I found another use for those old, empty CD cases most of us have hanging around. The first Instructable the I posted was for taking 5 empty cases and making a flower box planter. This one makes a wind chime to add some melody and well as a nice looking piece to hang from your porch.
1 empty CD case (you'll get 2 chimes from each case)
Access to a Laser Cutter (I did mine at TechShop Pittsburgh. For information on TechShop and to see if there is one in your area go to www.techshop.ws)
Some shiny baubles
Step 1: STEP 1 – DISASSEMBLE CASE
You'll need to remove the CD tray and any paper that is in the case. The laser will set the paper on fire as it cuts through the plastic. FIRE IS NOT GOOD! So please be sure that you are only putting the plastic into the cutter. You'll also have to dial down the intensity so your plastic doesn't scorch. I had mine set at 75% power but you'll have to find the right settings for your laser.
When placing the case onto the cutting bed set it with the solid piece raised, not on the surface. I tried it the other way and when the laser moved it pushed the edge of the case moving it out of place.
Step 2: STEP 2 – CUT THE CASE
You can use the patterns I've provided or design you own. Go with 4.75" x 4.75" for your area. This may be a little off but it's close enough for this project. When my cutter calculated the cuts it did the outside cuts first then it went for the holes. This was a bit of a problem since the main piece dropped and the laser was out of focus for the holes. To get around this problem I used a two step process. Step one was to cut the holes from one pattern and the second was to cut the piece out.
Step 3: STEP 3 – ASSEMBLE YOUR CHIMES
I put 5 holes around the curve for your chime elements. We just did a similar project with some of the students in our church. We asked them to bring in "Musical Trash" from home to make wind chimes. My wife and I were amazed at the creativity, everything from old keys and silverware to cans and lids. You can chose whatever you like just as long as you can tie a string to it or put a hole in it for a string.
The big hole in the center is for your bauble, the focus element. I went to the local craft store and bought some plastic acrylic "Crystal" beads. using monofilament line center your bauble in the space and securely tie it there.
Step 4: STEP 4 – ASSEMBLE YOUR CHIMES
Take your chime elements, tie a length of monofilament line to it and attach it to the one of the holes around the curve. Since my hobby is repurposing old computers, my main elements are the hard drives from a computer. Make sure you plan your chimes and lay them out so they'll properly strike each other. Since my disks are fairly large I used three of them and put extra baubles for decoration between them. My wife does beading so she had some glass seed beads that I used to cover the strings with the baubles.
Now take a piece of string and tie one end to each of the two holes on the top. This is how you hang your chime.
Step 5: STEP 5 – HANG AND ENJOY
Your CD case chimes are now ready to hang and enjoy.