Okay , so this is a bit esoteric. I mean, how many people
do you know that make silver whistles. It all started with a
commission from a captain of a racing yacht. He had lost his
whistle and he wanted me to make one that also had the shape
of a Christian Cross. He uses it to whistle to his crew when
they racing, because the wind and sea drown out his voice. (
This was the captains whistle.
This is the whistle that will
be made in this Hidi.
So a year or so goes by, and one day I wake up and I
realize that I can't actually remember, how I had made the captains whistle. Luckily I
had, in my research, made four or five test samples, firstly
out of copper tubing and then out of silver, and I still had
these attempts in my silver junk box. So I decided to make
this Hidi , quickly, before I forget even more! I am sure
that my loss of memory is to do with the fact that my
eyebrows and hairline are at war.....
We start with a
piece of flat, annealed silver, the size shown. I rolled
this down to .8mm thick, but I am sure other thicknesses
will be good too, like 1mm or 1.2mm.
I bend it
round and solder it up into a tube that has a diameter of 11mm
on the inside. One can, of course, buy the right diameter
tubing, but what I do is to cut the plate so that it will,
when bent roughly round, form a 10-10.5 mm inside diameter.
I solder it up and then I tap an 11mm ball punch through the
tubing. A bit more of taping and bingo I have a perfectly
round piece of tubing. ( my ball punches diameter are the
same as the shaft diameter, a very handy thing)
Then I saw
it about a third of the way up. The first picture shows the
whistle to be 60mm long. In actual fact it turned out to be
50mm long. The reason is that the longer the front of the
whistle is the lower the pitch. And the shorter, the higher
the pitch. I decided on the pitch by suddenly and
unexpectedly blowing the whistle behind my wife, and then
seeing how high she jumped. I settled in a six inch jump
which made the whistle 50mm. ( semi kidding :)
The front section of the whistle is cut out as shown. The
depth of the cut is 5.5mm. The thickness of the 'posts' is
5mm. Those measurement are not finite. There is, within
reason quite a variable.
Now comes the critical part. This plate is .5mm thick. I
pierce it out carefully.
Then I file the lips just so that the plate fits very snugly
into the bottom section.
Then I solder in the plate so that it is a millimeter or so
recessed from the top. Also, I have run a .7mm barrel bur so
that the plate and the inner walls have an equal gap. This is
all rough still. I will take sandpaper strips and smooth the
.7mm gap out and use bristle brushes and brush finish the inside
At this stage I can hold the two pieces together and make
the thing whistle. It's a bit finicky, but at least I know
it will work.
Now I need to make the mouth piece. I roughly shape a
'washer' of silver.
Which is filed to about the same diameter as the whistle
section. It is about 9mm wide, but in retrospect I could
have made it 11mm wide. It would fit my teeth and lips
better when blowing the whistle.
Then I file it with a 6mm rattail file ( a round file
that is not tapered) and make a circle of silver. The
wire is 2mm thick.
This circle I solder on just so that the bottom part of the
whistle will fit in snugly. This looks good and hides the
Then I make a flat washer 2mm thick and solder that onto the
other side of the mouth piece.
Here I am about to solder the two components together.
These are the three sections of the body of the whistle.
The bottom piece soldered to the mouth piece.
Then Hans decided to become clever. This is always
dangerous. So instead of just putting a nice gold cap on the
end of the whistle, why not put a amethyst there instead.
Bad idea. The whistle simply ceased to whistle. I assume the
pavilion of the stone upset the air flow. If I were to
solder at the top tube closed and then mount the stone on
top of that, it would work. But I was to far advanced to
start messing around with something that was certain to end
in tears so...
I soldered a gold cap on instead.. The two grooves are there
to accept the bail of the whistle
When the whistle is soldered together, it is essential that
the posts and the whistle plate align. The whistle will not
work if they are at 90 degrees to the posts.
Here the whistle is soldered together, ready to be finished
Any comments can be sent to
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