Windshield Wiper Wind Chime




Introduction: Windshield Wiper Wind Chime

About: I'm cheap and like to use what I have on hand and I really enjoy taking things apart to salvage parts. Rather than be a precise engineering type of person, I'm more of an enthusiastic tinkerer. Making things...

This is a wind chime that is made almost exclusively from reused items. The only materials that didn't start life in another form are the fishing line and the eyebolt that it hangs from. I am reconstructing how I built it from memory for my first instructable so no photos of the build in progress are available. The photos I have are crappy as taking the wind chime down to photograph it in better lighting conditions would go against my policy of energy conservation.

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Step 1: Materials & Tools You'll Need

- 1 frame from an old windshield wiper replacement
- fishing line
- chimes (anything that resonates w/ a pleasant sound when struck will do. I used rollers from a copy machine). As far as number goes that is up to persoanl preference and the size of windshield wiper.
- clappers (The things that will do the striking of the chimes. I used that bases of broken speedlock drill bits).
- something to catch the wind (I used hotel keycards, but anything light w/ some wind resistance will do)
- spring, s-hook or some other way to suspend the completed project from an eyebolt
- 1 eyebolt
- couter balances of some sort may be needed as well.

- pliers
- awl or knife
- scissors
- dremel or hacksaw (optional)
- drill with bits and eyelet driver

Step 2: Prepare the Frame

Take your windshield wiper off your car when it wears out. Pull the blade (usually rubber w/ flexible metal backer) out of the barckets holding it in the frame. Save the frame for this project, put the metal backer in your parts stash as it might be useful for something and pitch the rest.

Step 3: Prepare the Chimes

I used rollers from a copy machine I disassembled (great source of screws, springs, mirrors, metal rods and other assorted parts) for the chimes. I dropped a tool on them during the salvage process and noticed a noise that sounded almost pleasant. I used my dremel with a cut off wheel to remove one end of each roller and this allowed them to resonate. In choosing the length in which to cut your rollers or other chime material remember the longer the chime the lower the note.

Fortunately for my policy of energy conservation there were already holes drilled in the rods protruding from the ends of the rollers. If your chime material doesn't have a hole in it you'll need to drill one just big enough to pass fishing line through later.

Step 4: Wind Catchers

In order for your chime to become a wind chime it has to catch the wind. Any light wieght material with a large surface area will do.

I used hotel key cards b/c I have a lot of them from traveling and they are light weight plastic. (They also make great disposable putty knives). Take two key cards. Cut out a section of the card starting at the middle of one of the short ends. The cut should be about as wide as the thickness of the card material. Extend the cut about half way along the length of the card. Repeat this process on the other card. Joint the cards together by slipping the cuts together . The friction of the cut edges on the cards should hold them together. If they won't stay propped open trim a little more plastic out of one of the cuts. Trim a little bit at a time. If you take off too much it will be too loose and the cards won't stay together. I don't know how well I've explain this. Hopefully the picture will help.

Once you've got the cards fitted take them apart. Pick a card and use an awl or other pointy tool to make a hole large enough to pass fishing line through.

Step 5: Assembly

Cut a long piece of fishing line. Thread one end through the hole in the top of the chime and tie a knot so it doesn't slip loose. Figure out how low you want the chime to hang from the windshield wiper frame. Tie the other end of the line to the frame so the chime hangs at the desired length.

For the stirking assembly cut 2 more long pieces of fishing line. Tie one end to the clapper and determine how low you want it to hang then secure the other end to the wind shield wiper frame. Tie one end of the second line to the clapper. Figure out how low you want it to hang below the chime and then thread the remianing end through the hole in the wind catcher. Wait until the wind chime is complete and then assmble the wind catchers.

Repeat these steps as until your wind chime is assembled. The trick is balancing all the chimes so it hangs evenly. I just used a process of trial and error. In the end I couldn't get the balamce just right with chimes alone so I ended up having to add counter balances to one end.

To hang the wind chime drill a pilot hole whatever you want to hang it from. Then use the eyelet driver to insert the eye bolt. Dead center in the middle of the wind shield wiper frame will be a post that attaches the wiper balde assembly to the wiper arm on a car. Loop one end of a spring, S -hook or heavy wire around this post. Bend it shut with your pliers. Loop the other end of the spring etc. over the eye bolt and bend it closed with the pliers.

Wait for a breeze and enjoy.

Step 6: Lessons Learned

If I were to do this over again there are a couple of things I might change. I would probably shorten the length of fishing line between the clappers and wind catchers as they tangle easily. (See picture)

I also might used a more balanced clapper like a washer .

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    8 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 6

    A sound track of the wind chime might be great! You have inspired me to make a some wind chimes. Thanks


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 6

    Unfortunately the sound track isn't possible as the chimes suffered a mishap this summer.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This was a very good and easy project.  I did this for my physics project and it worked perfectly.  There were some things i did differently.  Like, I used copper pipes.  They looked good and made a really good musical tone.  Also make sure you tie two knots on each chime, that way they don't move when the wind blows them.  Another cool idea would be to use bamboo wood as your chimes.  They would make a really cool and different sound.

    Thank you for posting this project.



    9 years ago on Step 1

    really hard to see :(


    I like it, not only does it save on landfill, but it's something anybody can do with stuff they would otherwise discard. Or ,they could buy cheapo ones and make them as well ;). Not to mention it's not another friggin weapon instructable :P. Good job :D !


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I appreciate the kind words.