View Full Version : Wind Chimes

October 18th, 2001, 08:40 PM
Does anyone on this forum enjoy designing and assembling homemade wind chimes?

October 18th, 2001, 08:49 PM
Can't say I have...but I'd love to learn...do you have any ideas to share?

October 18th, 2001, 10:24 PM
Laiste, I have made a few of them, mostly from back yard junk, and they sound beautiful -if I do say for myself! The secret to making them sound properly is in the lengths of the ringing-tubes. The best material for the tubes is either 3/4 inch copper tubing or some other metal -especially if it is a type of steel. But copper works just fine. Aluminum also is OK, but it doesn't have the persistant ringing quality of more solid metals. The longer the tubes the larger diameter of the material, and vice-versa, the shorter the tubes the smaller the diameter of metal is required for construction. I have found that lower-toned chimes are difficult to find for sale and then they can be very expensive. To build A four-toned wind chime:

Using 3/4 or 1 inch copper, tubing cut a length (using a hacksaw) say, close to 20 1/4 inches long. This will be the first and the longest (lowest toned) of 4 tubes. Next cut the 2nd harmonic length by using this math formula : length, times 0.63 = the second harmonic of the first tube, of 12.75 inches or 12 and 3/4" long. This second tube then becomes the shortest of the four tubes. This simple math formula can be used with any lenght tube for a reference, provided that it is of the same material. (If you are starting with a short tube and want to find the corresponding 1st. sub-harmonic, take the length of the tube and divide it by 0.63. For example, lets say you have a 10" tube and want to find its corresponding sub-harminic, 10 divided by 0.63 = 15.87" or 15 and 7/8" long.) The two remaining tubes should be 15 1/8 " long and the other should be 17 5/8" long.

Next, drill a small hole all the way through at one end of each tube. Suspend each tube with a length of nylon cord, like that for a "weed-eater" and crimp with a small collett, or tie in a knot through a 6" to 8" square piece of plastic or plywood with a holes drilled in it's corners to hold the tube's nylon cord. Do this with all 4 tubes, and adjust their height so that the MIDDLE of each tube is on an equal plane. This is so when the "ringer" strikes against each tube they will be struck in the middle, otherwise they will not ring when struck outside of their mid-section.

For a ringer you can use soft wood, like redwood or white pine, especially if cut circular. Otherwise a short cut block of 2 x 2 or 2 x4 works very well. Allow about 1 to 1 and1/2 inch distance between the striker and the tubes. Use nylon cord to suspend the ringer (with small screweyes inserted in the center of each end). Adjust the hieght of the ringer so that its striking surface hits the center of each tube. For the "wind chatcher" a piece of thin aluminum sheeting cut about 10" square works well and hung well below the lowest hanging tube. Hang up in a breezy place in your patio or porch and listen.

To make a real sound treat, make two chimes but the tubes for the second one should be from 5% to 10% shorter or longer than the first. This allows a "vibrato" effect on the sounds from each chime. Those of you who are knowledgeable of Indonesian gamlan music (a sarong) will appreciate the special sound of such a chime arrangement. hugs .............Meth.

October 18th, 2001, 10:30 PM
Thanks for the info!!It will be great to try and make some!!;)

October 18th, 2001, 11:13 PM
Thanks! Excellent instructions...sounds like a great weekend project! Can't wait to try and make one!:)

October 19th, 2001, 03:43 AM
Then again...... I love Chinese......classical Chinese erhu too......and Tibetan...... I use tibetan bells in workings........
thank you for the lovely directions.....
I have used seashells ......... and once the wind played music on the top of a bottle for a ritual I was doing at the beach.......
ever do that ? .... just let the wind play the music ......by tipping the bottle (glass beer bottles work well LOL.....) into the wind......
Love and HUGS

October 19th, 2001, 10:11 AM
Swannie, No I have never made such a wind-operated device, although I knew that the wind over a tilted bottle will make tones. One of the problems here is that we seldom have enough wind to make such a thing work! As I am located in a separate area ,surrounded by 1000 ft. hills, off from the main (east side) San Joaquin central California valley. the breezes are gentle, except for occasional late winter thunder storms, one of which, about 3 years ago, blew about 70 mph and destroyed much property in the immediate area! hugs.......Methane

October 21st, 2001, 05:47 PM
I havent made any, but my aunt makes them out of forks and spoons! LOL
You beat the forks and spoons flat and twist the ends of the forks to get an interesting look. For hanging them you use another fork with the prongs going horizontal to the handle. You drill a hole in the handles to tie them up. They make a beautiful sound and are really affordable!And you can make all sorts of wacky designs!

October 21st, 2001, 06:19 PM
Jewlz, does the twisting of the forks and spoons make them ring, when struck?

October 21st, 2001, 11:53 PM
No, Think along the lines of one of those metal triangle things you played at school when you were really little, most metals make a noise like that if theyre not in contact with stuff that will stop them vibrating. (eg.metal from a string) They make a nice sound similar to the pipe wind chimes.
I used to make that bottle noise by blowing on one at a certain angle - when I was little, my Grandad and I used to do it all the time. :)

October 22nd, 2001, 12:36 AM
wind chime tuning forks ..............
Lovely idea.......
Thank you
Love and Light

October 24th, 2001, 05:09 PM
I don't necessarily make wind-chimes for its audio purposes, I find that just looking at a silent "wind-chime" brings me enough peace and serenity. That's why I loved it when I started making wooden wind-chimes out of fallen Willow tree branches that I would gather in my garden. Very pretty hanging outside my window!