How to Make a Wooden Train Whistle

By Contributor

How to Make a Wooden Train Whistle. Think about that neat wooden train whistle you had as a kid. Your mom or dad probably bought it at some five-and-ten cent store. Bet you never realized how easy it is to make one yourself. Just follow these steps.

Cut a scrap of pine wood about 3/4 by 3/4 inches, 4 1/4 inches in length. Note that different lengths will produce different pitches.

Drill four 7/16-inch holes on the top at one end of the wood. Each hole must be placed 3/8 inches on adjacent sides. The holes are drilled to four lengths: 7 1/4 inches, 4 1/4 inches, 6 1/4 inches and 4 3/4 inches to produce different tones.

Cut angled notches into the four corners of the side of the block. Each notch must be located 3/8 inches from adjacent corner edge.

Cut four dowels 1/2 inch each in length. Sand each piece flat on one side. These dowels will serve as the reeds of the whistle. Glue the dowel pieces into the holes, drilled at the top of the whistle in the second step. Each dowel should be recessed 1/8 inch.

Drill a 3/4-inch diameter hole 1/4 inch deep into the exact center of a piece of pine wood left over from the first step. Glue this onto the top of the whistle (the end with the dowels). Align both pieces with each other. The end with the hole goes against the top of the whistle. Make sure glue doesn't enter the open area.

Shape the mouthpiece by using a lathe or scroll saw. Make a round cut 3/4 inch in thickness and 1/4 inch from the joint, and then cut off the whistle. Cut the top off, leaving exactly 1/4 inch attached. Sand the mouthpiece into shape.

Sand entire whistle. Bevel all edges. Decorate with markers, stain or simply leave the wood natural.

Things You Will Need

  • Pine wood, ten inches in length
  • Dowel 7/16 inch in diameter, four inches in length
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Lathe
  • Scroll saw