Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 01-30-2015, 09:22 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,218
brass tubing for wind chimes, which variety?

I'm kicking around the idea of making wind chimes. I've looked at McMaster Carr for brass tubing and see there are a few varieties and sizes. I'm at a loss as to which is the one Im looking for (or even if brass is it).
alloy 260?
allow 330?
structural?
others?
Also I'm not sure of the size and thickness. I think I'm looking at 1/2 inch od or so, but the wall thickness may be more important.
ANy ideas on what I should go with to make a nice sound?

Cutting to proper length will be another question for another day
#2
Old 01-30-2015, 09:56 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 15,124
I doubt it matters much, unless you have a super-duper tuned ear. My dad has a wind chime made of old copper plumbing pipe leftovers he had laying around, and it sounds just fine.
#3
Old 02-02-2015, 03:19 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,218
Guess I'd like to bump this just once to see if I get any more replies.
I don't know enough about Brass types to make an informed decision.
#4
Old 02-02-2015, 04:45 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Goobopolis
Posts: 1,895
Alloy types would matter if you were machining or soldering. Sounds like you are just cutting to length and stringing them up.

I'd go with what's least expensive.
#5
Old 02-02-2015, 07:03 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 8,007
The specific alloy is not that big a deal, although the general choice of metal matters. Brass will, I think, let you get away with somewhat thinner walls. (I prefer steel, but I like giant, deep-toned Bell of Doom chimes.) As you suspected, wall thickness is important--you need fairly thick walls relative to the diameter of the tube to get a rich sound. From what I've read, a thickness of 16 gauge to 12 gauge (~.06 inch to .1 inch) will probably serve for the diameter you're looking at.

Also important is locating the proper attachment points. If you attach the supporting line to the chime at the wrong point, it will damp out the sound. According to this site by someone who has done the math, you should attach your line at (0.221 * tube length) from the end of the tube. (The site also shows the calculations for lengths corresponding to various frequencies.)
#6
Old 02-02-2015, 08:29 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,218
I hadn't thought about steel, and would consider it. I want it to sound nice so I'm not stuck on brass... I just assumed that would be good.

Are you talking stainless steel? So it won't corrode? Solid bars, not hollow?
#7
Old 02-02-2015, 08:50 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Chicago's Northside
Posts: 2,537
Can brass tube be cold drawn or hot drawn?
Cold would probably ring better.
#8
Old 02-02-2015, 09:16 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 8,007
No, hollow tubes. Solid chimes can be pretty, but they're almost always tiny, high-pitched things. Large solid chimes would probably be prohibitively heavy.

Stainless is nice, but relatively expensive--8 feet of your 1/2" OD, 0.1" wall pipe in stainless would be $67.04 from Metals Depot. Galvanized steel can work, or you can get plain steel pipe powder coated, which provides corrosion resistance and a choice of colors.

Aluminum can work, but I've never much cared for the sound of aluminum chimes. I can't define the difference very well, but they sound duller to me than steel.

Copper is another option. It sounds fine in smaller chimes and corrosion just gives it a nice patina, but it's obviously more delicate.

My best suggestion for finding the material that appeals to you is to take a wooden striker of some kind (a wooden spoon or something), go to a hardware store, and tap on various types of pipe. Hold up a short piece (about 1/5th of the way from the end as noted in my previous post) and rap it lightly. Figure out what you like best, and go from there.

ETA: Disclaimer--I have not actually made any windchimes myself, just listened to a lot and done some research about making them.

Last edited by Balance; 02-02-2015 at 09:19 PM.
#9
Old 02-02-2015, 09:23 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 39,362
I hope your neighbors aren't within hearing distance. Wind chimes can be annoying as hell.
#10
Old 02-02-2015, 10:54 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: In a canyon, in a cavern
Posts: 1,140
For the most sustaining tones, you want the hardest "tempers" you can find. Generally, you should be able to find the Full Hard (H05) temper. Beyond that, they go higher, with extra hard, and even spring tempers (which go up to H14, super spring temper), but these may not be available in tubes. The higher the "temper" the less internal dampening will occur. A "truer" tone will be obtained with the most consistent dimensions, again steering you toward the cold drawn material. I think I'd look at the 260 brass in the Full Hard temper, if you can get it, over the 330.

Last edited by excavating (for a mind); 02-02-2015 at 10:59 PM.
#11
Old 02-03-2015, 05:40 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 5,238
Before you do all this: please, please, please consider the effects on your neighbors.
#12
Old 02-03-2015, 08:36 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,218
Quote:
Originally Posted by chappachula View Post
Before you do all this: please, please, please consider the effects on your neighbors.
For all of you concerned and probably annoyed by wind chimes:
If I build them, these are for my mom (see http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=746694)
She lives very far from neighbors, probably a mile from the closest one. Don't know if she will be annoyed, but then if she is, she can just not put them up.
#13
Old 02-03-2015, 08:46 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bedrock
Posts: 26,079
Is there some place near you that sells them? I think I'd look at what they have to get a sense of the material, diameter and length. Then it should be simple enough to replicate what you observed.

If, like you say, your mom is annoyed by chimes in general, she can always hang them on a gate to only sound if someone is coming or going.

Last edited by lieu; 02-03-2015 at 08:47 AM.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:52 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: vcr plus dope wikipedia pigs penis ncis smoked hbo now porn malcolm x christian pachabel christmas drive better drunk sneezing repeatedly surveying land 4 gage shotgun deer are stupid guinness blonde ratebeer goodday sir in the vein suncatcher paint oak tag board oblivion faces water flies code section symbol funny rhymes dirty time warner botnet 8ball coke elvis woodstock kosher vegetarian x37b launch trusses cost equate mouthwash fnord definition green carrot tuit sweet cia accomplishments getting used to bifocals checks on the supreme court does goofy have a wife honda civic brake pads life why do bulls have rings in their nose lincoln car commercial music is x up or down 7 with a line through it cat excessive digging in litter box johnny cash eating cake bush pos debit amazon mktplace pmts amzn.com/bil wa 3 stooges eye poke what if neo took the blue pill lovers or losers tv show delaware does not exist can w be a vowel best ear wax removal kit cvs lobsters screaming in boiling water substitute for water chestnuts what does it mean when you waive extradition chuck's feed and seed android commercial golly what a day full contact strip club which president said i cannot tell a lie how to tell the difference between oak and pine 12 men on an island how many moth balls in a box right turn on red states how big is 4000 square feet what does on the nose mean hut favorite flavor sticks belly of the whale meaning