Carving a Whistle Out of Wood

Happy Monday everyone! Today we have another great post from Nathan Dobson. This time on Carving a Whistle!

How to Carve a Whistle Out of WoodCarving a Whistle

Despite having countless distractions offered by the digital age, people still have the ability to bring a new thrill in life through hobbies such as wood carvings. Making a whistle out of wood allows a rush of creative and satisfaction. Moreover, it’s definitely a breath of fresh air in the mundane technologically based activities people enjoy these days. The process is fun and definitely achievable, provided the right equipment is gathered for it, and eventually you can find other wood carving ideas. A loud whistle is referred to as “pea whistle” owing to its ball or pea like shape. It offers a rather recognizable sound and can be used in activities such as hunting, camping and for refereeing.

Tools Needed

  • A straight piece of wood (3-5”) that’s about the width of your small finger
  • Carving knife

The aforementioned tools are highly necessary for the creation of a whistle that goes in the survival kit for hunting and camping. However, considering the current scenario, the need for a whistle as such remains limited to people who frequently fish, hunt or hike. Depending on the piece of wood you use, you might need a bigger tool, like the best hand saw, to cut down the wood to an appropriate size. A signal whistle can not only be used effectively in such activities but it helps users connect with their inner creative side and nature in general.


Following are the steps needed for an effective whistle:

  • Make the mouthpiece by cutting into one of the ends of your piece of wood at a 45-degree angle. Make sure you carve it in such a way that the mouthpiece is tapered at the end. Once you’re finished with this, make a 90-degree notch at the top of the piece of wood ahead of the bevel you just carved. This is where air flows through to help create the whistling sound.

  • Remove bark by making a cut which goes the full circumference of the bark at any length down the wooden piece. You are just trying to remove the bark here, not cut all the way through the wood so once you have made the incision completely around the whistle, set the piece of wood down on a solid surface and tap the whistle with a branch or the butt of a knife to try to loosen the bark from the wooden core. After enough tapping, carefully twist and pull to try and separate the bark from the wood in one piece.

Carving a Whistle

  • Make the air passage, after the first and second step are completed, by removing the beveled side of the bark and shaving down the top part of the whistle in between the bottom of the 45-degree angle of the mouthpiece and the 90-degree notch.
  • Refit the bark back onto the from the wooden whistle. Try to be delicate during this process since bark definitely isn’t known for its robustness. Once you ease the bark back onto the wooden whistle from the side with the mouthpiece, you will use this to determine the pitch when being used.

Final Results

The user should by now, be able to blow into the whistle’s end, after having fitted the bark back on. The sound produced should be loud and of a nice tone. The pitch of the whistle is quite easy to alter. Lengths of the cane can simply be altered to various sizes in order to create variety of pitches of the whistle. In order to increase the pitch, the length of the can has to be shortened. Find more information about wood carving at!

Thanks again Nathan! Great stuff!

Until then,

Use your instincts to survive