Introduction: Low Cost Hardware Store Hanging Wind Chime

Other than the bells and the swivel everything came from the hardware store.  The bells and swivel came from a sporting goods store.  It took me about three hours from starting the design to completion and I'm pleased with the result.  It doesn't make a lot of noise because I mounted the bells on wire instead of string but I personally like the occasional small chiming and the whole wind chime rotates slowly in a nice breeze.


36"           1/4" copper tubing
30"          10 gauge solid copper wire
12"          14 gauge (might be 12 gauge) solid copper wire
 6'            18 gauge wire (I used stainless on this one but will probably use copper from now on)
 1              3/16 x 2" zinc eye bolt (I might play with making a copper version in the future)
 1             Sampo black ball bearing swivel (# BX5RTB) or equivalent
 6              two packs of copper bells used for fishing, mine are GEAR South Bend 2-SB.  They run about $1.75 per package

I started by soldering three pieces of 18 gauge (not sure about gauge, I grabbed some wire laying around) into one end of the 1/4" copper tubing and then curling them.  This could be done with almost any size wire and solid or stranded for different results.
 The tubing was already in a coil so starting from the end I just soldered to I marked and dimpled the tubing every two inches until I had twelve spots to drill.  I used an 1/8" drill and drilled all the way through the tubing at all twelve locations. 

At this point I needed to modify the bells.  They come with a spring clip for clipping them to fishing poles.  This needs to go.  I used the same 1/8" drill bit and from the clip side, so I didn't damage the copper, I drilled the head off the rivet that holds them together.  The clips go in the junk drawer for some future projects and the bells are ready to use.

Next I hand formed the copper tubing into the desired spiral and then bent the 10gauge wire to the same basic shape.  There should be approximately 10" from the top hole to the top end of the tubing.  I turned the spiral in toward the center more then added the bends to hang the chime evenly.  As you can see in the picture the solid wire is curved at each end for a better decorative look. 

I then cut twelve pieces of my 18 gauge wire to 6" lengths. We'll get back to them.

 The swivel I used has an elongated clip that I hammered round to act as the hanger.  The other end of the swivel gets attached to the eye bolt.  The ring on the swivel is welded so I slightly opened the eye bolt, slid the swivel ring on and closed the eye bolt back up.  The eye bolt gets epoxied in the top of the tubing and if you use fast setting epoxy it will set while we do the next two steps.

Back to the twelve 6" wires.  I wrapped them around the solid copper 10 gauge, two wraps until I had all twelve wrapped around the wire.  Starting at one end i put a wire through each hole in the copper tubing.  Keeping the wire and tubing spirals aligned start pulling the wires through the holes until the wire is pulled down to the tubing. Now take the wires and feed them between the tubing and the 10 gauge to make one rap per hole.  This will hold the tubing and the 10 gauge together. 

I held the chime frame vertically and made the twelve wires hang straight down. 

Time to add the bells.  Each wire received one bell and the wire was looped to hold the bell on but still allow it to swing at the end of the wire.

At this point it's just fine tuning and hang it where it will get a breeze. 

I was pleased with the outcome and the first one has already been claimed by our oldest daughter.  Now I need to make two more.  One for the younger daughter and one for ourselves.  I'm sure there are many variations that I will try on the next two.

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