Loony wooden whistleThis is my Sunday article, but posted on Friday. Why? Well, I don't like to be a copy cat, and even less do I like to look like one. Steve Ramsey, just today posted his video about making a referee whistle. So I figure, if I post mine now, it will be clear that this isn't copying him (unless you believe making videos takes no time :) )
I wanted to experiment with building a whistle. But as usual, I wanted to give the project an extra twist. I wanted one that sounded unusual. So I made this one to play two tones at once, with a "pea" in each chamber to modulate both tones.
The two chambers of the whistle are cut with a 1 1/8" and a 1 3/8" drill. The closer the ratio of pitches, the more dissonant the whistle will sound. But if the two pitches are too close to each other, the two chambers of the whistle will pull each other into unison.
(It's probably for this reason that the pea-less Fox-40 whistle has the mouths of the two whistles facing away from each other, to reduce the ability of the two whistle elements to synchronize).
The pea must be light, but large enough not to be able to fall out the slot. It also needs to not fully obstruct the slot. Otherwise, it's too likely to plug up the slot and get stuck there.
With both halves glued to the center divider, I cut around the larger cavity to form the overall shape of the whistle. I use a compass, set to about 4 mm, and drag the point along the inside edge of the body to mark the line where I'm cutting.
After that, I glue in the top of the mouthpiece to form the inlet. I use the same splint that I used to set the gap for testing earlier to now set it back to that position.
Cutting some nice dark mahogany for the sides of the whistle. I saw these thin on the table saw. In this case, on my homemade table saw.
The lower of the two holes is a bit larger than ideal - I should have left it smaller so there would be less risk of getting the pea stuck in the slot.
It would be a good idea to finish the whistle with a food grade finish before it discolours too much from usage. I have not done that on mine.
Building a crokinole
Building an air raid siren
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