Recycled Tank Door Bell




I discovered by accident that cutting the bottom off a small empty oxygen tank makes a great sounding bell, and since my front doorbell hasn't worked for years, decided to make one of materials I had left over in my shop. I have no idea if this has been done before but here it is:

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Step 1: Cut the Tank in Half

After making sure the tank is empty, cut it in half. I hear that oxygen is flammable so be careful here. I personally had no problems with the sparks from my grinder cutting wheel and used the existing weld joint as a guide for cutting it evenly.

Step 2: Grind Edges Smooth

Just touch up the sharp cut edges with either a grinder, files, or belt sander.

Step 3: Save the Bottom Half for Something

the bottom half makes a great pencil or tool holding cup for the shop.

Step 4: Drill Out the Valve

Drill out the gas valve on the top so a string or wire can thread through.

Step 5: Tie the Ringer

Find something to use as a ringer. I appropriated the end of a bathroom faucet handle, and knotted it to a piece left over electrical wire and threaded it into the top, using a tied-in nut to keep it from sliding too far inside the bell, after marking where I wanted it on my wire.

Step 6: Tie the Ringer Handle On

Attach a handle to pull on. I found an old lighting pull switch handle to tie on the end. Anything will do.

Step 7: Attach to a Hanger

A left over circular cut out made of poplar functions as a plate through which to thread a long bolt that works to hang a chain I attached to the bell. The bolt head is counter sunk on the back side so it sits flush against a wall, and a few nuts and washers keep the chain in place.

Step 8: Attach to Wall.

After pre-drilling screw holes attach the hanging bell onto a wood trim piece next to the front door and Voila: old school doorbell. Sounds much better than an electric one in my opinion.

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    7 Discussions


    3 years ago



    3 years ago

    Your lucky you didn't blow yourself up, o2 is highly flamable

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Your comment is EXTREMELY important. An edit to this page should be made. Not all makers read the comments. We don't want people to die!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for the comments. I did edit it, and was wondering when first writing whether I should have said that about oxygen. Incidentally I also tried this with a propane tank, and noticed I could let out any remaining gas by simply putting pressure on the valve with something like a small screw driver, much like with a bicycle tire. I had no issues cutting that one either. It had a different tone--a bit lower. I'm thinking of now finding a bunch of old tanks and possibly tuning them to different pitches by figuring out where to cut them, and creating an instrument with scale notes. I noticed a few empties dumped out by the railroad tracks in my neighborhood. Such waste.


    3 years ago

    I know this has been said already but no change has yet been made but OXYGEN IS VERY FLAMMABLE AND CRAZY DANGEROUS.

    SCIENCE.... The air all around us is a combination of nitrogen ~80% and is inert and not flammable, next is oxygen which is ~17% and is required for any fire or firey explosion then ~3% carbon dioxide which is not flamable. Basically all standard fires happen in air that is 17% oxygen, fire needs oxygen to occur. Think how devestating and powerful fire is in general.....

    More oxygen creates stronger, hotter, harder to extinguish fire. I think you may know this otherwise why own oxygen tanks? The golden rule for fire is known as the fire triangle...Heat or spark, OXYGEN, and fuel. If you throw enough oxygen at something you can almost burn anything. The drips of oxagen saturated hot slab from a metal cutting blow torch can literally cause dirt to ignite.

    So imagine someone follows your ible and feels there is no danger in cutting oxygen tanks and saturates themselves with oxygen causing the air near body/trapped in clothes and hair to raise to 30% to 50% O2 and they try to light a ciggerate or even drop a peice of steel and it sparks....That person will light on fire like a candle wick. It would be like pouring gasoline on a human and then throwing a a match.

    You probably don't want to be responsible for that tragic accident. Please change your ible. Sorry I hate being saftey police but this is a big one.

    Second saftey note. I don't know about those little bottles but the big bottles of oxygen are pressurized at a few 1000 psi and become rockets that will blow through concrete walls if damaged.... Check utube and mythbusters. I would mention it if your going to add more saftey info.

    All that aside it's a cute project that looks nice. Those little bottles are generally trash when empty and it's a solid way to recycle then to make them have use beyond their purpose.


    3 years ago

    If I am not mistaken, those bottle sizes do have a relief valve on the top of them so if the pressure inside gets too high, it vents. And I also think that relief valve is a typical valve like in most bicycle tires. So you can remove the valve stem and make certain the bottle is empty. I would even fill it up with water a few times. O2 is a very flammable oxidizer and with ignite with any other flammable material. So are most any other gas that comes in those botltes. So you have to be extremely careful when doing anything to those bottle to keep from a serious visit to the ER or worst.


    3 years ago

    It looks like it could also be reused as a wind chime, same concept- anything metal for the interior clapper, something light and solid for the sail that catches the wind.