Make a whistle with your pocket knife and fresh wood.
wonderful time with my fiancées son Karl.
Making a whistle with a pocket knife is a wonderful way to share a good time with kids, it gives a chance to learn, talk and just enjoy life in the quiet pace, away from the modern running.
Perhaps a chance to give a son, stepson or a grandchild his or hers first knife.
Hazel, willow, ash or rowan will do the job; the important is that the bark will separate from the wood easy.
In Denmark willow is the most common used traditionally.
My daughter Mathilde and I have made these over the years in this blog I will make one with my fiancées son Karl and he will carve a little also.
I made my first whistle on a trip to Venice with my grandparents and their friends, the friend Knud he always had a pocket knife in the pocket and one day he gave me one also, I was so proud you can’t imagine.
When we then passed a willow tree on a tour outside Venice he asked me to cut a branch, and in an hour or so I had made my first whistle – do I need to say I was proud? Proud as a pope.
This blog I will dedicate to Knud, he is no longer among us but always in my heart and in my mind each time I learn others to make a willow whistle, thank you Knud.
This is Karl blowing his whistle, he actually made it all by himself and succeeded in first try.
Way to go Karl
I was really proud of him.
Here some samples I made over the days we spend in the summerhouse.
First of all find a good place to sit.
Sharpen the knifes, there are nothing more dangerous than a dull knife.
(The old advice to dull the kids knifes is a really bad idea, this is where the most accidents happen).
So razor sharp if possible.
If possible also a cold drink, my wonderful Sisse (Karls mother) made us elderflower drinks, mine with a touch of Vodka, this is how lucky I am.
Then sit and cut a little with the knife, just to get used.
Also a good time to learn how to use a saw…
Or get photographed while sitting next to the chair…
I was not drunk!
Just a fool…
The stump I was trying to sit on in the background…
Karl carving a little before we begin.
We found some young rowan tree and cut a piece.
You need to find a piece that are straight and with no branches.
You will need at least two inches clean branch.
It can be any thickness, but like a finger is a good start.
The one on the left will be able to be used from each end.
The one on the right is really perfect.
Start by cutting the mouth piece.
Perhaps it is time for a break.
Here I practice golf…
(I don’t play golf at all, but Karl does really well).
Clean up the end of the mouthpiece by making a straight cut.
Now practice to make this cut on a different piece of wood.
Make ten or so until you are good at it.
Start by making a straight cut.
And then sideways.
When ready make the cut like this over the mouthpiece.
So that the front meets the back.
Then make a cut through the bark all the way around.
Time for a second brake.
Karl shooting an air rifle.
Me with an air gun.
Back to the whistle.
Now gently tap on the bark with the knife handle.
Tap all over the whistle end.
After this the bark will be loose and you can push it of like this.
Now time to cut the inside.
It’s important you cut from the back forward and keep the vertical end at the same spot, just working it deeper and deeper slowly.
It’s up to you how much, the more you remove the more deep the sound becomes.
Now you need to make the opening for air.
A thin cut at the top front.
And the bark goes back on.
Here the air ‘tunnel’.
And just put some air through that whistle.
If you followed the blog it should make you smile by saying a wonderful sound now.
Different sizes, different sounds.
Karl also made this little ‘Henning’ guy.
This was the practice piece.
I am quite impressed.
And the back.
We also visited a sand sculpture park where I made my own version in the sand box for the kids.
And few days later we had guests, Otto and Vester the cousins of Karl. Vester made some carving and Otto actually made a whistle also.
And the fool saying thank you for watching my holyday woodworking blog with Karl and all the others !!!
Hope this can inspire others to spend some wonderful time with some one you love.
-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.