Introduction: Windchimes From Leftovers

After replacing a section of chain link I had several pieces of leftover top rail and some fencing. I also had pieces of 1/2" and 1/4" HDPE left over from another project. In the shed, during a recent cleanup, I also found several packages of steel wire. I added a picture of a set of wind chimes I had made two years ago from similar materials, using scrap wood. The charts for tubing lengths and original plans were downloaded from

For this Project I used:

About 6' of 1-1/4" steel tubing

A single strand of chain link- straightened

Thin single strand and braided wire (can use string)

5 pony beads, 3screw eyes, 2-3 links of small chain (again, string will work for the chain)

1/2" HDPE cut into 7" and 3-3/4" diameter circles

1/4" HDPE cut into a 6" diameter circle

Step 1: Determine the Proper Tubing Lengths

The first step was determining exactly what kind of tubing I was using. I knew it was steel, so I measured inside and outside diameter. I chose the pentatonic scale (C-D-E-G-A) for the tones. Using the chart I downloaded from , consulting my material quantity, and placement of the chimes I decided on the C7 scale.

The lengths for my 1.33" OD, 1.20" ID steel tubing (from the chart) were:

C- 12-7/16" with a mounting hole 2-13/16" down

D- 11-11/16" with a mounting hole 2-5/8" down

E- 11-1/16" with a mounting hole 2-1/2" down

G- 10-1/8" with a mounting hole 2-1/4" down

A- 9-9/16" with a mounting hole 2-1/8" down

Step 2: Cutting, Drilling, Sanding, and Painting

I cut each of the five tubes to length and drilled the mounting holes at the correct location according to my chart. I also sanded them down prior to prepping them for painting, as the pipe had been out in the weather since the project two years earlier. Note that I cut two sets- I decided to make several chimes as I have a lot of leftovers. For this set I used blue because that's what I had in the shed (again, leftover from another project).

While the paint dried I cut the HDPE circles and drilled them. The 7" circle (base) gets 5 evenly spaced holes all the way through, about 1/4" away from the edge, for the chimes and three pilot holes on top for the hanging eyelets. Both the 7" and 3-3/4" (hammer) circles get a hole in the center. The 6", 1/4" thick circle (sail) gets a single hole near the edge.

Step 3: Making the Hammer

I used a 12" piece of the fence fabric wire, passed through the hole in the 3-3/4" circle of HDPE to form the hammer. It was looped at the bottom to attach the sail, and at the top to attach to the center hole of the base. I noticed that a solid shaft, pivoted near the top, makes the hammer work better than simply hanging it from a string or similar.

I also screwed the 3 mounting eyes to the top of the base. Note the five pony beads next to the five mounting holes for the chimes.

Step 4: Stringing It Up

First I hung the base up using the three eyelets screwed into the pilot holes on top. I used three 10" pieces of straightened fence fabric and hung them from a central point.

Once the base was up I used some thin, single strand wire I had on hand to hang the chimes. I passed it through the longest chime, up through the holes in the base, through a pony bead, and then back through the same hole. When I had all five chimes hanging about even at the bottom, and hanging straight, I gave each pony bead a twist to hold the wire in place.

I used another piece of straightened fence fabric wire to hang the 'hammer', the 3-3/4" circle of 1/2" HDPE, from the center hole of the base. A few links of leftover 'toilet tank' chain near the top made sure it swung freely. I left a loop of wire at the bottom of the hammer to hang the 6", 1/4" piece of HDPE (sail).

Finally, I hung the sail from a long piece of braided wire attached to the bottom of the hammer.

Step 5: Final Notes- No Pun Intended. (Well, Maybe a Little.)

I used what I had for this. Other tubing could be used, just select the correct lengths for your material. Plywood or similar can be used for the base, hammer, and sail. Just remember that the hammer should be a hard material and the sail should be lightweight. Experience taught me that the hammer works better with a solid shaft pivoting near the top. Of course, string or similar could be used for any of the wire involved.

The video is a short clip of the chimes at work.

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