I taught myself to make whistles in art school… mostly by cutting
apart cheap whistles I knew worked. Plastic, tin, wooden ones…
whatever I could get my hands on. There are a couple of simple
variations that work, from police type whistles to actual flutes.
Building them in metal often changes the quality of the sound, and
there are some subtleties in tuning, but the physics are the same.
The whistles I build are generally a straight tube, 1/2 inch
sterling tubing, About 4 inches long, with a closed end and a
single “note-hole” from which the air escapes when you blow into it.
I cut a curved section out of the mouth of the tube (a “J” shape) and
solder in a curve to rest on the lower lip. This leaves a half-moon
shaped opening in the end to blow into. There is another flat piece
soldered on the interior that directs the air across the note-hole.
The hole is cut just below where the flat piece ends. They play a
single note (and the harmonic, but that takes some practice). If you
are interested I could draw you a picture and drop it in the mail…
but I don’t really have anything online as far as schematics go…
A good book on the subject is “The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker”
It applies to flute-like wooden instruments mostly, and is a little
more advanced, but it is one of the few books on the topic and is
Hope this helps
[Edited amazon URL - Hanuman]