Even if we don’t have the old pieces anymore we can still buy old silverplate at garage sales, secondhand stores and flea markets for a pittance and enjoy their pleasant tinkling ourselves or make wind chimes for others to enjoy. Sell them if you wish or give them away, we can never have too many stress relieving things surrounding us.
Let’s see if we can do a fairly simple project. You could add a windcatcher and striker or glass beads on your next attempt.
Pick up an old worn silver-plate serving dish to hang the silverware pieces from. A bowl or something similar could be used. Try not to get one that is too large for your creation, the pieces should be close enough to each other that a striker isn’t needed. The forks, spoons, and knives should produce sounds by lightly striking against each other.
Get everything you’ll need in one place. Heavy monofilament line such as fifty-pound test can be found in the sporting goods section of a department store. This line will be used to suspend the upper plate that holds the silverware. Or you could use light stainless steel link chain and four stainless steel “S” hooks along with a larger “S” hook to suspend the whole thing from. These things can be bought at a home improvement store or hardware store. Brass wire heavy enough to bear the weight of chime components may be found in craft stores.Lighter monofilament line, such as ten-pound test, can be used to suspend the individual knives, forks, and spoons.
Use a center punch or sharp nail to put a dimple at four points around the edge of the plate. They should be 90 degrees apart like 12 noon, three, six and nine on a clock. These dimples will keep your drill bit from wandering around when you start drilling.
Wear goggles and start drilling slowly with
a bit just big enough to accommodate the monofilament line or “S” hooks.
Perhaps one sixteenth of an inch bit. Use Wd-40, lamp oil, kerosene or
similar light oil on the dimple where you will be drilling, so the drill
bit will last longer.
monofilament line is then tied to the plate and the “S” hook. The chain
is cut 6 to 8 inches long and attached to the smaller “S” hooks around
the rim of the plate and the other ends are put on the large “S” hook.
a series of small holes in the plate around the plate so there is a single
hole for each piece of silverware in a circular pattern. There should be
at least two or maybe three concentric circles in the plate. Knives or
forks may then be placed in the outer circle of holes with forks in the
next ring in. Spoons being shortest may be used in the innermost circle.
Or put the spoons on the outer part followed by forks and knives in the
center. It’s whatever you like.
may then drill a small hole in each piece of silverware in the handle,
about one quarter inch from the top. A piece of monofilament is passed
through the hole and a small loop is tied, a double square knot is useful
here. Pass the other end of the string through your previously drilled
holes in the plate and temporarily tie it with a big enough knot that it
doesn’t slip back through the hole. Check the chime for balance when all
the chimes are in place. Ideally the plate should be as level as you can
make it. Be patient this part can take some time to get right. The chains
or suspension monofilament lines may be retied to help achieve this balance.
You may have to rejigger the configuration by drilling a few more holes
in the plate. Put the pieces close enough together or allow enough string
length so that the pieces will contact each other in a wind. Closer together
if you want them to ring in a slight wind, farther apart if you only want
to hear them in a stronger wind.
people modify their silverware before hanging. Forks and spoons are flattened,
with fork tines twisted or bent at angles. If you decide to flatten spoons,
remember that the metal is soft and easily marked or dented. An old hammer
and anvil will have dents in their surfaces that will transfer imperfections
to the silverware. You could use a hammer and put the spoons and forks
between two pieces of hardwood to prevent damage. Fork tines are
easily broken so if you bend them, have extras on hand.
When everything is to your satisfaction, permanently tie the monofilament and secure every knot with a drop of super glue. Monofilament line is a little slippery and may untie over time if you don’t add a drop of glue.
Now you may hang the chime!
Links you may find useful:
How to Make Wind Chimes- Article showing how to make metal tube wind chimes. You may find useful tips about your wind chimes of any type.
Bamboo Wind Chimes- How to grow, harvest, and make bamboo wind chimes.
Online Wind Chime Group- Join metal tube chime group and search the archives. Mostly for folks who want to make their hand tuned wind chimes with easily available metal pipe.
Notmetaltubewindchimes-Online group for any type of wind chimes not made of metal pipes or tubes. Includes but not limited to; silverware, seashells, mechanics tools, stones, drill bits, horseshoes, stained glass, etc. Ask questions or contribute your experiences.