Chiming in – making music from odds and ends


By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Messenger photo by Linda Dillman
Groveport city employee Dennis Moore in his workshop where he creates wind chimes out of recycled materials.

Beautiful music can come from uncommon places such as thrift stores, yard sales, garages, and closet cleanings.

For Groveport city employee Dennis Moore, that music takes the form of wind chimes playing their serenade in a breeze.

Moore uses recycled material—like the lid from an old pan—along with metal piping tuned to a harmonic scale to create new works of musical and visual enjoyment.

In his Second Chime Around workshop barn, half filled with old and bartered equipment and a homemade paint booth, Moore cuts pipe, drills metal support lids that previously kept steam at bay on a kitchen stove, gingerly drives a drill bit through fragile knick-knacks, and then assembles everything before selling them at Ohio craft shows.

Old car pistons, parts from discarded grass trimmers, watering cans, spark plugs and trophies wait in boxes to be turned into works of wonder.

“I heard a saying, ‘When angels hear chimes, they gather to dance,’ that I really liked,” said Moore. “It got me interested in chimes, so I started repairing them for people about four years ago. At first, I bartered my services and then I started making them myself. It’s not for the money, but for the love of chimes.”

By repairing other people’s chimes through trial and error and with a little help from Internet resources, Moore realized many of the commercial chimes he worked on were not properly constructed in the first place.

Two years ago, he decided to build a better mousetrap by constructing his own out of recycled material.

By drilling holes in strategic spots and stringing each pipe individually, he is able to tune the chimes beginning with a C note, teasing different melodies out of material with a past life.

“I gave them away at first as presents,” said Moore. “Then I heard the Paddock Pub (a restaurant located at The Links at Groveport golf course) was having a craft show. I sold 12 chimes at my first show and it turned on a light. With the help of my silent partner, my mother Rose Moore, who goes to thrift stores every Thursday looking for lids and things I can use, and Dave Watkins, who works for Madison Township and uses a lathe to make my strikers, I probably make about 70 to 80 chimes a year. That’s a lot of smiles.”

Moore said he’s sold his handmade chimes at eight shows in the last two years, which take, on average, three hours to make and sell for $45 to $85. At a recent show, Moore told a hesitant young boy it was okay to make the chimes sing.

“You want to create good memories, which makes making them fun,” said Moore. “For me, making chimes is a hobby, not a job and I like seeing people smile when they see and hear my chimes.”

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