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Thunder Tube Noise makers!


I found this a while back and was thinking about making one but never got around to it. Possible noise maker for the Flare group to make?


A thunder tube is a very curious hand-held percussion toy that
recreates the sound of thunder when you shake it. Depending upon how
you move the thunder tube, you can create unusual and weird sounds,
making it a very creative device to use in musical and sound

A thunder tube consists of a cylinder that resonates with a sound
mimicking thunder, thanks to a drum head attached to one end of the
tube and an 18 inch metal spring that is attached to the drum head's
center. Thunder tubes trace their roots to American Indian music in
which they were used with drums, rain sticks and flutes to recreate
the sound and motion of a sudden storm.

Thunder tubes are enjoyed by children and musicians of all ages, but
they can cost upwards of $25 at the retail store. Consider making it a
family arts and crafts project on a rainy day to make your own thunder

  1. Start collecting the cardboard tubes that come with paper towel
rolls and the wire spring from an old spiral bound notebook.
  2. Using scissors, cut a 12-inch square of heavy aluminum craft
sheet metal into small pieces of various sizes. Pull a rubber balloon
over one end of your cardboard paper towel tube. Stand your tube
upright over a piece of cardboard and trace the outline of the tube's
end, cutting out this circle and poking a small hole in the center of
the circle through which you attach the end of the wire spring.
  3. Now fill your cardboard tube halfway full with your cut aluminum
pieces, sealing the end of the tube by attaching the cardboard circle
and hanging wire spring with glue and allowing it to dry for several
hours or overnight to make sure the circle is securely attached.

   4. You may want to paint your thunder tube or add assorted decals
or sparking sequins to decorate it. Now you are ready to make some
noise. Hold the thunder tube in one hand so that the spring is hanging
downwards. Now shake or roll the tube in a variety of directions. This
will cause the spring inside to vibrate against the aluminum pieces
filling the tube, a sound that will transfer to the balloon covering
at the opposite end of the tube.

The sounds that you create using your homemade thunder tube will be
similar to the crackling and roaring of a summer thunderstorm. Have
fun seeing how many different and unique sounds you can create by
shaking, rattling and rolling your thunder tube.

This sounds fun to make! I agree - a project for the flare team to try!

I'll make a mental note to save my next paper towel tube!

Peggy McChesney:
cool, but we need stronger stuff than papertowel tubes

Pringles cans would also be a good source. If we want to make a large one use 6 inch PVC pipe. :)

Peggy McChesney:
good idea.  I like pvc.  I will bring it up at the first flare meeting.  anyone can come and help me....really


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