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A Door Chime

A Door Chime

Introduction: (Initial Observation)

If you have not learned about electricity and electromagnets yet, just simply make a mechanical door chime.
It can be mounted above the entrance door to makes sound every time the door is opened. Visitors can ring it instead of knocking.
If you know about electromagnets, it’s time to use your knowledge and make a modern electrical door chime. Mount it anywhere in the room and wire it to a sensor or switch that is activated by opening the door.
Despite the technical aspect of this project, you will get a chance to use your artistic talent to make something unusual and special.
Making a nice door chime that works, can be a challenge and a learning opportunity.


This project guide contains information that you need in order to start your project. If you have any questions or need more support about this project, click on the “Ask Question” button on the top of this page to send me a message.

If you are new in doing science project, click on “How to Start” in the main page. There you will find helpful links that describe different types of science projects, scientific method, variables, hypothesis, graph, abstract and all other general basics that you need to know.

Project advisor

Information Gathering:

Find out about door chimes. Read books, magazines or ask professionals who might know in order to learn about the history and different designs of door chimes. Keep track of where you got your information from.

Question/ Purpose:

What do you want to find out? Write a statement that describes what you want to do. Use your observations and questions to write the statement.

The purpose of this project is to make a chime that can be used as a door chime or a wind chime.

Identify Variables:

When you think you know what variables may be involved, think about ways to change one at a time. If you change more than one at a time, you will not know what variable is causing your observation. Sometimes variables are linked and work together to cause something. At first, try to choose variables that you think act independently of each other.

Design variables and material used in construction of a door chime affect it’s sound and performance. We will modify these variables until we get a good sound from our door chime.


Based on your gathered information, make an educated guess about what types of things affect the system you are working with. Identifying variables is necessary before you can make a hypothesis.

My hypothesis is that loosely hanged aluminum and brass parts can form a good working door chime.

Experiment Design:

Design an experiment to test each hypothesis. Make a step-by-step list of what you will do to answer each question. This list is called an experimental procedure. For an experiment to give answers you can trust, it must have a “control.” A control is an additional experimental trial or run. It is a separate experiment, done exactly like the others. The only difference is that no experimental variables are changed. A control is a neutral “reference point” for comparison that allows you to see what changing a variable does by comparing it to not changing anything. Dependable controls are sometimes very hard to develop. They can be the hardest part of a project. Without a control you cannot be sure that changing the variable causes your observations. A series of experiments that includes a control is called a “controlled experiment.”


In this project you will hang different metal objects to a wooden rod or disk in a way that they collide by any movement caused by a door or by wind. Notice that different procedures and pictures that we propose here, are just ideas and your final design and procedures depends on the material that you can find for the construction of your chime.

Procedure 1:There’s no sound as beautiful as a wind-chime blowing in the breeze. Follow these directions to make your own magical wind chime.Go on a treasure hunt and look for items that will create a lovely sound when they collide, such as seashells, bells, beads, and stones.
If the items are thin enough, poke a hole through them with a nail or hole punch. Then pull a piece of string or nylon thread through each hole, and tie a knot.
For heavier objects, such as stones, wrap the string around the object a few times, and rub non-toxic liquid glue over the string to hold it in place.
Next, find a colorful plastic lid to serve as the top of the wind chime.
Poke holes through the top, and pull the pieces of string or nylon thread through the holes; tie a knot at each end.
Finally, punch two holes in the center of the top, and loop a piece of string through the holes. Tie another knot, and hang your wind chime from a nail or the branch of a tree.Note: If you have young children, avoid using small objects, which can present a choking hazard if swallowed.

Samples of door chimes.

Procedure 2: (Another style)


    24”        1mm Waxed Cotton Cord-  any color
2        33mm Bone Heart
1        20mm    “         “
1        50mm Brass Bell
        Assorted India Beads-
with a hole large enough to fit 1mm cord
1        2½” Standard Head Pin
1        Extra Large Round Jump Ring


    1. Make the top loop.  From one end of the cord, measure out about 6” and make a loop.33-2
    2. Knot to finish the loop.  Loop should be approx. 1½” long.  Leave the end of the cording hanging about 2″ long from the knot down.
    1. String the desired beads and design, including the 2 large heart beads.  We used an assortment of India Glass Beads.  Any bead with a hole big enough to fit the 1mm cording will work.  Keep in mind if you want beads that will hold up outdoors..
    2. Make knots in cording to hold beads in desired spot.
  1. Attach the bell to the bottom end of cord.  Leave about 2″ of cord to knot the bell in place.  Again, be sure to leave the end of the cord hanging.
    1. Using the Head Pin, string the small heart and a small bead;
      be sure to string the heart with the point side down, with the small bead sitting on top.
    2. Make a loop in the head pin.
      ***See Loop Directions***
    3. Attach the head pin loop to the bell’s Clapper, using the jump ring.
  2. Finish the design by knotting a bead to each length of the extra cording hanging down at the ends- top and bottom.

Other bead ideas include:   Crow Beads or Roller Beads, other Bone & Horn Beads.  The Bone Knot Pendant- #25-216 & Giant Skull bead #22-604, would also be good main beads (like the hearts).
Tips and Hints:

To make nice round loops on head or eye pins:


  1. String selected beads on the head or eye pin.
  2. Keep about 8mm (1/3″) of wire. Cut off any extra.
  3. Use round nose pliers to grasp the wire just above the bead, at the arrow, and bend sharply away from you.
  4. Now use small round nose pliers to grasp the tip of the wire, and bend it smoothly around the pliers down close to the beads.

JR-DO'S2.GIFJump Ring Hint:
When you open and close jump rings, twist sideways instead of “ovaling” them.  This keeps their shape better, which makes them easier to close all the way.

Make an Electric Door Chime


In an electric door chime the force of an electromagnet pulls a strip of iron so it will heat another piece of metal to produce the sound. In this experiment you will make and electromagnet and then test it as a chime.


Note: This is not a step by step procedure because you may modify the steps based on the material that you have or you may find in your local hardware store.

The main component of an electric chime is an electromagnet. To make an electromagnet you can simply wind about 200 turns of insulated wire on a large nail and connect the ends of the wire to a 6-volt battery. Remember that you need to remove the insulation from the ends of the wire in order to make a contact with battery. For magnet wires you should use a sand paper to remove the insulation.

Remove the insulation from about one inch of each end of wire. The rest of the wire must remain insulated.

Test your electromagnet to see if it can attract another iron object such as another nail.

When your electromagnet is working, the rest is your creativity and craftsmanship to convert it to an electric chime. There is no rule or formula that can stop you from trying new things.

A simple way is connecting your electromagnet to a wooden board and place a strip of iron above that. The strip of iron must be secured to the board from one end. The other end of iron strip must have a hammer. You can simply bend the other end in order to make it heavier (like a hammer). Or you may connect a small nut to that end (using a tape).

When you connect the battery (directly or using a switch), electromagnet pulls the iron strip and the hammer hits the gong and makes sound. When you disconnect the battery, the flexibility of iron strip makes it go back up again. You may optionally put another gong above the hammer as well so you will get a second sound up on disconnecting the circuit. If your iron strip is not flexible, use a small spring or rubber band to pull it up.

The chime described in the above diagram is very similar to MiniScience electric ball kit shown on the right. The only difference is that a chime does not create continuous sound.

A different design:

In a different design shown in this diagram, you will use strips of iron or brass instead of gongs. The main strip of iron is held above the electromagnet by two other bolts. Springs below the strip will push it up while the nuts above the bolts keep the limit.

Materials and Equipment:

The most common components for non electric door chimes are:

  • Aluminum tubes
  • Brass pieces
  • Glass, metal or stone beads
  • Nylon strings

Material used in making electric chime are:

  • Large nails, iron rods or bolts (short and thick) for electromagnet
    These are available at your local hardware store.
  • 50 feet magnet wire 27 AWG (MiniScience Part#MW28_500).
    Also included on electromagnet Science set. (MiniScience Part# KITEM).
  • Bolts (Narrow) for holding the iron strips.
  • Nuts for all bolts
  • 2 Springs (Compression coil springs)
  • Wood board for the base
  • 6-volt battery (Known as Lantern battery)

Results of Experiment (Observation):

Experiments are often done in series. A series of experiments can be done by changing one variable a different amount each time. A series of experiments is made up of separate experimental “runs.” During each run you make a measurement of how much the variable affected the system under study. For each run, a different amount of change in the variable is used. This produces a different amount of response in the system. You measure this response, or record data, in a table for this purpose. This is considered “raw data” since it has not been processed or interpreted yet. When raw data gets processed mathematically, for example, it becomes results.


If you do any calculations, write your calculations here.

Summery of Results:

Summarize what happened. This can be in the form of a table of processed numerical data, or graphs. It could also be a written statement of what occurred during experiments.

It is from calculations using recorded data that tables and graphs are made. Studying tables and graphs, we can see trends that tell us how different variables cause our observations. Based on these trends, we can draw conclusions about the system under study. These conclusions help us confirm or deny our original hypothesis. Often, mathematical equations can be made from graphs. These equations allow us to predict how a change will affect the system without the need to do additional experiments. Advanced levels of experimental science rely heavily on graphical and mathematical analysis of data. At this level, science becomes even more interesting and powerful.


Using the trends in your experimental data and your experimental observations, try to answer your original questions. Is your hypothesis correct? Now is the time to pull together what happened, and assess the experiments you did.

Related Questions & Answers:

What you have learned may allow you to answer other questions. Many questions are related. Several new questions may have occurred to you while doing experiments. You may now be able to understand or verify things that you discovered when gathering information for the project. Questions lead to more questions, which lead to additional hypothesis that need to be tested.

Possible Errors:

If you did not observe anything different than what happened with your control, the variable you changed may not affect the system you are investigating. If you did not observe a consistent, reproducible trend in your series of experimental runs there may be experimental errors affecting your results. The first thing to check is how you are making your measurements. Is the measurement method questionable or unreliable? Maybe you are reading a scale incorrectly, or maybe the measuring instrument is working erratically.

If you determine that experimental errors are influencing your results, carefully rethink the design of your experiments. Review each step of the procedure to find sources of potential errors. If possible, have a scientist review the procedure with you. Sometimes the designer of an experiment can miss the obvious.


Visit your local library and find some books about craft and arts for a non electric door chime. For electric chime you may find books related to electricity, magnetism and electromagnet.