Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Simple Tree Limb Whistle

And yet another video that I've uploaded on making a simple tree limb whistle. This easy project has been very popular with the kids in my woodshop class for almost 15 years. It's super easy to make and a good way to ensure success especially with new students because it's also a quick project that can be making music in less than 20 minutes. After that I like to encourage students to extend the whistle by a lot of sanding, perhaps adding some creative carving, or maybe some woodburning art.

The whistle in my video was made from a scrap of wood that I sawed off from a sourwood walking stick that I recently carved. (Look at the brillant red leaves of the sourwood tree below.) I have a hard time throwing out any good piece of wood so making a whistle is a good way to utilize these scraps. It was about 6" long and about 1-1/2"
almost doneImage by djbones via Flickr
diameter so the 3/4" drill bit worked well. These whistles can also be made from smaller pieces of wood so just scale down the drill bit and experiment until you get it right.

This is an excellent project for a parent/child or Scouts but you might want to set some limits for using the completed project because the constant whistling has been know to cause a few head aches with by-standers. Have fun and always think safety when in the woodshop.


  1. Dave,
    How can one make a wooden whistle by using a limb from a tree and not need to use a drill press? If you're out in the bush and you have a good knife, how can one make a whistle with what is available?

  2. That would be a slip-bark whistle and it's a great project. I'd like to do a posting on how I do it sometime in the near future when there isn't a foot of snow on the ground. :) Until then I did find a pretty good video on how one English fellow does it that I posted here:

  3. dude i maid like 20 of those in the past week

  4. This is so fun! We linked to it from our camping activities round up- I hope that's okay!