Upcycle Final Report: Ski Pole Wind Chime

For this project the initial motivation was to create something out of unused ski equipment that i had access too. This motivation is soured by the fact that i am on the CU ski team and skiing has been part of my life for 20 years. When i began thinking of ideas to create for this assignment i was asking my roommates for ideas and searching the internet for some cool things that can be done with old ski equipment. Some of the initial ideas that i was coming up with are pictured below.

left to right:




Looking past these ideas i was thinking about a way to incorporate some ski poles and other skiing related items into my project. Some of these ideas which incorporate ski poles are shown below.

left to right



These two ideas were something that i was mulling over in my head of what to incorporate in to my design. I had envisioned cutting up some skis and manufacturing something that i could use from these. This was initially supposed to be something that would serve a purpose in our house and remain around for a while. The wine rack which was pictured above was on the top of my list of things to make. The idea behind this would be something that has a bit of a novel aspect where there are other wine racks that can be made out of other materials but bringing the ski into it shows a little part of myself in this project.

I was envisioning this project in my mind and sorting through some old ski equipment that i could use in order to make something like this. I chose the skis that i was going to use and then set them aside until i was going to have time to make this project. Things were all looking good to make sure that this would be completed and on time and then i ran out of time to make sure that this would get done as my trip to Alaska came up on me sooner than i expected and the project was due the day i was getting back from Alaska. This forced me to completely change my design ideas due to the lack of materials  available to me and equipment to machine them. The design process associated with this is displayed below.

The final product is this wind chime that i was able to make out of components which were only in the garage in Alaska, where we were staying. One of my team members had broken a pair of poles the first day we were there so there were plenty of pole pieces available. The top support is made out of a swix spare pole tip container and the poles are held on with a cut up pass laniard. These are all held onto the top central piece by some CU ski team pins which were available.


Second iteration of central piece.

After building this part i wasn’t completely satisfied with how the central hanging piece on my wind chime came out. Upon my return from Alaska i laser cut a new central piece to give it some more personality that related back to myself.  This was done using some leftover acrylic and a laser cutter, replacing the pass laniard, ski basked and kick wax. I was pretty happy with the way that this came out based on using only materials that were skiing related and items that we had brought with us to AK. I would still like to make the original wine rack out of skis and potentially another wind chime. For a future version i would like to have a sturdier top support which is more circular. Overall it was cool to see what i could do with such minimal supplies.

The aesthetic of this design is simply using only skiing equipment to make something that takes a new form with new purpose. The overall function of this design is relatively ineffective but the idea behind the aesthetic is clear and shows the intent of the design.

Video of the presentation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a8KoHBcuvY

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • Jimmy Speedy
    April 23, 2017 7:21 pm

    I really like how you incorporated ski equipment into something so relaxing! I feel as though I tend to enjoy myself more when I enjoy my surroundings, and as a skier, I love being reminded of skiing, especially in the summer when it is so far off. I like how you actually used ski equipment, like the swix ski tip holder, for the whole project. I was originally thinking about doing an upcycle project related to skiing in someway but was not able to find all the necessary equipment, glad to see it worked out for you!

  • Very cool project Max! As a skier, I really appreciate how you repurposed old broken ski equipment and made something aesthetically (and musically) pleasing of it. Your initial inspiration would have been an interesting project, but I understand your time and material constraint with you trip to Alaska. The first iteration of this project is a perfect example of up-cycling as you only used discarded materials and no fancy manufacturing processes. Your second iteration demonstrates additional skills and the desire to improve on your project. I applaud you for this. Very cool project, I enjoyed reading about it.

  • This looks like a great project! It looks like you put a lot of effort into the construction and details of your creation. The laser cut ski team logo is really cool, and it gives the wind chime great character. It sounds like you had to compromise on the wine rack idea, but I would love to see that if you decide to pursue it.

  • I have never thought about making a wind chime out of ski poles and I think it is a brilliant idea! The incorporation of the laser cut ski team logo was very inventive and I liked hearing about how you problem solved through it. Great job!

  • Alexander Thompson
    February 17, 2017 12:47 pm

    This is a truly impressive project! I love how you had to be flexible a few times to determine what you would actually make with the materials and tools on hand, but I think your final project turned out great! I love that everything on the project has something to do with skiing, which obviously means a lot to you. From the broken ski poles to the lanyard, pins, and CU logoed acrylic weight. Fantastic job! Keep up the good work!

  • It may not make the sound you expect from a wind chime, it’s definitely the coolest one I’ve seen compared to all the other wind chimes that try to be as flashy as possible.

  • The way you adapted your design and design loop to different constraints is really impressive. My favorite part of this project is the ski team ‘medallion’ that was laser cut; it was really clean and was a great addition to the wind chime.

  • Preston Marcoux
    February 17, 2017 12:27 pm

    I think your aesthetic actually works really well as a wind chime, and it’s a super creative idea. My favorite part is the laser cut ski team logo, and you did a great job in using the materials that were given to you. Super interesting that your project took a 180 degree turn from a wine rack to a wind chime. Good job!


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