How to Make a Whistle

By elamon | Band Saw Basic

Sep 23

If you are looking for your next DIY project to undertake, then this is an excellent project to start with. While there is nothing wrong in buying whistles but why something you can easily make for yourself. In this article, we look closely on the steps to make a whistle. Our primary material will be the willow twig because of its ready availability. If you do not have a willow, you can make use of any similar wooden material.

Get a Willow Twig

For this project, you would need a piece of wood. If you live in an area with willows, you could settle for that. You can also get wood from the wood store if no willow is readily available. The willow twig chosen should be one that doesn’t have any side branch. A twig length of about 8 inches will be sufficient to make the whistle. A willow twig with green bark will make a better whistle than a dying twig. The twig should not be more than an inch thick but perfectly round and smooth.

Make a Notch in the Twig

Place the twig on a flat surface and get your small knife to cut out a notch on the twig. As earlier stated, the length of the twig shouldn’t be any more than 8 inches. If you get a twig longer than this, trim it down to 8 inches. Make this notch at about a quarter of the length of the twig.

Remove Outer Layer

Taking note of where you made the notch on the twig, move two inches further and make a ring cut. The idea is to cut out the outer layer of the twig’s bark. It is important that you do not completely cut the twig in half. You have to be extra careful when cutting the ring. If done properly, you would easily slide out the outer layer once the ring cut is completed.

Remove the Cut Bark

Removing the bark is a whole lot easier if it is wet. You do not necessarily have to wet the entire twig. You can just focus on wetting from the ring you just cut to the mouth of the twig. To loosen the bark from the center part of the willow, tap the wet twig with the handle of your knife. By gently twisting the cut bark, you should be able to remove the bark. This removed bark will still be useful, so extra care should be taken when removing it. To prevent it from drying out, place the bark in water to keep it moist.

Deepen the Notch

The initial notch made on the twig should be visible in the inner part of the twig. Get your knife and deepen the notch. You will make a cut from this notch to the mouth of the twig, you have to be careful not to cut too deep into it. The pitch produced by the whistle will largely be determined by the depth and length of this notch.

Replace the Bark

Just before replacing the bark, gently carve the upper part of the twig. This is around the area where you made the first notch. Carve it in such a way that it forms a slope from the notch to the mouth of the twig. Take out the cut bark from inside the water you placed it in. blow gently on it to remove any lodged water. After this is done, gently slide the bark right back into its previous position.

Enjoy Your Whistle

You are all done and have successfully made your whistle. Blow on it and get your sound. As earlier stated, the pitch produced from the whistle depends on the length and depth of the notch. If done properly, you should have just the perfect sound you need. You may need practice to be able to get the right depth of the notch. Whatever the case, your whistle should produce sound when blown.

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