Whistle Mandrel? More Whistles!

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Project by Hacksaw007 posted 05-31-2010 04:50 AM 2552 views 6 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Have not had much time to mess around in the shop for a few weeks. My son got married last week (Sob) so we are empty nesting it for the first time. Making a few of these Mary Anne inspired whistles have been alot of fun especially if you don’t have much time to invest. The problem is that everyone wants one. I make stuff for my coworker’s kids once in a while and I made his son a whistle. 2 days later I got a card from him thanking me and asking for another blue whistle so he and his friend can create a secret code! My coworker knows how to make stuff on the metal lathe so I designed a “whistle mandrel”, which he redesigned and made one up for me. I didn’t have anything to correctly hold the whistles while turning, when they have a 3/8th inch hole in them, so here is a good way to turn them. This mandrel is 3 3/4 inch long, where the whistle goes is 3/8th inch thick, and the part that goes into my tail stock is 5/8th inch thick. That leaves you with 1/8th inch at the mouth piece, just like a pen mandrel! The tailstock end is bored so that my pin doesn’t get used, just the beveled part of the tailstock, self centering! It works pretty slick. And a lot faster to make. Made these 6 in less than an hour. They aren’t finished yet, will spray coat varnish on them. I am using a Jet 1220VS lathe. Scrap wood from work. The colors are Red and Black, Cayenne, Black and Blue, second picture is Camo, Red, White and Blue, and another Black and Blue one. I also just went and bought a white dowel rod, but took a whistle to check the dowels for the best fit, and I am glad that I did, some were way off, too small or big. And I learned that my flat area on the plug wasn’t deep enough, so when I tried different things, this increased my volume and bettered my sound. I am over 1/16 inch on the flat. I remember Mary Anne’s request to donate some whistle money to women’s centers, but I haven’t sold any yet, still giving them away! Just like making pens I guess I am still giving them away too. Thanks for looking and hope all of you are have a great Holiday!

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

7 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20594 posts in 3129 days

#1 posted 05-31-2010 05:01 AM

Those are some really nice and attractive whistles.

It looks like that mandrel replaces the point in your live center? Is that correct?
That makes slick way to mount the blanks and have room to work around the end with the hole. I had to use a drive center on one end and live cente in the mouth end. I tried making them with bigger holes and deeper holes and that gave them a deeper sound.

Nice Idea. I’ll have to see if my point comes out of my live center. Thanks for the tip on the 1/16 deep lat too.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#2 posted 05-31-2010 05:06 AM

These are totally unique

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Hacksaw007's profile


614 posts in 3212 days

#3 posted 05-31-2010 05:07 AM

The point of my tail stock fits up into the whistle mandrel without touching it. The beveled end fits the beveled inside of the tail stock and self centers without damaging or using the sharp pin. I have been also playing around with hole size and depth, and the flat spot. Looking at making a four in one whistle like a train whistle….....

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3779 days

#4 posted 05-31-2010 05:16 AM

Great Looking Pens!!! I really like the various colors combined in each pen!

Than mandrel is a neat idea, too!

It sure is refreshing to see that folks are still teaching their kids to say thanks- in writing!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3318 days

#5 posted 05-31-2010 11:48 AM

Great looking whistles !
Looks like Mary Anne has created a whistle addiction ! LOL
The hand written note is adorable,
thanks for adding that to the pics !
Keep on keeping the kids busy.
Great work,


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3232 days

#6 posted 05-31-2010 04:06 PM

There you go! You are officially addicted to whistle making.
That sweet note from your little friend is what seals the deal and makes it all worthwhile.
I have another dozen made up and ready to distribute, too.

I love seeing your innovation of adding a mandrel –
Looks like you work the mouthpiece at the tailstock end?
And that laminated wood adds a snazzy extra, too.
Keep on turnin’ and tootin’! :)

View NormG's profile


6137 posts in 3027 days

#7 posted 05-31-2010 11:33 PM

Wonderful tool idea. I suppose you can call it a jig

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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