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Friday, 27 May 2016

Making a willow whistle with a new knife

I'm currently working on a second edition to Bow Drill Trouble Shooting and in the new edition i will be dedicating a whole chapter to bearing blocks and will be looking at the fairly new fashion of having a divot in the handle of a knife for use as a bearing block for your friction fire kit.

Heinnie Haynes have kindly sent me a TOPS C.U.B a knife which features this bow drill divot and although I haven't had a chance to test the divot yet I did give it a bit of exercise making a simple willow whistle. You may have seen the video on the Bushcraft Education Youtube channel that shows how to make one.  
First select a strait green piece of willow. 

Cut a piece to the desired length, and try and choose a piece with as few knots and buds as possible. 

I carve the mouthpiece next as it will be harder if you leave it till the end. 

next a small notch on the top of the whistle. 

And now score around the bark a few centimetres bellow the notch.

After some vigorous tapping of the bark with a stick or your knife handle you should be able to twist it, you should hear a slight 'pop' and the bark will separate from the wood underneath. 

You will be able to slide the tube of bark off completely.

Now you can carve a sound chamber, enlarging the notch you made earlier, although you must not make the hole in the bark larger. You will also need to take a thin sliver of wood off the top surface of the wood in-front of the notch which is what you will blow through. 

Now you can replace the bark sleeve and you have a completed whistle. 

Have a go yourself


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