Stick Bark Whistle




Introduction: Stick Bark Whistle

This is a project my father taught me when I was a little kids. I have been making them ever since. Its a fairly easy little project. This only really works in the spring and summer. Though if it gets to dry it may not work. The main thing is that the sap needs to be running in the trees.

Step 1: What You Will Need.

You will need
- a sharp knife
- a green deciduous stick
I normally use alder, birch or maple.

Step 2: Making the Cut.

To start you will need to cut the stick clean and have a good 1" or more clear of knots. Its important not to scuff up the bark.

Step 3: Loosen the Bark.

Now lightly tap the bark with the blunt end of your knife handle. This helps separate the bark (cambium) from the wood. Again be careful not to brake the bark.

Step 4: First Bark Cut.

Now cut the bark right around the diameter of the stick just above the closest knot.

Step 5: Whistle Notch.

Next cut down on the stick about 1/3 of the way down. Then cut up toward that cut making a small notch.

Step 6: Crack Off the Bark.

Grasp the bark and twist, it should slide freely off the stick. Be careful not to brake the bark, you will need it to finish this project.

Step 7: Carve the Wind Chamber.

Cut straight down from the notch cut earlier. Now carve out a chamber keeping the first cut straight. The deeper the wind chamber the louder the pitch.

Step 8: Make the Wind Way.

Starting from the flat cut, cut the top of the stick to the end making the top flat. As seen in the photos above.

Step 9: Assemble.

Slide the bark back over the the wood. Be sure the the notch is lined up with the top.

Step 10: Finished

That's it, its done. Enjoy your whistle. Different whistles will make different sounds due to dimensions within them.
Some types of wood shrink and warp after they dry out, so not all whistles will work over time, but some do. Best to enjoy these right after you make them.



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25 Discussions

this is a good willow whistle they are fun to make

I love to my heart

Always wondered how these were made ,now I know,plenty of saplins near me so local kids will be getting a freebee soon I hope when I master the technique.

A simple thing to give to the kids of the local community to make them appreciate the enviroment around them

When I was about 10, My grandpa made one of these for me out of hickory when we visited family in Missouri. Thank you for putting this out there as he is gone and I have often wondered how it was done!

any tips on removing the bark I am having trouble removing mine

1 reply

Maybe the bark could be to dry. Try soking the stick over night in water.

another wood (and I find the best) is sycamore.

I've been making these with my boys for years now. I find that if you make a slant cut on the opposite of the blow hole they are more comfortable on the mouth thus easier to blow. nice breakdown on the instructable.

Awesome. Thank you for sharing this. Your instructions are great.

This is going to be a cool project! Do you think oak tree cut offs would work?

this is the best thing eva!

in my old days we made my own whistle ...... we play with that when i saw this project i got my childhood memory's thaks for sharing this

1 reply

My great uncle used to make these but I was too young to think it was important to watch how to make them. Rather I would play with them for hours and now he is gone - you however, have given my sons the opportunity to know him. This may not have been his technique but to the memory you have resurrected it is irrelevant. Thanks you.

1 reply