|Project by Tennessee||posted 05-25-2013 12:50 PM||1565 views||5 times favorited||9 comments|
There is not a LOT of wood on this project, but I thought I would post it for Memorial Day Weekend.
I’ve always been fascinated by chimes, and own a few sets, but never built chimes until now. After some research on the Internet, I came across what has to be the definite website on chime building and engineering, here: http://home.fuse.net/engineering/Chimes.htm
Mr. Len Hite has put together a fabulous website complete with the following:
A PDF file which downloads as 52 pages of full color showing all aspects of how to build chimes, the engineering and proper way to tune your chimes, striker considerations in wood, multiple windsail considerations, and many other things. I took the time to print this out and bind it, since it now rides in my shop for reference.
Excel files, all downloadable, which will allow you to automatically configure your tube material into true sounding pipes that you will be proud of. His Excel files allow you to input ID and OD correctly to the ten/thousandths, and this is important since I found out the tough way that aluminum 1/4” tubing is not truly .250, and that does make a difference. His Excel files also allow for aluminum, steel, copper, stainless, brass and cast iron. (Yes, cast iron does ring out nicely!) The Excel file also tells you exactly where to drill your holes. The book tells you how to make the holes so they don’t wear through the line. (I used aluminum rivets with the nail removed.)
My first effort was the small chime in the last two pictures. The support ring is oak, and the striker is oak, with a bubinga windsail. I coated it all in Tru-Oil. When I attached the chimes and striker, I laid out the hole pattern as per Len’s nice format, (yet another Excel download), and simply stapled the string ends to the top of the ring. Then I cut a nice circle of bubinga and screwed it over all the staples and string ends to clean it all up. The windsail is cut with a little wave in it, but I should have put the hole towards the middle to slant it for more wind catching. Live and learn. It still sounds nice, and now I know why all the ones I’ve bought don’t. Tube length compared to diameter and wall thickness, hole placement, and striker placement is all very important to true tonal bliss.
My Memorial Chimes are tuned to A, B, F and G. They are held by a solid cherry plank sprayed with satin lacquer, on which is bolted a lantern that will hold a forever candle. The striker is walnut and oak which I turned and coated with Tru-Oil, making the oak the striking wood, (kind of shaped like an acorn), and adding weight to the striker bottom so it would not deflect immediately upon hitting a pipe. This gives me a kind of double hit which is pleasing to the ear. The windsail, I confess I did not build. I intended to paint a hardwood windsail as a flag, then my wife found this eagle plaque on sale at a local store so to save time and get it done for this weekend I went with that. Overall, about 8-9 foot in length, with the longest pipe over 52” long.
The aluminum piping was simply found in the metal rack in a Lowes. It is one inch, but really came out to .9985OD, and .8865ID. That made a definite difference in the database lengths. The difference between a true tone, and a piece of wood clanging against a tube. The lantern came out of a clearance area of a Kirklands.
If you are interested in chimes, take a look at Len Hite’s website. You’ll find yourself, like me, balancing various copper piping and EMT conduit in a big box store, then striking it with a PVC elbow to see how it sounds!
Thanks for lookin!
-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com