Found @ CRASH Space No. 2: Industrial Staple Turned Meditation Chime

staple on woodend stand on a table in a garden
The staple-chime in its natural environment.

This heavy duty metal something was found in our scraped-of-the-floor bucket. Steve G says it’s a staple. It also sort of looks like a shim. If you know or have a guess, please speak up. The folks at McMaster – Carr couldn’t say.

Here is what I know about it:

  • It weighs 22 grams
  • It is 2 inches (presumable that is why there is a 2 on it) x 1 1/8 inches
  • It is 1/8 in. thick tapering down to 1/16 in.
  • I did not do the spark test because I didn’t want to mar it
  • It is magnetic.
  • I did not test hardness or use acids on it.
  • It resonates beautifully at 4716 Hz or about a D (Thanks Tod!)
  • It is a good conductor but the actual resistance readings were noisy bouncing around but it settled for a little while on 2.8 Ohms from prong to prong. (likely the surface oxidation at in play)

What struck me the most about it for my purposes was the beautiful tone it makes so I decided to turn it into a chime.  So the big take away from this project: nothing is one thing.


  • Resonant staple
  • Thin plywood material Less than 8 Square inches of it, can probably find enough in some scrap (to the right of the Laser Cutter)


  • Laser Cutter – Shop One (< 30 seconds of time, will cost about a dollar)
  • Flathead screw driver (in drawers on counter on west wall of Shop  One or in big set of drawers by the door in Shop 2)
  • Something to use as a mallet (worst case scenario, look at your foot. If there is a shoe on it, use that)

It may be cheating as far as this series goes but I found a clapper from a bell used in a previous project in my own lab spare-parts section. It is high density plastic on a spring.  I even went ahead and and Arduino program to drive the clapper with a servo, the amount of time for the meditation based on the position of a potentiometer.

Staple and Clapper Side View
This is the staple and bell clapper I planned to use for the meditation timer.

In the end though I was driven to make too many iterations for the staple stand alone to fit into to my less-than-a-day-to-do-and-document time window for these posts. I would probably want a whole day more to really make a case for the chime, the servo and the Arduino. I have posted the svg files for the laser cut stand on GitHub as well.

This stand was cut on an epilog laser cutter with a thin plywood material from Home Depot that I’ve used to make a lamp. I based my stand on the files for this lamp. The tolerance is VERY tight on the slots. I needed a flat-head screw driver and a small hammer to secure the pieces together.

The settings for the laser cutter:
Speed: 30%
Power: 60%
Freq: 500 Hz

Increasing the speed to 50% sometimes works on this material but that is not what I did for this project.

I will definitely let you all know if I come back to join everything together into one piece. The biggest flaw in the stand right now is that it shifts when the chime is struck. In a mechanized version that is all one part, that should be automatically fixed.


I make things that do stuff. The best, though, is teaching others to do the same. Founder of @crashspacela Alum of @ITP_NYU

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