I cut & drill specific grade 1"& 11/2" OD(both w/1/16"wall) & 21/2" OD(w/1/4"wall) aluminum alloy tubing anodized "brite dip" & 1" ID type-M copper to measurements specific for different notes. I insert nylon eyelets into each drilled hole of every note to increase longevity in rope suspension. Both note ends & drilled holes are deburred to eliminate buzzing, ensure sound quality & protect against the wearing of the windcatcher rope.
The bells are ALOT OF WORK & represent the very the definition of the word RECYCLE! We hunt for & collect old rusty 20# LP tanks (40# 'ers on occasion & available by appt.) & then pipe-wrench, saw, de-funk, torch open, weld a ring inside for middle attachment, grind, sand, strip, wire-brush, clean, prime & paint. The bell is always B flat -the meditation note. The metal paint is true to its color: red is red, royal blue is royal blue.
FLAGSTONE?? really? YES!! -real natural flagstone blasted out of the earth, that you would use to build a patio or walkway in the yard! In 1997, I started out making traditional wood top chimes & want to jump off a cliff from boredom! The idea of working with stone was always there but the how & doing took some thinking & I'm better at doing than thinking. Flagstone chime tops became a chimegarden signature in 2001. We are the ONLY chime manufacturer still to date making flagstone chime tops. This work is strenuous, slow & requires great patience BUT represents cutting-edge artistry & thinking & results in a more weather-resistant chime top.
I break huge pieces of Pennsylvania Blue flagstone (green, purple, brown & white) & Minnesota limestone (cream/yellow) varying in thickness into smaller, worktable size pieces. I scribe & hammer-chisel out a rough shape, then chip roundish for a finished piece. Jim washes, slow-drills in a water bath, washes again, lets dry & then glosses both sides of each stone top. The glossed stones sit on pebbles to dry overnight.
We chop some windcatchers, scribe shapes & bandsaw others, from redcedar. We cut redwood lumber into squares & then bandsaw them round for alto chime tops. We holesaw middles from redwood lumber. Jim routers bell middles from any softwood scraps & drills all wood pieces for rope. I rough sand & glue splits in knots (if need) & finish sand every wood part for all chimes & bells. We linseed oil every wood part for all chimes & bells & let dry overnight.