Hard Drive Wind Chime

I am a middle school teacher who uses Instructables with students all the time, so I thought I would try to write one. In one of my classes we did an HDD dissection to learn the parts and how they work. In an effort to re-purpose as much of the waste as possible, we concluded that wind chimes would be a great use of the platters. This is the design that I came up with. You will note that I used a platter as a wind catcher, and I hung it in the middle of the tubing rather than below. It makes for great sounds even when the winds are low. Hope you enjoy my Instructable.

Step 1: Materials

Here are the parts I used for my design, but as my student showed me, there are a multitude of options.

  • 2x HDD Platters
  • 1x 36" x .5" aluminum tubing Home Depot
  • 36"+ heavy duty cord. (NOTE: I tried light weight beading wire and it failed miserably. It didn't allow for enough movement.)
  • Heavy object with a hole or some way to attach cord. I used a steel ball bearing with a pre-drilled hole. Ball Bearing
  • Key Ring

Step 2: Tools

  • Sissors
  • Drill (preferably a drill press)
  • Optional and more fun: 3D printer
    • I used Fusion 360 to design a drill template and 3D printed a jig. However, you could easily make a template with cardboard. (Not as fun)

Step 3: Design Your Drilling Template.

As I said, I chose to 3D print a jig. It worked well, but a piece of tape helped keep the holes lined up when I moved it on the drill press. I have attached an STL file of the template.

Step 4: Drill the Platters

Using the template/jig that you made, drill your top piece and the windcatcher. Place a piece of scrap wood under the platter to prevent damaging your work surface.

Step 5: Cut and Drill the Pipe

Measure and mark your 36" tubing at 10" and 22". This will give you a 10", 12", and 14" piece. Us a hack saw or something more fun to cut the sections. File the cut edges to prevent them from cutting the cord. Drill a hole centered through both sides of the tube, approximately 1/2" from the end. Be sure to file down these edges as well, including inside the tube.

Step 6: Assembly

I used two long strands folded and tied in a loop to make four strands. Run the cord through the top piece holes and through one of tube holes. Then go back through the top piece holes making several Half Hitch Knots to lock it in place. Repeat the same procedure for the other two tubes, adjusting them to the same distance as the first one. Use the remaining length of cord to attach to the wind catching platter. Then add a piece of cord to the bottom hole, and attach the ball or what ever you are using as a clapper. The last step is to add a ring to the cord loop and you are ready to hang.

I hope you enjoyed my Instructable.

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