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Wind Chimes > Learning Center > Best Wind Chime Materials

Best Wind Chime Materials

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Although it would be hard to pinpoint what the very best wind chime materials might be, metal wind chimes certainly are better equipped for outdoor use. Knowing what the different parts of a wind chime do might give you an idea of the best materials to look for.

The tubes or chimes are of different lengths and although they may look like they've been placed arbitrarily, there really is a method to this seeming madness. The tubular pipes are placed where each pipe will vibrate the most when the clapper strikes it. There are areas called "anti-nodes" in the pipes that have the best and truest sound. So, the string placement is important, since the holes for the string have to be drilled where the pipes vibrate the least.

The string or synthetic cord should be resistant to ultra-violet damage, as well as rot and mildew. The tubes should be smoothly polished so the cord doesn't go through any abrasion. Tempered aluminum tubing seems to be one the best wind chime materials, because it can be tuned so precisely. Plus, if it is anodized aluminum it will never rust. Incidentally, if you've been told that a wind chime has been tuned to the pentatonic scale, it basically means that the black keys of the piano are used. If after some time, the aluminum of your wind chime seems to look pitted from exposure to the elements, it shouldn't affect the sound of the chimes.

As far as the clapper and top ring are concerned, the top ring can be made of a heavy gauge stainless steel, which will virtually last forever. The clapper and top ring are usually made of a good quality wood. The windcatcher or sail is often made of wood, also. It should be easy to remove in heavy winds. If the wind chime wood has been treated for weather protection, it should last a long time. To keep your wind chime looking its best, you should regularly apply a lemon or Danish oil to the hardwood components. This protects the wood and keeps it from drying with age. Other parts should be cleaned with mild soap and water, taking care not to get the string wet.

A quality wind chime should come with a warranty and replacement parts should be available from the manufacturer.

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