Introduction: Copper Tubing Wind Chime
This past holiday season I had a relative ask for a wind chime as their present. So, being the person that I am, decided to make one for them. Enjoy and have fun with this simple project.
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Step 1: Tools & Materials
OK, first off, the materials list. Since I already had some of these thing collected as scrap and such, I won't be able to list a price.
* 5 ft. length of 3/4 inch copper tubing
* scrap piece of 1x10 planking
* approximately 6 ft of decorative chain
* a small piece of golden craft wire
* 5 small sized "I" screws
* 3 small brass hooks
* 1 heavy key ring
Tools - well, a scroll saw would have been fantastic for this (or even a table mounted band saw), but I had to make do with what my budget allowed (tools that I already possessed).
* skill saw
* jig saw
* copper tubing pipe cutter
* needle nose pliers
* cordless drill
Finishing supplies - this is what I used to finish the pieces with:
* 1" paint brush
* primer for wood stain
* wood stain
* clear coat polyurethane
* mineral spirits
* 00 steel wool
Step 2: Draw Up a Plan & Prep the Materials
Unfortunately, the hand drawn plans that I drafted somehow disappeared between then and now, so we'll have to make do with a copy. I decided to make the base in a pentagon shape, there by having five chimes hanging down. I would use three connection points on the top, to connect to a key ring as the hanging apparatus. For both the clapper and the weight, I decided that I would cut some circular (as close as I could get with a jig saw) pieces of wood for these pieces.
First off, I needed to decide on the sizes of the chime tubes. Since I only had 5 ft of copper to work with, I decided to go with 16", 14", 12" 10" & "8" pieces. I measured and marked (with a sharpie) the lengths I need, then commenced to cutting them with the piper cutter.
Next was the wood work part. I have to admit - I cheated a bit here, as I used some of my old drafting tools to lay out the pentagon shape. I took an old "T"-square and a 45 degree and a 30/60 degree triangle to draw the shape out. I used a 4" scale for the initial measurements. For the circles, I can't remember what I traced around, but they were round containers of something or other. I'm almost sure that the clapper design was drawn from the bottom of a soup can....
Next, don ye old safety glasses, and let the wood cutting begin.
Step 3: The Time Consuming Part
Here comes the fun part, so get ready for it (and advanced apologies - I didn't take any photos during this part).
After cutting all the pieces (both metal & wood), they need to be cleaned up (sanded or be-burred), smoothed up a little, and have some fine tuning done.
With the copper tubes, I took some 00 steel mesh to the freshly cut areas and carefully smoothed the edges. After this, I took a rag with mineral spirits on it and ran it over the sections. More than a few times. This removes oil & paint / ink from the surface. Next, I ran the 00 steel wool over the sections - this polishes them up to give them that shine. Next was to carefully drill two holes in the top of the tubes - this is where the connecting chains will go later.
The wood - all I can say to sand, sand, sand. I suggested a sanding block with 100 grit sand paper to begin with (that is unless you used a scroll saw, then disregard). This is to knock the rough spots down. When you get the pieces shaped kinda like you want, then take 220 grit sand paper to them. I didn't want to get them real smooth, as I was wanting to go for a rustic kind of look.
I cheated a bit during the sanding part - I used my Dremel (with a sanding drum attachment) to help speed the process up. Once you have the wooden pieces as sanded as you want, clean them well with a dry cotton cloth - I used an old piece of terry cloth. This removes the majority of the dust. Next, in a well ventilated area, apply the pre-stain to the wooden parts (follow directions for the brand that you use).
After that soaks in, it's time to stain the wood - whichever color or flavor that you want. Since we'll be using polyurethane clear coat to seal the wooden pieces, now would be a good time to do a test run. Polyurethane can change the color of the stain, so this will help in determining the time factor in both coats. Have fun, but be aware that it is kinda messy, hence the need for some mineral spirits (for the clean up). After the stain achieves the color desired and has time to dry (again, follow brand directions), its time to coat them with clear polyurethane.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
Now that all the parts are dried and ready, we can finally assemble the wind chime.
First, you'll need to space the eye bolts, all dependent upon the size of the chime's clapper - one for each tube, and one right in the center for the clapper chain. Once you've set the eye bolts (these'll be to hold the actual chime tubes), on the top side you'll need to secure the small hooks, these will attach the chain to the large key ring.
On the clapper, I drilled a small hole through the middle and used a short piece of the golden craft wire to attach the chain to the top and bottom. The upper chain, of course, attaches to the top, and the bottom chain (which should extend well below the longest tube) goes to the weight.
After the placement of the eye bolts and the small hooks, now we get to do a small amount of metal work. This will involve the needle nose pliers. At whichever lengths you prefer, we'll need to cut and bend some of the links in order to attach the chimes to the top, and from the top to the key ring, not to mention the clapper to the top and the down weight to the clapper (whew, that's almost a run-on sentence).
Now all you have to do is attach all these parts to the top, and you're ready to chime!
Step 5: Finished Product
And congratulations! Your very own copper wind chime. Enjoy!
Step 6: Update!!
I've been meaning to post this for quite some time, but I just haven't. So since I'm working on another Instructable, I figured that I didn't have an excuse any longer. I have no idea where I found this, but I thought that this could help with this project immensely.