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This was a fun project for my son and I! Both power tools or hand tools can be used, and the project can be completed in an evening, perfect for kids! For the smaller whistle, start with some scrap pine, 3/4" X 3/4" X 4 1/4" or so long. Different lengths will give different pitches.
Drill a 7/16" hole down the center 3 5/8"deep. We used a jig to hold the stock safely. Then over to the band saw to cut the notch. Next take a 7/16" dowel and cut it about 1 1/4" long, then flatten one site of it with a file. This is the part that makes the sound. Stick it in the hole flat side up to test the sound before gluing it there permanently.
We had to resize the dowel by spinning it in the drill press and sanding a little off so it fit the whistle snugly. We also had to refile the flat spot a few times to get the whistle to sound ok. When your satisfied with the sound, glue it in so the dowel is flush inside the whistle and still sticking out the end.
After the glue dries, you can cut the mouth piece, John does this on the scroll saw, then sand all the faces smooth. John also chamfered all the edges then decorated his whistle with markers!
So it took less than an hour to make this little whistle, and less than that to be sick of the noise!  My son was very proud of himself! This was a project that he didn't get board with and could play with instantly!  Click here to hear his whistle!
With simple whistle under our belts, we decided to get into the "Quad Train Whistle". We started again at the drill press but ran in 4 holes instead of 1. Also because of the length of the whistle and the bit, i didn't have enough clearance on my benchtop drill press. We started the holes with a 1/2" forstner bit.......
...and completed the holes with the hand drill at the vice. The holes are different depths for different tones, 4", 5", 6", and 7". We put tape on the drill bit to let us know how deep to go.
I needed to make a "V" block to hold the whistle at 45 degrees, to make these cuts. To make the V block, set your table saw blade at 45 degrees, and 
1-1/4" high. Then take a 12" pc of 2X4 and make the first pass, then flip the block and make the second pass. You end up with a groove that will hold your whistle at 45 degrees. 
Start out by making the "cheek" cut with your miter gauge set to 90. Then you can freehand the angle cuts (at right). 

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Next take 4  1/2"dia dowels cut to 3/4". Flatten on side with a file as before and pop them in the holes with the flat side to the outside, and flush to the notch! the dowels should be recessed 1/8" on the end. Test the tone and glue them in place
Click Here to listen to the  
Quad Whistle, it 
sounds like a real train!
We stuck finish nails in the flat spot to wedge the dowels while the glue dried. Next, clean up the dowel end so it's smooth,  cut 1/4" off the other end of the whistle, drill a 7/8" hole thru the center and glue it to the dowel end. This acts as sort of a manifold, distributing your wind to the 4 chambers.
Click here to purchase the Plans, only $5.95! 


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