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Wind chimes from gas bottles


The discussion about acetylene and the spread of the thread into
various discussions regarding the gas bottles reminded me of a
project I’ve often thought about.

Everybody knows about wind chimes. Usually they’re small things with
a high pitched sound. Frankly I’ve never cared for them. They always
sound tinny to me. Perhaps it’s because I’ve got a hearing loss and I
hear better in the lower ranges. Be that as it may, I’ve had an idea
for making wind chimes out of large gas bottles for a long time.

I would remove the bottoms, remove the valves, then use the valve
threads to suspend them. I’d put a large round metal disk in the
center with a large paddle suspended to catch the wind and make them
sound. As a nod to NIMBYs I realize I’d probably have to do it in
the middle of a large field and not in my residential backyard. I
suppose I’d also have to figure out how to tune a bottle to have some
true note.

Has anyone heard of anyone doing anything like this?

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Alliance, OH

Has anyone heard of anyone doing anything like this? 

Many folks have, one who has made some nice pieces this way is Tom

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts



It has been done, I recall seeing several instances of that around
the web. I made a gong out of a 120 Cubic foot oxygen tank a few
years ago. I did pretty much what you describe and had a turned
wooden stick with an old hockey puck attached to the end as a
striker. The kids loved it! Not sure about the neighbors.


We saw some years ago out of propane tanks, oxygen tanks, etc. with
various sizes. I thought about it myself because, especially the
large oxygen or acetylene tanks had a very good sound. The bottoms
were removed as was the top where the valve is attached. It was cut
flat with a large iron “O” welded to the top to suspend it from a


Hi Mike, I have seen just what you are talking about at gallery in
Ashland Oregon. They are very cool. Painted all different colors and
they sounded very nice. Sorry I don’t remember the price range, I
wasn’t interested in buying, just playing with them.

Janine, in Redding, CA


I saw you’re from Ohio, and last summer I saw some one with the same
sort of wind chimes at an art show on the East side of Cleveland. I
have the email address of the promoter, who should have contact info
on them if you’d like it. Email me offline if you like.



Can’t see why it wouldn’t work. You should get a nice low tone with
those bottles and you could tune them by cutting off slices from the
bottom which sounds like a lot of work (unless you happen to have a
power hacksaw.)

Be cautious if you use acetylene tanks because they might still
contain enough residual gas to cause an explosion. You would need to
purge them well with air several times.

Actually you can get low tones with just about any metal tube if it
is long enough.

John in Indiana



There are several artists around that do exactly what you are
describing. Some are quite ornate. I do love the sound of the large
oxygen bottle chimes.

I don’t recall which magazine, but it was either Craft Report or one
of those that has the advertisement for a gentleman that makes many
varieties of these.

Now I must go back outside and shovel some more of the twenty eight
inches of snow that fell in the 24 hour storm this past weekend.

Larry Silva
Da Gama Designs



I have seen these throughout the years and they make a great wind
chime. You are correct, they get rid of that “Tinny” sound. Most that
I have seen use a wooden paddle and disc. These sound deep, more like
a gong. I’d be careful making them as you have already related to. I
am thinking the type of bottle due to thickness and the length left
after cutting control the pitch.

They make a really soothing sound. Good Luck! Dan.

Has anyone heard of anyone doing anything like this? 

A couple years ago wind chimes were popping up in the Colorado
mountain tourist towns that were made from recovered oxygen bottles
collected on Mt. Everest that had been used by climbers. At one time
Mt. Everest had a trash problem with all the trash left by climbers.
I know the oxygen wind chimes were sold to help pay for the cleanup.
I don’t know how successful it’s been. With the popularity of
climbing Everest in organized outings one would hope some of the
money paid for the trip would go to cleaning up the Everest

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan



Since you’re in the area now, you should visit "Don Drumm Gallery"
in Akron-Google on Don Drumm, Akron, OH

This is a good gallery, and they show an artist who makes chimes as
you describe.

No affiliation, just a fan.

David A. Stitt, CDP


I feel like a dolt, but here goes: there is a yahoo group concerned
specifically with wind chimes (search yahoo groups, wind chimes) and
have featured many threads on using welding tanks as the “bells”.
The kicker is, I tried to get a link, and the old mind just couldn’t
figure it out. peace


I have done something similar with oxygen and co2 bottles. As I am
pitch deaf it sounded great to me, I would imagine someone who is
sensitive to pitch would keep cutting until the desired pitch is
reached. I also make gongs out of them instead of a triangle or a
disc. If I am in the back forty I can hear the dinner (bottle)
gong…or if company comes it only takes a wack or two to get my
attention someone is there. I welded a bull ring to the top and use a
ball peen for the clacker…wow. I think it rivals some of the brass
bells I have heard for resonance.

I also had a project for the wind chimes in mind but havent gathered
enough bottles, when you start asking for old bottles every one gets


The first thing I will state is: I am no expert. When one visits the
yahoo wind chime group, there is available, PDF, on calculating the
lengths of tubes to get “correct” frequencies. This gets pretty
technical regarding length, diameter of tube, metal, type of metal…
and on. The tanks will sound “good” just playing with a length, for
example: (ventilate the tank as maybe suggested) remove the very
bottom of the tank, work out your means of “Suspension”, and"gong"
it. I have no idea how it will sound, but working from there, play
with diameters of tanks, long tanks vs stubbier to get a notion of
how they sound together. There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained
there. I have worked on hammered copper bells I call “Rain chimes”,
not as in the downspout type, as these remind me of the rain on the
uninsulated roof at my Grandmothers house when I was a kid. The
sound: soft, gentle, and non-intrusive, as I find regular chimes can
be at times, IMHO. Thanks for making it this far. peace


Hi all, just another use for gas bottles. A friend of mine cut a
door into his old rejected gas cylinder and cut a hole in the top at
the back, put in a chimney and made a fireplace out of it, lined the
bottom with fire bricks.

It throws out a huge amount of heat and uses very little wood, which
is mostly off cuts as he is a carpenter, opal miner.

This fireplace went into his man shed.

Just an update on the opal production in Lightning Ridge, things are
very quiet on the fields so hope this years Tucson show is good to
the opal sellers, this may encourage production.

There is plenty of opal in the miners safes but its going to stay
there till the prices come up, miners are just sitting on it and only
selling medium to low grade,just enough to get by.

The market for high end is very slow especially for larger stones,
small top grade blacks are still selling but that is only a small
portion of production, the miners need to sell all the opal that they
dig or its not viable to mine as the costs are rising all the time.

Here’s hoping Tucson puts some dollars in everyone’s pockets and
smiles on the dealers faces.

Christine Roussel in the Ridge wishing I was in Tucson.