Wind chimes make a beautiful addition to any porch or garden as they infiltrate the air with peaceful sounds. You can make wind chimes out of many different materials, like sea shells, bones, silverware and pipes. When using a hollow material, such as metal pipes, keep in mind that the larger the diameter of the pipe, the lower the tone of the wind chime will be. Large is a relative term; large pipes can measure anywhere from 1 to 3 inches in diameter and beyond. Once you have chosen the pipe diameter you wish to use, you are ready to make a large pipe wind chime.
Choose the type of metal pipe for your wind chime. Copper is a good choice, as it has soft, mellow tones; steel or aluminium pipes can also be used. Obtain your pipes at a local hardware store.
Choose the diameter of your metal pipes. The larger the diameter, the lower the sound will be. A pipe with a 2-inch diameter is large enough to provide you with a nice, mellow tone.
Clean the outside of your pipes with steel wool. This will remove any debris or markings that are on the pipe, which may detract from the beauty of your wind chime.
Cut the pipe into six separate pieces using a pipe cutter. You can make the pieces all the same length, or you can vary the length of the pieces to suit your preference.
File the ends of the pipe with a metal file to remove any sharp edges. File a flat spot on opposing sides of each pipe where you will be drilling the holes.
Create a small indentation on opposing sides of the pipe with a hammer and nail, approximately one inch from the end of the pipe. This will create a guide to help the drill bit penetrate the metal pipe without slipping.
Drill a hole through both sides of the pipe on one end. The closer the hole is to the middle of the pipe, the more movement will be allowed and the more you will hear your wind chimes. The farther the hole is from the middle, the less movement will be allowed and the less you will hear your wind chimes.
Cut a strip of copper that measures approximately 2-1/2 inches wide and 10-1/2 inches long and attach the two ends together using a metal adhesive. This will be formed into a circle that will be used to hang the pipes. You can find copper scraps at most local junk yards and recycling centres.
Punch seven small holes along the edge of the copper strip using a nail and hammer and four larger holes along the opposite edge. The smaller holes will be used to suspend the pipes from the copper ring; the larger holes will be used to suspend the entire wind chime.
Thread the heavy wire through the four large holes, crisscrossing it through opposite holes. The wire should be gathered up at the top of the copper ring and held together by a fishing swivel. Fishing swivels can be obtained at a local sporting goods or fish and tackle shop.
Thread each of the pipes and holes in the copper ring with fine wire, securing them firmly. You may wish to stagger the pipes in the design of your choice or keep them all the same height.
Hang the large pipe wind chime by the fishing swivel in the location of your choice. Make sure the nail or hook they are hung from is secure and has access to an outdoor area to maximise the sounds made.
You can decorate your metal by engraving the metal or changing the finish with chemicals if you desire.
After cutting the pipes, use caution when handling the ends as the metal as can be extremely sharp.