Make Whistles From Scrap Metal




Hey everyone; first off, I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. University has really shifted the intensity into higher gear, so I haven't had time to work on many projects. However, I'll be trying to post a few quick and easy things like this over the next few months!

I had some free time over the weekend, so I decided to head out to my workshop/garage and try to make something. After seeing this post, I decided that a whistle sounded like a fun, easy project to kill some time on. I ended up making two whistles; one in the style of the post, and one in the style of a "pea whistle". They both have unique sounds due to slight variations in shape, but both produce clear, crisp notes.

*NOTE: DO NOT use galvanized steel like I did! Zinc is not very good for you; use stainless steel, aluminum, or something else that is safe (I made sure to wrap the mouthpieces in duct tape before using the whistles).

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: What You Need:

- Scrap sheet metal (stainless steel or aluminum)

- Pliers

- Tin snips

- Epoxy (optional)

- Clamp (optional)

Step 2: Cutting the Body

- Draw a 5" by 0.75" rectangle and a 1.5" by 0.75" rectangle on the scrap metal.

- Cut out the two rectangles and remove any burrs.

Step 3: Bending the Body

- Bend the 1.5" long strip around the 5" strip so that it resembles Images 1 and 2. This forms the mouthpiece.

- Slide the mouthpiece along the 5" strip until it is about .75" from one end. Bend the end of the 5" strip down over the two "folded" ends of the mouthpiece.

- Make a roughly 90 degree bend in the 5" strip at the end of the mouthpiece.

- Bend the rest of the 5" strip into a roughly circular chamber, and make sure that the end of the strip is level with (or slightly above) the top of the mouthpiece. If there is excess metal, remove it with the tin snips.

Step 4: Testing

- Test the whistle by squeezing the body between the bases of your thumbs; this seals the air chamber.

- Blow through the mouthpiece and check the sound (after thoroughly cleaning it).

- If you're satisfied, you can stop here, However, if you want a whistle that you don't need both hands to use, proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Sealing the Chamber

- Trace each side of the chamber onto the scrap metal; be sure to mark which piece corresponds with which side.

- DON'T add "tabs" (like I did). I removed them later on, as I found them to be no help at all.

- Cut out the two pieces and epoxy them to the sides of the chamber.

- After the epoxy is dry, clean the whistle thoroughly and test for air leaks; seal any leaks with epoxy.



  • Indoor Lighting Contest

    Indoor Lighting Contest
  • Metal Contest

    Metal Contest
  • Make It Fly Challenge

    Make It Fly Challenge

9 Discussions


2 years ago

I know some kids who would love working on these. Can you solder the side pieces instead of epoxy?

5 replies

Reply 2 years ago

Good question! I'm sure you could, but you'd have to do a very thorough job to avoid any air leaks.


Reply 2 years ago

And make sure to use Lead-free solder!


Reply 2 years ago

I am working with the baby beginners on the robotics team. We are all learning together. The welding instructor is the coach of the team. He will make us do it over and over until we get it right. I just wanted your opinion before I suggested the project--so I didn't look stupid if it was a dumb idea. Thanks.


2 years ago

Would a cherry pip trapped inside work like a real whistle?

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

Yes, it should.


2 years ago

Cool instructable. Thank you for adding the useful safety notices.