How to Restring and Tune Broken Tubes on Wind Chimes

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Wind chimes bring enjoyment with the peaceful sounds they make on a breezy day. Occasionally wind chimes break from long-term use or stormy weather. Many people throw the old wind chime away and buy a new one. However, you may want to consider repairing and re-tuning your broken wind chimes. The more one studies their design, the more one learns to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of how they function.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement tubes
  • Nylon string
  • Stapler
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cutter
  • File
  • Electronic guitar tuner or tuning software (optional)
  • Purchase new tubes for broken or damaged chimes. Decide which material of tube to use. Tubes come in a variety of metals and woods, and can be purchased at a variety of online sites (See Resources).

  • Purchase replacement string for your wind chimes. Braided nylon string, often used for fishing line, is the most common and can be purchased in most sporting good stores. Choose the size of the string based on the size of your chimes. Use 20-pound string for tubes 1/2 inch or less in diameter, 80-pound string for 7/8 inch tubes, and 130-pound string for tubes that are 1 inch or more.

  • Run the string through your chime top. Chime tops have different numbers of holes, depending on how many tubes you have on your wind chime. Typically, tops have six holes, in three pairs of two. Run the string through all of the holes, and tie the ends off. Adjust the string on the top to your desired length before hanging.

  • Thread another string through a large needle. Place the new chime tubes on a table, from longest to shortest. Run the string through chime holes until all the tubes are strung together. Leave 1.5 inches of string left over.

  • Staple the end of the string to the chime top at one of the attachment points. Position the top of the tube 1 inch from the edge of the chime top, and halfway between the next attachment point and staple. Rotate the chime top and line it up with the next tube. Repeat the process all the way around until there is a staple between all of the chime tubes.

  • Cut the string leaving at least 1.5-inch tail. Twist this end with the other end of the string left over from step 4, and staple this to the chime top. Cut the remaining string leaving a 3/4-inch tail.

  • Staple the feather and the clapper to middle of the chime top with string. The feather, or wind catcher, catches the breeze and moves the clapper against the chimes.

  • Tune repaired wind chimes, if needed, using an electronic guitar tuner, or computer tuning software. While tuning, cut the pipes with a pipe cutter, and file the ends of the pipe for fine-tuning. Tuning chimes is not an exact science. Tune based on how pleasing the sound comes across.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment with different materials for your wind chimes, such as steel, copper, bamboo, and iron. Each material has a very unique sound.
  • Tuning wind chimes is difficult. Research carefully how to do this before attempting. Tap each tube while holding an electronic guitar tuner close and adjust to the key you are trying to reach.

References

  • Photo Credit wind chimes in a tree image by MichMac from Fotolia.com
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