Intro: Laser Cut Whistle
In this tutorial, I will be showing you how to make a working whistle such as the one pictured above.
The materials you will need include:
- Access to a laser cutter (I will be using a CO2 laser)
- 0.115" plywood sheet
- Adhesive (I will be using carpenter's glue, although super glue may work)
- Access to a modeling software such as AutoCAD, Inventor, or any other .DXF compatible sketching software (Optional)
Step 1: Sketching the Parts
You can download the .DXF (2000 edition) drawing file directly from this page, or you can sketch something similar in a CAD program yourself.
If you do draw your own version, keep in mind that the wood will be 0.115" thick, so you will need to make the sockets 0.115" thick to make sure that the pieces fit together nicely.
NOTE: You can engrave a design on the sides or top of the sketch by placing the graphic on the face of the sketch in a drawing program. If you do this, place the graphic on each side piece so that when building the whistle, the graphic always points outwards.
Step 2: Cutting the Pieces
The pieces you will be cutting will need to be cut using the power your laser requires to completely cut through wood 0.115" thick. For the mouthpiece, you may have to experiment with several different cutting speeds to get the correct dimensions for a whistle sound to be heard when you blow into it. The space created by the mouthpieces worked for me at around 1/16" (0.0625") to 1/32" (0.03125").
After cutting the pieces in the laser, you will need to sand down the top piece so that a slanted edge is created at the notch in the front.
Step 3: Assembling the Pieces
At this point you should have all the pieces printed, and the necessary portion of the top piece sanded down. The next step is to assemble the whistle as shown.
When assembling the whistle, it's necessary to make sure that the sanded edge of the top piece is facing upwards. Also, it is important to note that the two mouthpiece parts fit together so that the partially-printed areas fit together in the middle. This will be where you blow air through.
Make sure the glue does not block the airflow through the mouthpiece, and that the whistle is as airtight as possible. This will ensure that the air moves throughout the whistle without escaping, which could prevent a sound from being heard.
Apply the adhesive (in this case, I will be using carpenter's glue) to the joints, and hold the pieces in place using rubber bands or clamps.