What You Need To Know About Metal Tubing For Wind Chimes

There is something soothing about the melody made by the breeze as it slowly swirls the clapper of your favorite wind chime. It’s remarkable how many various tones these metal tubings can produce.

When constructing a wind chime, one of the most significant elements to consider is the metal choice, and there are three or four metals that come into play when we are making wind chime tubes regardless of size.

Aluminum, copper, and steel are the most popular and basic metals used in the production of wind chimes. Each metal has its unique features in terms of weight, wall thickness, sound and tone, weather resistance, and cost. 

Aluminum wind chimes have a couple of advantages over other material-type chimes. Some of which include being long-lasting and surviving weather elements such as rain, sun, and wind.

Aluminum tubing can also be tuned to a certain sound or note.

Why Is Aluminum The Best Choice For Wind Chimes?

Aluminum tubing is a popular medium to create the sounds produced by a wind chime. Aluminum is a terrific metal to use for this purpose and for good reasons. It is a lightweight and soft metal, that will rust or corrode at a far slower rate than other metal wind chime options such as copper or steel. Aluminum wind chimes may also sound better than copper or steel wind chimes. 

Does Size Matter?

You might be wondering if the size and length of a tube may affect the sound of your wind chime. And yes, size is important if you want to generate a specific sound.

The sound will be lower if the tube is longer, and deeper if the diameter of the tube is larger. You should use longer tubes with a greater diameter if you want your wind chime to produce a deep low relaxing sound.

On the other hand, wind chimes with higher pitches have the opposite effect. The tone will be higher when the length of the tube is shorter and the diameter is smaller. If you prefer a wind chime with a light sparkling sound, then you should go for the tubes with lower diameters.

How To Tune Your Wind Chime?

Most wind chimes are tuned to a pentatonic scale, which means that no matter what combination of tubes is struck, you will hear a lovely sound. The five notes of the pentatonic scale are C, D, E, G, and A.

You may be wondering if it’s really possible to make a piece of aluminum tubing sound like a musical instrument, and the answer is yes. There will be measuring involved, and it is helpful to have a piano or other tuning device nearby to ensure that your tubes are in tune, but it is doable. 

Some websites will provide you with more in-depth information about where you should drill and how far apart you should hang your wind chime tubes. If you drill your hole in the improper spot, the sound of the wind chime will be affected.

There are various theories and ways for making the best-sounding wind chimes. The path you choose will be determined by your personal style choices and how strongly you want your chime to be in tune. You don’t have to worry about measuring or hanging the tubes if you’re not too concerned with a certain tone and just want some random wind chime sounds.

Just keep in mind that a larger and heavier sail will require a stronger wind to blow to make the wind chime play its sounds. But if you use a smaller, lighter-weight sail and clapper, the wind will move it more easily, and you will be able to hear your wind chimes music more clearly than if you use a heavier ensemble.

It is a matter of taste since some people may become irritated if they hear a wind chime all day, whilst others can enjoy the sound with no problem all day long.

Buying Predrilled Tubes

Even if love doing crafts and decide to make the wind chime yourself, perhaps it is best if you don’t have to worry about the technicalities of measuring and cutting the tubes. In that case, your best bet would be to purchase some aluminum tubing that is already pre-drilled and cut to the lengths that you desire. 

Other Tubing Options

Copper

Copper is a fantastic metal choice for large wind chimes, perhaps even more so than large aluminum or large steel wind chimes. Copper is a wonderful material for wind chime tubes or bells for numerous reasons.

Reason number one is that copper is available in different wall thicknesses. Reason number two is that a copper wind chime can age very beautifully, as unfinished copper gradually transforms from a rich deep amber to numerous colors of green that will look gorgeous in your backyard, garden, or patio. However, copper is most likely one of the most expensive materials to use for wind chime tubes.

Galvanized Steel

Using galvanized steel for wind chimes is a wonderful idea since it has proven to perform well in different kinds of weather, and when compared to other metals, galvanized steel is the least expensive one.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most suitable metals for manufacturing wind chimes. Stainless steel wind chimes feature unique qualities that are not found in any other wind chime alloy. To begin you can use an incredibly thin sidewall while still getting a wonderful tone. Remember that the larger the diameter and the longer the pipe, the lower the bass tone.

Stainless steel polishes to a mirror shine finish and retains that quality for an extended period of time in most, if not all, weather situations.

Nevertheless, stainless steel is also likely to be one of the more expensive metal options, and because of its high nickel content, is one of the most difficult metals to cut and drill through. So you may require plenty of patience, as well as extra cutting blades and drill bits, but the results will be worth it if you can afford it and have the patience to work with it.

Making Your Own Wind Chime

Wind chimes are one of the most simple crafts you can make. The great thing about constructing wind chimes is that they can be anything. And the more inventive you are, the more unique and entertaining they will be.

Get 5 feet of Type M 34-inch copper tubing, seven eye screws, five No. 6 1-inch machine screws and nuts, nylon yarn, and 1 x 6 timber.

A 4½ inch-diameter circle should be centered in a 5½ inch-square cut of lumber. Make five equidistant marks on the circle, and then install eye screws in the circle’s center and at each of its five points.

Cut five pieces of tubing to the lengths listed in the table below. The minor pentatonic scale is made up of the five notes of the chime, which correspond to the black keys of a piano. The notes are enjoyable in any order. Pythagoras and other ancient Greeks were the first to investigate the relationship between the length of a vibrating body and the notes of a musical scale.

Musical PitchLength 3/4-Inch Copper TubeHang Point
C-Sharp11 1/2 inches2 9/16 inches
D-Sharp 10 7/8 inches 2 7/16 inches
F-Sharp 10 inches 2 1/4 inches
G-Sharp 9 7/16 inches 2 1/8 inches
A-Sharp 8 7/8 inches 2 inches

Drill a 5/32-inch hole through each pipe in the table. The best chime resonance is produced by these hanging positions. Insert a machine screw into the hole and secure it with a nut. Connect the circle of eye screws to the screw shank in each pipe using a 7-inch length of twine.

Cut a clapper from a 1x scrap with a 2½-inch hole saw. Make a V-shaped, 3-inch-long wind scoop out of extra 1x scrap. Each one should be hung from the middle eye screw. To the top of the initial square, cut and attach two smaller 1x squares. In the smallest square, place an eye screw top-center. Hang the chime in the breeze and enjoy the sound.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know all about the different options at our disposal for making a wind chime, you can now start crafting your own if only you let your creative juices run free.

Sooner than you know, you will be enjoying the beautiful and magical music these artifacts are capable of playing.