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Bigger hammer

Barley Twist Whistle

I made this one a few months ago and gave it to my middle niece as a Christmas present. It's a small whistle carved from a quite dense fruit wood (possibly wild cherry):


It makes quite a soft, pleasant note if you blow gently or a harsh high-pitched note if you blow harder. I believe this phenomenon is called 'overblowing' - it's effectively producing the second harmonic instead of its fundamental frequency. Not all of the whistles I've made do this. I think it has something to do with the ratio of the length of the resonating chamber to its diameter.

I was going to explain how I made the Barley Twist pattern but I've just realised I can't remember exactly! It involved wrapping pieces of masking tape around the whistle in a spiral pattern and gouging along the edges of the tape. I think it has four 'starts.'