DIY - Glass Wind Chimes
Working with glass occasionally results in broken pieces. Rather than throw them away, I tumble the glass and use the larger pieces to make wind chimes. With patience and simple equipment you too can create glass wind chimes.
Below are a few things you will need
- Tumbled glass (DIY blog post coming soon)
- Battery operated drill
- Replacement battery and charger
- Diamond drill bit (I buy mine from Lowes)
- Steel brush
- Safety glasses
- Shallow pan
SAFETY FIRST - wear safety glasses, gloves and I recommend using a battery operated drill. A diamond drill bit, the size of the hole you want, is my preferred drilling option. The one shown is 1/4" and was about $16 purchased at Lowes. They vary in price depending on the size of the bit.
Begin by placing the glass in a shallow pan (shown above) with enough cool water to cover the pieces. The water lubricates and cools the glass as you drill, helping to prevent breakage. Smooth glass can be tricky to get a hole started. One option is to drill a hole though a cheap plastic container lid, place it over the glass, position the drill bit and start drilling easily while holding the plastic lid in place. Once the hole is started remove the lid and continue drilling.
IMPORTANT TIP #1 - Patience is key. Let the drill bit do the work and expect it to take 5-10 minutes per hole. Pushing down like with wood, will result in breakage.
IMPORTANT TIP #2 - Keep a replacement battery charging. Once you notice the drill slowing, replace the battery and start again
IMPORTANT TIP #3 - Use the steel brush regularly during drilling to remove the residue from the drill bit. Every few minutes run the bit under hot water and allow the brush to do it's work. In the long run, it will be much quicker.
Once the holes are drilled, it's time to put your wind chime together. Below is what I use:
- Vintage bed spring
- 30lb test fishing line
- Wire cutters
- Nail clippers
Step 1 - String 3 pieces of fishing line from the top of the bed spring to whatever type of hook you plan to use. I used a small "S" hook. Check for balance.
Step 2 - String glass with fishing line. You may want to put multiple pieces of glass on some of your lines. This chime has 7 lines and 2-3 of them have 2 pieces of glass. (btw, it was the first one I sold.)
Step 3 - Suspend the bed spring and tie each line to it, at various points while keeping things balanced. It does not have to be 100% level as the coil creates a bit of an optical illusion when hung.
Step 4 - Using wire cutters, notch the bedspring at every place a line is strung, including the top 3 pieces and move the line into the notch. (The notch doesn't have to be very deep.)
Step 5 - Using nail clippers cut off excess fishing line.