18th Century Pitch Pipe (slide whistle)

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Project by bonobo posted 12-21-2012 06:49 PM 3368 views 16 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Started holidays today and last night I had a couple of hours free before bed, so decided to work on this slide whistle that has been rattling around in my head for a week. It was such a fun project that I lost track of time and kept going until I finished it at 4am. It’s a copy of a pitch pipe used by church choirs in the 18th/early 19th century. I modelled it after one I didn’t win in an ebay auction.

I started with a small block of scrap lauan, sliced off the walls with a rip saw, hand planed it to thickness and squared all the long grain edges on a shooting board. I used a piece of old leather belt for the stopper. Added a coat of left-over shellac and some beeswax, which I polished with a piece of cork and a scrap of wool.

It sounds just like a slide recorder. The period examples usually have a scale marked on the plunger, so I’ll probably inlay something to do that.

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117234 posts in 3720 days

#1 posted 12-21-2012 08:28 PM

Very slick Bonda cool whistle.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View GerardoArg1's profile


985 posts in 2137 days

#2 posted 12-21-2012 08:39 PM

Excelent!!! Excelent!!!! I´never see that. I try to copy inmediatly. Great job and thank for posted.

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View SPalm's profile


5322 posts in 4025 days

#3 posted 12-21-2012 11:39 PM

New to me too. Looks great.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3256 posts in 3856 days

#4 posted 12-22-2012 05:24 AM

That is certainly much more attractive than today’s pitch pipes. This goes on my already-way-too-long to-do list (just in case I live another 50 years). Thanks for sharing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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