Getting Started Making Wind Chimes

Published: 17th April 2009
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Getting Started Making Windchimes (Wind Chimes)

By Stephen J. Ansuini

Windchimes (Wind chimes) can be made of materials other than metal or wood and in shapes other than tubes and rods. Other windchime (wind chime) materials include glass, brass, bronze, copper, bamboo, shell, stone, fragments of pottery, PVC pipes, and porcelain just to list a few. The materials are limited only by your imagination and budget. More interesting items, such as silverware, cookie cutters, tools, bottles, and crystals can also be recycled to create wind chimes. The materials which you select to make your windchime (wind chime) can tell a story about you, your profession, or your family. The traditional or percussion wind chime is of the simplest in appearance.

A wood top, clapper, and wind catcher are cut, shaped, sanded, and weatherproofed. I have also used the new plastic wood to increase the durability of the windchime (wind chime). Holes are drilled through the wood to accommodate support strings. Weatherproof fasteners and braided nylon string to hold the pieces together. When wood is used it is typically treated with oil as the only weatherproofing.

Remember windchimes (wind chimes) come in every size and shape. The tiniest can be worn as earrings. The largest has tubes that are 6 feet long and resonates like the bells in Big Ben's clock tower. The emphasis should be on the quality of the sound produced by the windchimes (wind chimes). Durability is also a major issue because most chimes are hung outdoors and must withstand not only the wind and sun, but temperature extremes, and precipitation as well.

A traditional percussion windchime (wind chime) is made of aluminum tubes, a round wood piece as the top, nylon string to attach the tubes to the top, a clapper, and a wind catcher. Aluminum tubing can be cut using a conventional hacksaw. The clapper and wind catcher are also made of wood.

1. Make the top, clapper, and wind catcher and drill holes to support the strings that attach the other components.

2. Select the tubing (or other items), cut to length and remove burrs from cut ends. Four to eight tubes are used in a typical wind chime. Each tube should be tuned to ensure the sound is the right pitch and all of the tubes sound good together. If necessary, the tubes can be trimmed slightly to adjust the sound.

3. In the tops of the tubes drill holes so they can be suspended. Take care that there are no sharp edges in the holes or the string will fail prematurely.

4. Assemble the windchime (wind chime) pieces together by hand. The nylon line is strung through the tubes and the top. The top is linked to the hanger, the clapper is attached, and the wind catcher is added at the bottom end of the center clapper string.

5. Your finished windchime (wind chime) is ready to hang.

Discover more of the charm of windchimes (wind chime) on my blog.

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