Intro: Rainstick; Really, Really Big and Continuous.
So we needed a rainstick for a stage production. I went to Instructables and found
and took that idea with a twist.
Please bare with me if I repeat the ideas, but there is a twist at the end.
One thing about rain-sticks is that the beads fall from one side to another and then they stop until the stick is turned again. Is there a way to make the rain continuous , like...rain?
a video of me with the final project
Step 1: What You Need
one 1.5" schedule 40 PVC, 10 Feet long.
4-1.5" schedule 40 PVC slip elbows
2- 1.5" schedule 40 PVC slip end caps (for storage)
2or 3- 1.5" schedule 40 PVC slip connectors (for optional setup)
big box of #10 1.5" screws
assorted beads, beans, and sound making objects.
Drill, drill bits, and screwdriver attachment.
Miter saw, or hack saw,
To make it pretty,
acetone, Plastic primer, spray paint.
Maybe an hour long project.
Step 2: Cut the Pipe
Cut the 10' pipe into 4 equal sections. They must be equal.
WARNING, sometime 10' pipe is only 9'11", and obviously when you cut it it loses a 16th of an inch or so with each cut.
Step 3: Drill Lots of Holes
Drill the appropriate size hole for the #10 screws, (or other size, I think the smaller the diameter the better the sound sand less likely to have the beads clog up.
I drilled every two inches, down one side, rotated by a third, drilled another row of holes offset from the first, and then rotated and repeated.
Basically ending up with a spiral of holes no closer than about an inch apart.
Work on one pipe first just 1/2 of the pipe to test out spacing. But it also depends how big your beads or beans are.
WARNING avoid putting hole near the ends. As the beads make the turn they slow down and they get clogged up if they hit screws after the turn.
Step 4: Put in the Screws
Drill the screws into place. I hope you have a screw driver attachment for your drill.
Side note- I originally thought this would be a good way to get rid of all those extra screws at the bottom of my toolbox. But many were too big or too little, or just didn't make much sound. so I went out and bought a whole box.
Step 5: Add the Elbows and Beads
Make a square of your 4 pipes using the 90 degree elbows. Before you put the last one on add your beans, beads.
NOTE: you really have to try coffee beans. They make a nice sound, bu mostly they smell great in your instrument. And I think coffee comes from places in the world that rain a lot, so it's poetic.
Step 6: Perform
You're ready to make rain, continuous rain. Slow rotate the giant square around and let the beads fall inside. Some shaking is required. But you can go round and round and never ever stop. You may go back and add or remove screws to make the flow just right. You may change the beads to get the perfect sound. try plastic, metal, split peas (which I stopped because they got ground up into dust.)
Store them after wards by taking it apart and capping one pipe with the two end caps, with the beads inside. You now have a short rain-stick that is much like www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-your-very-own-Rainstick/ Thanks again for the inspiration.
Step 7: Another Variation
Now with another $2 you bought the two slip connectors. Simply make a chain of three pipes and with end caps at both ends, you have a 7.5' rain-stick.
Oh what the heck go for 10 feet with just one more connector.
Step 8: Two More Variations
I changed the square into an octagon. Which I think has a more flowing sound, the square version has beans log jam a bit in the corners, and this eliminates that. Plus it just looks cool.
So I went out and bought at $2.27 a piece or 17.35 total Eight 45 degree angles. (That’s what they are called but anyone can see they are 135 degrees.) Cut each of the four pipes in half. Well carefully measuring because i think in an octagon it is even more important to be precise.
and added the 8 new corners. And just like they told me on
Step 9: One Last Variation, Maybe the Best...
Ever work on a project and spend time and money and then find a solution that cost WAY less and takes WAY less time?
After I thought I was done with this one, by creating the octagon, I found this at my local hardware store in the plumbing section. $5.25. A drainage pipe, with accordion like sides. I bought the length about ten feet, filled it with beans, and attached it to itself. It held perfectly, it was the perfect size, no need for screws because of the ridges.
However, this version needs rice or some smaller noise making device. Beans and beads are too big.
And there you go.