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Make your own whistle

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How to make your own whistle. With this instructable we can free America from it's dependence on foreign made whistles.



 
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Step 1: Get wood

Got wood? Great!

I used a "pen blank", that's a 3/4 x 3/4 x 5 inch piece of wood. Woodcraft sells a five pound grab bag for $13, so I have plenty of wood.

In addition to the wood, you'll need a 5/16th drill bit and a 5/16th hardwood dowel.


You can start by drilling a 5/16ths hole down the center of your piece of wood. How deep? Less deep than the wood, or if you need exact numbers, the hole should be x-1 inches deep, where x is the length of your piece of wood. Use a drill press and a vice, if you choose to freehand it, please clamp the wood in something, you don't want splinters do you?


Step 2: The window and lip

Did you know the parts of a whistle have names? I didn't, but I learned some. So in this step, we'll be making the window and the lip, one is the consequence of the other, so let's just make the window.

Start by using a razor saw to make a transverse cut approx one inch from the drilled end. Cut down as squarely as possible. Stop when the blade of the saw extends approx 1/8th of an inch into the hole.


Now using a chisel (mine are muy dull), cut towards the slot you just cut, making about a thirty degree incline, make the cut as smooth as possible. Stop when the you have sliced into the bore hole about an 1/8th of an inch.


perfo5 months ago
Nice whistle. How big can you make one of these whistles ? I assume the longer you make it the deeper the note but do you also have to make the hole bigger ? is there a rule of thumb between length and diameter of the hole ?
gave up beer! what a mean wifey ;)
gabe yoo11 months ago
good job. :)
offseid6 years ago
Very cool. I would have appreciated a brief "what to do" for those of us who don't have a lathe but would like to have something other than a rectangle for a whistle. As for me, I think I would maybe chamfer the corners with my chisel (and then maybe chamfer again), and then go over it with a rasp. Never done it, so I don't know how it'd work, but I think that's what I'd do. Nice one, though!
I hear you. I had the same problem. But the beauty of it is that you shap the wood however you want. I'm making a couple of these for my niece and nephew for xmas and i don't have a lathe but it's not to difficult to roughly round out the blank and carve something into it. I think it would look very cool.
just use a dowel instead of the rectangular piece.
I have made whistles in wood with a round hole, and a piece of dowel for the mouthpiece that is sanded so that it lets a little air in by a hole that looks about like a crescent moon or fingernail clipping.
Tool Using Animal (author)  offseid6 years ago
Chamfering the corners and then again (4-8-16-32) until round would work fine, I'd not do it with a chisel, a block plane or shurform tool would be a safer choice.
Tool USing Animal that is so cool that you show me how to make a whistle.
be carefulL! you might kill yourself when u use that saw!~ can i have your stuff then?
Yeah, good call. A chisel would not give you a very uniform chamfer.
lol Tool you just inadvertently linked your comment to Lost (the TV series) lol
sorta... lol
Jaygo1 year ago
re shaping the outside. No fancy power tools are needed. Old timers have been making these things for kids for ages. All you need is a pocket knife. Sharper is better and safer and you should cut away from yourself. Watch where your fingers are too!
mistyp2 years ago
Very helpful Instructable, thank you! I used this as a launching off point for making a whistle pen :-) I also linked to your tutorial.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Transform-a-ballpoint-pen-into-a-survival-whistle-/
Darksabre3 years ago
I'm sorry, Maybe this has already been asked - or maybe you already pointed this out - But what is the wood you are using for this project? The grain is fantastic!! Great Instructable :D !!!
Tool Using Animal (author)  Darksabre3 years ago
It's Zebrawood.
thepelton3 years ago
One thing you could do if you don't want a square whistle is to use a windfall piece of wood. Elm and Paulownia cure nicely without a lot of cracking. A good rule of thumb is to set it aside for one year for ever inch of diameter. A whistle size piece would be useable in about half a year. I am sure that some other people could make suggestions as well. Well...?
iamlopainus4 years ago
MY WHISTLE ISN'T WORKING!!!
One problem may be that the angle isn't sharp enough. The wedge of wood that the air blows onto( = /) has to be very sharp. Look at and study a finished, working wooden whistle to get it right. I would say it has to be about 22 degrees to work well.
thanks
thepelton3 years ago
When I make small items that could end up in the mouth, such as a whistle, I make sure that I know what the wood is, and that it isn't a variety that could cause someone a rash from contact. In making whistles, I would avoid the entire genus of Dalbergia (Rosewood, Tulipwood, Cocobolo) for that reason. Tulip poplar (Liriodendron Tulipfera) is not related and would probably work quite well for the use. It was preferred by the pioneers for making wooden spoons because it had almost no chemicals that could impart a flavor to whatever it contacted.
yoyology3 years ago
Nice work!

Both my grandfathers were inveterate tinkerers, and would have loved Instructables. My mom's dad made me a willow whistle one summer, and your 'ible reminded me of that. User "shoemaker" shows you how to make one here.

I leave you with this thought:

I made a wooden whistle, but it wood'n whistle.
I made a steel whistle, but it steel wood'n whistle.
I made a tin whistle, and now I tin whistle!


joeyjo4 years ago
Nice little project.  I do pay attention to wood toxicity because every so often a student has a weird reaction to some woods...nothing serious...which is why I refer to the toxicity chart.
kmelon4 years ago
cheers man mine works really well. if i say triple the scale will it give out a deeper sound like a trains whistle?
Knyte74 years ago
Thanks for the great instructable.  Clear and complete.  I've made whistles in the past, but with only limited success.  Using my lathe and these instructions should be a big upgrade.
luke115 years ago
Ok i've tried this several times but every time my whistle doesn't 'whistle'. No sound. Can you tell me what i might be doing wrong? Thanks
Tool Using Animal (author)  luke115 years ago
COuld you post some pix?
SinAmos5 years ago
Sweet.
kaptaink_cg5 years ago
How critical is the hole diameter? Does the diameter only vary the tone, or is there a point at which it will not work?
Tool Using Animal (author)  kaptaink_cg5 years ago
Hmmm I don't know. The larger the hole, the lower the pitch and the greater volume of air needed.
martymunch5 years ago
I made a few of these this weekend. They are fairly easy to make once you get the right angles down. It was very tricky making the fipples until I got one to whistle. AWESOME!!! fav, and my two little kids love them!
i find that making the fipple last is the best method. i use a dowel and cut it a little longer than it should be then put it in and blow it. I then move the fipple as needed. also, i cut my window and lip halfway through the barrel at a little more than a 45 degree angle. another thing to try is to drill straight through the whole whistle stock and insert a dowel. you can tune the sound of the whistle by moving the dowel in and out.
So I forgot to post this. Over the weekend I did try the slide whistle idea. It doesn't work so well as it is to hard to get an air tight seal and still be able to slide the dowel.
i might try the slide whistle today. I'll get back to you on that. thanks for the info.
peguiono5 years ago
thank you i made 2 whistles this weekend the both work great!! thank you
whistles.jpg
i made about 5 of these in wood shop but they are square. i made 2 double barrel ones, a triple barrel, and 2 single barrels. pm me if you want to see them.
here they are and then some extras. the bad looking ones are my first attempts. they all work. i just recently tried one on the lathe and it worked great.
Picture 0094.jpg
Charles IV6 years ago
Blah you beat me to it. I was about to make this same Instructable.
DIYmaster6 years ago
Wow, this is amazing!!! Nice work!
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