In line with the “projects my daughter will love but my wife will hate” set of projects I wanted to make a simple wooden whistle that my daughter could use during playing with her trains.


I’d never stopped to wrap my head around the theory of how a whistle works nor remember ever being taught such a thing at school but from somewhere I already knew how a whistle worked.  Making something in wood would be fairly easy I thought.

I took a short scrap piece of 2×2 piece of construction pine and drilled an 8mm hole about half way down.

I then cut down a small pine dowel with a knife to create a reed that would fit into the hole and cut a slot directly where the end of the reed would be once inserted.

I was able to test the tone with a simple push fit of the reed into the hole and was happy enough with the sound.

I then glued the reed into position but also cut down the 2×2 a bit further to make something a bit easier for a small child to hold, about 20x20mm in width.

The edges were all sanded with 100 grit sandpaper by hand to avoid any sharp corners or splinters and I added a few coats of tung oil as it was the only stuff I had to hand that I knew was food safe.

I left it to dry 30 minutes in between coats with a light sand (150 grit) each time however I did waste a bit of sandpaper doing it this way which could have been avoided by letting it dry longer between each coat.


My daughter loved it of course and despite the telling off by the wife!