Always more cowbell! Paul, the genius behind our very first guy DIY – the sticker magnet hack – has caught the DIY bug, it seems. This guy DIY requires some tools, and man hands. Okay, maybe it doesn’t REQUIRE man hands. Bending the aluminum proved to be a lot easier than it looks. I digress, on to the tutorial!
- old license plate
- old bike tube, or thick leather strap
- sturdy metal wire
- fishing weight or other metal item for the clanger
- small bots (optional)
- tin snips or metal dykes
- metal wire or hammer
- electric drill and drill bits
Prep: Trace the license plate onto a couple pieces of paper first. Practice with the paper to figure out exactly where you’ll need to cut before you cut your license plate. “Measure twice, cut once!”, as Paul so wisely put it.
If you’d like a starting point for your template, mark 4 1/2 inches in from either side on the top and bottom.
From those marks, measure 2″ towards the center and mark.
Then mark in the center where you’ll later make a hole for the handle. Again, practice this all on your paper template first to make sure the measurements work!
Once you have your correct measurements, it’s time to cut! Using your tin snips or metal dykes, cut in to the center marks. The plate is softer than you’d imagine, so be careful not to overcut your mark!
Fold the center pieces in…
…then fold the outside pieces in.
The remaining flaps should fold it to meet each other in the middle.
Use those man hands to mold the plate together, until it feels like it’s holding the shape well.
At this point you need to make two thin rectangular holes for the strap to slide thru. Make a line on each side of the center mark.
Get out your drill! Drill holes along the line as close together as possible. Paul got a good chuckle out of his unintentional robot face.
Cut through your line of holes with the tin snips, then grab your file and file down until there is a clear opening.
Repeat on the other side.
Making and installing your strap and clanger go together as one step. You can use a wide variety of items for the strap and clanger. Paul chose to recylce an old bike tube and a old flange lever, although leather and fishing weights would also work well. Take your two pieces of bike tire (or leather) pull them thru the two thin holes at the top of the cowbell.
Punch a pair of lined up holes thru the ends of the material. You can reinforce the material with button clasps as Paul did.
Take a piece of wire or metal wire and string it thru the clanger and the two fresh holes. Pull the strap back thru so the clanger is now hidden inside the cowbell.
Pinch your wire closed with your pliers.
Unless you are an ultimate folder and have perfected the art of geometry you may have a couple of gaps that have formed in your cowbell. To make the cowbell more rigid, drill small holes and use bolts to connect the two larger sides together.
Congratulations! You just made a cowbell. With your man hands. Clang away!