. May I make a couple of comments. </p><p>If you haven't got balls then cut the bottom off fizzy drink bottles, small 300ml bottle for windy areas and the 2l ones for breezes. If it spins too fast at your target wind speed then make the arms longer (conversely shorter, for going too slow). Also use another cup (ball or bottle) and put it over the music box but fixed to the rotor. This is to prevent rain from going down the crank hole and slowly filling the music box or otherwise reduce it's life. </p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>Hey I resent that comment about not having balls.</p>
Did you make this?
<p>Yes. I assembled the whole project from the parts shown. </p>
So you are the real Jason Poel Smith? If so i am a huge fan of yours!! I love your work!
<p>Yes. I am the one and only Jason Poel Smith. I make the DIY Hacks and How Tos project series for Make Magazine and a few independent projects on the side. Thanks for the compliment. </p>
is there any tips you can give me on being better at DIY hacks and little projects?
<p>Practice. The more projects you work on, the more tricks you will learn and the more easily you will be able to put together the next project. Also take every opportunity to take things apart and figure out how they work.</p>
<p>You got me in trouble man. My wife is going to kill me, I will never be able to figure out how to put her car back together before she gets home. Plus I think I'm missing a few pieces. Where did I put that carb? I hope your satisfied.</p><p>Great job on the DIY's man.</p>
Thanks Man, you are really awesome. Im only 20 and not most 20 year olds spend their nights watching your videos and tinkering with stuff! Nice talking with you! and again i love the work you do!
<p>Thank you. It is always nice to hear that people like my work.</p>
<p>(does make know you are cheating on them?)</p>
<p>Yes. Make and Instructables both know about each other. Its an open relationship.</p>
<p>Great Idea! I will try this with my students but instead of using the ball I'll use a PET Bottle to do some garbage reuse, Have you tried it with a generator instead of a music box? </p>
<p>This was really fun to make! I used a &quot;Castle in the Sky&quot; music box. I made a couple variations in that I used a small nail to secure the half balls to the wood, which may be unnecessary as the hot glue worked a lot better than I thought it would. The cross pieces I used were thicker, so I was able to drill a hole for the handle of the music box to fit in to. Plastic &quot;Fat Bat Balls&quot; worked really well. They would go really well unpainted with a &quot;Take Me Out To the Ball Game&quot; music box! :D</p>
<p>Awesome. Thanks for sharing.</p>
<p>I THINK THIS IS REALLY FUN AND CLEAVER! SINCE I WOULD BE PUTTING IT INTO WHERE MY FLOWERS ARE, THE ONLY THING I WOULD CHANGE IS THE COLORS...COULD EVEN DO MULTICOLORS IF IN A MIXED BED. YOU DID A GREAT SERVICE TO THOSE OF US THAT LOVE GARDENING AND MUSIC TOO!</p>
<p>I LOVE this and can't wait to make one!!!</p>
<p>Brilliant.</p>
<p>I like this. The only change I would make would be to first mount the windmill arms onto an upside down can or plastic container or coffee jar lid and then attach that over the music box so it acts as a weather shield for the mechanism. We get a lot of rain here and I don't think it would last so long even if it was Singin' In The Rain. (If you're short of rain where you are, let me know and I'll send you some. I've got plenty spare going free.)</p>
<p>I would recomend to put the glue on the wood (instead of the ball) and in the crank (instead of the wood) order.<br>Always in where are more mass to heat.</p>
<p>Why need paint it black?</p>
It isn't necessary. You can paint it any color you want or just leave it unpainted. I just thought that mine looked better in one solid color.
<p>awesome man. here in north TX, that little box would work really hard due to the strong winds we have.</p>
<p>If the wind is too strong, you can slow it down by using smaller cups.</p>
<p>I had this same idea, but my thoughts were to do a spinning cam with spring loaded strikers on the sound tubes. Your design is much simpler for all to do.</p><p>Thanks for sharing.</p>
<p>I rate this HOT, HOT, HHHOOOOTTTTT!!!!!!</p><p>I think I might drill a hole in the wood for the crank and then cement it for a little more longevity, but I like the idea. </p>
<p>I want to make this for two reasons. 1) As a gift for my wife, something unusual, yet very romantic. A perfect accessory for the garden. 2) As something to annoy the neighbors with - especially since we've been experiencing sustained 30 - 40 mph winds with gusts to 60 over the last few days!</p><p>Very cool, and very original.</p>
<p>Really great project. I am going to try to do something similar. </p>
you should totally just attach a turbine to an old record player.
That is a good idea.
Great

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Bio: My name is Jason Poel Smith I am a Community Manager here at Instructables. In my free time, I am an Inventor, Maker, Hacker, Tinker ... More »
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