Introduction: Simple Yet Beautiful Wind Chimes
Anyone can make these wind chimes with just a little time and scavenging, you may even find some parts in the trash. There are many ways this project can be altered and personalized to suite the materials you’re using, or simply to change its looks to the way you want it. Once you complete your chimes you will be reminded of your accomplishment every time the wind blows.
For extra help or curiosity check out the video: https://youtu.be/hrkieedyfbI
Step 1: Supplies
· Small Drill Bit
· File (flat & round)
· Center Punch
· Hacksaw or Pipe Cutter
· Knife or Scissors
· Tin Snips (if using sheet metal for hangar or wind catcher)
· Pipes (with a nice ring)
· String (strong enough to hold your pipes)
· Large hex nut (something hard and large enough to ring your pipes)
· Wind catcher (piece of colored glass)
· Decorative piece for the top of the chimes (optional, more glass)
· Ring or circle to hold the chimes
Step 2: Cut and Drill the Pipes
I used ½” copper pipe and cut four pieces, each at 7”, 8 ½”, 10”, and 11 ½”. These are just guidelines of course; you can make the pipes as big or small as you want. I used a pipe cutter so that I would get a perfectly square cut, but if you don’t have one a hacksaw works just fine. Thinking it would be decorative looking I used a hacksaw and cut an angle on the bottom end of a pipe. However the angle seemed to dull the sound of the ring so I cut all my pipes straight across instead.
Before drilling a small hole through the top of the pipe for hanging, it helps to make an indent in the pipe using a center punch. This way the drill bit doesn’t wander around on the pipe, it drills straight through. When center punching the pipes put them in a vise, but not so tight that the pipe becomes deformed. If using a hand drill leave the pipe in the vise so it doesn’t slip. (File any burrs off that may cut your string.)
Step 3: Drill the Hangar (Unless Using a Ring)
If using a large ring to hang the pipes from it would probably be easiest to simply tie the pipes to the ring, rather than drill a hole. I used a large dish-shaped washer that I found on the shed floor. To hang the pipes I drilled four sets of two small holes (four sets for four pipes, See Picture 4). This way I can run the string up one hole and down through the other, then through the pipe. Because it’s hanging from two points the pipe doesn’t spin and get twisted up. I also center punched where I wanted the holes so that they would be more precise.
Step 4: Tie the Pipes to the Hangar
So that the chimes look a little tidier I hide the knots inside the pipes. I did this by first crimping a small twisty or wire onto the string to act as a needle then running it through one hole in the pipe from the inside then up through one hole in the hangar and down the other. Then lastly run the string through the hole in the other side of the pipe, from the outside. Now the start and end of the string should be coming out of the inside of the pipe, remove the wire being used as a needle then tie the ends together. Depending on how much slack you take up when you tie the knot will depend on how far the pipes hang below the hangar. (See Picture 4) Don’t forget to hand the pipes in order, shortest to longest. (If you have a problem with the string unwinding hold a flame to the end briefly to melt the ends together.)
Step 5: Prepare the Glass and Ringer
For the decorative piece at the top and the wind catcher at the bottom I used the bottoms of broken glass bottles. Be sure to WEAR SAFETY GLASSES when breaking the glass and chipping the sides of the bottle off in order to get a flat disk. I achieved this by resting the sides flat on a hard surface then tapping them gently with a hammer so that all the force goes into the side piece that I want to break off rather than into the bottom piece which I want to keep. WATCH OUT FOR SHARP EDGES!
I had no way to put a hole in the glass pieces for hanging, so instead I wrapped wire around them like ribbon on a present, this way they can hang by the wire. To wrap the glass center it on top the wire then bend the wire over the edge of the glass bringing the ends parallel past each other. Then bend the wires ninety degrees around each other so that they are pointing opposite directions and create a cross on this side (See Picture 5). Next flip the piece over and bend the wire over the edges again and twist the ends together, cut off the excess.
For the ringer I used an old square nut and jammed a looped wire in the threads to hang it by. The ends of the wire I flared outward so that they would hook onto the threads, then I simply threaded it into the nut. (See Picture 6)
Step 6: Attach the Hook
The hangar I used already had a hole in the center so to hang it I simply tied one end of the string to a smaller washer that doesn’t fit through the hole in the hangar (See Picture 4). The other end I tied to the smaller piece of glass that I wrapped in wire. Then opposite were I tied the string to the glass I attached a hook that I bent out of and old wire pail handle. (See Picture 7)
If using a large ring as the hangar you’ll have to tie three or four strings to the ring and join them at the decorative glass piece.
Step 7: Attach the Ringer and Wind Catcher
To attach the ringer, tie string to the bottom of the small washer holding up the hangar. Then run the string through the loop on the ringer and tie it tight at the desired height to ring the chimes. I found that half way up the second longest pipe gives a nice ring. (See Picture 8)
The wind catcher I hung by running a string up through the nut and tying it to the loop or the string holding the ringer (See Picture 8). I used the larger piece of glass for the wind catcher and hung it a few inches below the pipes so that it wouldn’t interfere with their ringing and so it can catch more wind. (See Picture 9)
Step 8: Hang It Up
Your completed wind chimes are now ready to be hung in a breezy place.
CONGRATULATIONS you have completed your wind chimes! Enjoy their music!
Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest
3 years ago
The sound of the pipes will be louder and clearer when you place the point of hanging about 21% off the ends. You can feel the best point by holding them between 2 fingers, then knock; the point where you feel least vibrition will be the best. See more on my (very old, german) HP: https://musikinstrumentenbau.jimdofree.com/selbstklinger/
3 years ago
This turned out nice :)