How to Carve a Willow Whistle
Make a variable-pitch whistle that you can use to signal, play a tune or just show off your carving skills.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Small piece of willow branch, 3 to 5 inches long, about the diameter of your little finger
WHAT YOU’LL DO
1. Cut a 45-degree bevel on one end of the stick. This will be the mouthpiece of the whistle. Just forward of the bevel and on top of the whistle, cut a notch with a 90-degree edge close to the bevel and angle off the top. This will be used for airflow. Cut the bark around the stick at the desired length of your whistle.
2. Tap the whistle with the handle of your knife to loosen the bark from the wood. After tapping all sides of the whistle, twist the bark loose. Keep at it until the bark eventually comes off, but be careful: The bark must remain in one piece.
3. Take the stick and cut off the beveled part flush with the 90-degree cut of the air hole. Cut a small sliver off the top of the beveled part of the stick. This will make the hole needed to allow air to go into the whistle. This part of the stick will then become part of the mouthpiece. Insert this mouthpiece part into the angled end of the bark piece.
4. Put the remaining part of the stick back into the other end of the bark, and the whistle is complete. Blow into the whistle and slide the stick up and down in the bark. This will give you the range of your whistle tones.
can u use more than just willow
I remember my Grampa making these whistles when I was a kid (late 1930’s). I had forgotten until refreshed here. I have an 8 year old greatgrandson that will learn the skill from me. A skill that will stay with him always.. Thank
You. “0ld guy” from Ohio.
My dad showed me how to make this when we asked to go on walks I was about 8-9 years old (now in my 40s) so glad that I found your site to give me a wee refresher know going to show my kids how to do this
Made these in the 60s, poplar works the best, enjoy
Used to make these in the early 60`s , try Poplar , good thick bark , have fun
i wonder what it sounds like
This is a really fun project and this is also good to do with family!
That looks hard!
ok. extremely hard (in my opinion.)
i gonna make mine in like 30 minutes! this is so cool!!!
Reading some of the comments, I see why there is a market for plastic whistles. Hang in there, you can do it.
where do I get willow wood
How do you get the mouthpiece to stick in the bark after you remove it and cut the air vent.
Cool I want to make mine right now🙂🙂
Can I use the white lead tree ( also called the tangan tangan tree in Chamorro ).
where can I get willow in south florid, Can I buy some need 35.
Thank You Willow whistler
I want to try it but my parents wont let me.
Does it have to be a willow
No, you can also use sycamore or ash as long as it is early in the growing season when the sap is beginning to rise. KEEP CUTTING AND BLOWING.
No. Many woods work. I often use maple. Willow is probably best, though. Easy to find near water.
how do you slip the bark off???
Will the size of the whistle affect the sound?
that is awesome
awesome!!! gonna try’d
I once almost cut my finger off cutting / carving wood with a knife / saw
i cut a third of my nail off doing the same on another project.
This is so cool! Im Going to Make mine right now!
I want to do that
gonna make it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wish I could do that!!!!
I know I am too!!!
slipping the bark off is hard
To slip the bark off, do it in the spring, the cambium will be more slippery as the “sap is running”
Should I make one?
ok I didn’t do it yet
To loosen the bark, you can both tap it and roll it on a railing, pressing pretty hard.
how do u do this it is so confusing
THIS IS REALY COOL
does It need to be a live branch.
I screwed up when I tried. How are you supposed to cut the branch with a pocketknife?
Can you use an oak tree branch?
Awesome! im gonna try this now!
I have a willow tree in my back yard =)
do you have to use a willow branch and if not what else can you use
You can use lots of things but the bark on the willow tree will come off in one piece easier than just about anything else. After you make a few (for yourself and your friends) then you can branch out and experiment with other stuff.
hahaha i like your pun. “branch out and experiment with other stuff.”
does it have to be a willow branch?
Easy fun and effective way to get stitches! 🙂
This is a dangerous task I cut my leg
really difficult looking
Um, sounds like you need to learn basic knife safety. One rule is not to carve directly over your leg! Also, don’t start a carving project expecting it to be 100% safe
I stabed my hand with this almost got stiches. I don’t like it.
how???? making the whistle or just doing another progect
I have no idea how they figuire that out,but I will make one someday!!
Trying out the whistle. The tapping to get the bark to slip is the tricky part.
This is cool
NEITHER AM I
this is great! i’m making mine right now!