How To Make a Wooden Slide Whistle

A wooden whistle makes a great and useful accessory. You can chain a whistle to make it into a pendant, or a key chain. If you’re the outdoor type and enjoy camping, a wooden whistle can be useful in case you’re lost in the middle of the woods. A whistle is a great tool for sending messages or warnings.

A wooden whistle is an interesting project to make since it involves patience, science and very little materials. If you want to make your own wooden whistle, prepare a willow or ash wood, and a whittling knife.

Once you have your materials, here are the steps you should take:

  • Get a 3/4 x 3/4 x 5 inch piece of wood. You can try to find some willow or ash wood in your garden, but it can be easier if you purchase it from the local garden store. These types of wood are commonly referred to as “pen blank” and are sold by the weight. Be prepared to have a lot of small pieces of wood if you are purchasing by the weight.
  • There are two main parts of your whistle that will allow it to work – the window and the lip. Whistles work with these parts, you blow one part and the sound gets out from the other part. Start making your window by sawing a transverse cut at about an inch from the drilled portion of your wood using a razor saw. Try to make the cut as perfectly square as possible. Cut until your saw blade is about an eight of an inch through the hole. 
  • Use a chisel to slash a cut at the slot where you just cut, making an inclination of about thirty degrees. Make the cut as smooth as possible. Again, stop when you’ve already made an eighth of an inch hole. 
  • Now you have a hole where you will blow air into your whistle. You can try blowing some air, but you will surely achieve nothing. A wind way is needed so that air will pass through and this is called the fipple. A fipple is made using a hardwood dowel with a measurement of 5/16 of an inch. Use a chisel to make a flat on the fipple, insert this into your wind way, following the same path of the window and the lip. The fipple must be inline with your whistle’s window. 
  • Try blowing some air into your whistle and listen to the sound. If it doesn’t sound right, try pushing the fipple farther towards the end. Continue to adjust the fipple until you get your desired sound. Making another fipple can also change the sound. Make another while taking notes on the differences and think about the factors. Adjust according to the desired sound output. 
  • When you finally achieve the sound that you like, hold it into place and glue it on. Make sure that you do not place or drip glue on the wind’s pathway.

Your wooden whistle would work by now. If you wish to decorate your whistle, you can do so by painting some lacquered paint over the wood. Give it two or more coats, letting each coat dry before putting more coats. Drill a small hole to allow a chain to go through the whistle so you can use it as a pendant or as a key chain.


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