I made this for my girlfriend for Valentine's day, but there's never a bad time to give your girlfriend (or boyfriend, or anyone) a wooden heart windchime. I wanted to make her something and had some offcuts of ash lying around, and this is what I came up with.
(Note: I'm describing this as a wind chime, but how much chiming it will do is questionable. It's more of a visual thing really, though the ash I used makes a nice quiet clinking noise when knocked together. I'm sure there are ways of controlling the pitch and timbre of the noise using different materials and dimensions - length, bore, etc. - but this isn't what I was going for here.)
5 short lengths of wood (preferably hardwood - I used ash) approx. 6" x 1.5" x 3/4" but scale as you wish
Polyester thread or similar
Small brass screw eye
Drill and various bits (preferably a drill press, but a cordless driver should work)
Sandpaper of various grits ~60-400 (or ideally a belt sander and belts)
Step 1: Mark Out
Mark out your design on your timber. I found it made it easier to tape it together for this. Leave one piece for your cross piece.
Step 2: The Sawing Bit
Mark out and cut off as much as possible with square cuts. Use a straight block against the workpiece if it's not straight. Getting the ends square will make the next bit easier.
Step 3: The Drilling Bit
Drill into the bottom of each piece with the largest bit you think you can get away with. I used a 7mm bit I think. Drill far enough to leave about 1cm from the far edge of your marked design (not necessarily the edge of the wood). Marking the bit with masking tape makes this easier. Getting it straight is the important thing.
Then drill each piece from the top with a smaller bit. I used 2mm (I think) but it depends on what you're using as thread. The important thing here is to get the two holes to line up, which will happen if you've got them straight and lined up.
Step 4: Another Sawing Bit
Cut off as much waste as is practical with a saw.
Step 5: The Whittling Bit
Roughly round off the corners with a whittling knife. If you don't own such an implement, improvise with some other sort of sharp knife, preferably leaving your digits intact, or skip this bit and start with a lower grit sandpaper. Or just have your edges square.
Step 6: The Sanding Bit
Sand down each piece, working through the grits until it's as smooth as you can be arsed to get it and your room is covered in dust.
Step 7: The Cross Piece Bit
Shape and sand the last piece as desired. Drill four (or however many pieces you have) holes with the small bit you used before.
Step 8: The Oiling Bit
Oil all the pieces with the oil of your choice - I used linseed. You can use the holes to string them up to dry. The old maxim with oil is "a coat a day for a week, a coat a week for a month, a coat a month for a year, and once a year for the rest of your life" - adhere to this as much or as little as you please.
Step 9: The Putting It All Together Bit
Tie the pieces onto the cross piece. Depending on your thread, big knots may be enough to keep it from slipping through the holes, or like me you can tie it round small splinters of wood which are hidden within the pieces. I tied fairly big knots in the ends on top of the cross piece and wedged splinters of wood in the top of the holes to keep them slipping through.
Attach the screw eye to the top of the cross piece in the middle (not shown here as I didn't have one that was appropriate when I was making it).
And your done. Now give it to someone special.