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making pennywhistles

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GUEST,Mike 03 Mar 01 - 08:21 AM
alison 03 Mar 01 - 08:35 AM
alison 03 Mar 01 - 08:37 AM
Jeri 03 Mar 01 - 09:20 AM
Margaret V 03 Mar 01 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Mike 03 Mar 01 - 10:46 AM
Lin in Kansas 04 Mar 01 - 06:24 AM
Bob Bolton 04 Mar 01 - 08:29 AM
Cap't Bob 04 Mar 01 - 10:30 AM
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Subject: making pennywhistles
From: GUEST,Mike
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 08:21 AM

I've gotten interested in making pennywhistles, but have been unable to find much information on this art, which seems like it would be exacting and challenging work. I've got reasonably good wood- and metal-working skills, and am willing to put some effort into learning the craft. I play the banjo now, so making pennywhistles could be considered a form of remedial activity or reform, I suppose. Searching around on the net, I've found some very nice-looking whistles, but little information on making them. Any thoughts on where I might start with this?

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Subject: RE: making pennywhistles
From: alison
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 08:35 AM

become a member of mudcat.. then you can send bob bolton a personal message... I know he has made quite a few..... probably has the plans etc.....



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Subject: RE: making pennywhistles
From: alison
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 08:37 AM

I've sent him an email.. no doubt he'll appear in the next few days.....



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Subject: RE: making pennywhistles
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 09:20 AM

There are instructions for making all sorts of instruments here.

(Maybe I should go see if this is on Spaw's Instrument Links Permathread...)

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Subject: RE: making pennywhistles
From: Margaret V
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 09:34 AM

If you haven't visited yet, have a look there. Margaret

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Subject: RE: making pennywhistles
From: GUEST,Mike
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 10:46 AM

Many thanks! Chiff & Fipple has some very useful stuff; certainly enough to get me started.

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Subject: RE: making pennywhistles
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 06:24 AM

John on LIK's hook. Someday I'm going to get that other email so I can do it myself.

Best place to get started is certainly with people who play and make instruments, as suggested by others above. If you get into making instruments like the P-squeeks, you may eventually want to look at some other kinds of similar projects.

"The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker" by Trevor Robinson, University of Massachusetts Press, 1973 & 1980, ISBN 0-87023-312-2 (1980 edition), about $18.00 & probably available from Barnes or Borders .coms: has some detailed plans for a variety of fipple flutes, recorders, etc. You might find a variety of instruments here that would be fun to build. This book has been cited frequently by a number of sources, and may be available in a local public or university library for you to look at. It's only about 100 pages, but has some good stuff – including a short list of other useful references.

Almost any published "work" on instrument design eventually mentions "Acoustical Aspects of Woodwind Instruments" by C. J. Nederveen. I spent about 2 yrs looking for this one, because so many people recommended it, and it has been re-published (1998) by Northern Illinois University Press, ISBN 0-87580-577-9. I got my copy about a year ago, by special ordering it (for $28). Unless you are mathematically inclined, I'd say don't bother – at least until you have tried out what you can find elsewhere – or hit the libraries again. It's a good book, but you probably don't need it for what I infer as your interest.

Dover books (reprints) also have a number of historicly interesting technical stuff that you might want to look at (Helmholtz, Jeans, etc.) later if you get obsessed. Best bet is to make a hole in a long hunk of wood, bust through some side holes, and play with it -- after you get the fipple angle and spacing about right.

And have fun!!!
John in Kansas.

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Subject: RE: making pennywhistles
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 08:29 AM

G'day Mike,

I reckon you should start with Chiff & Fipple - there arte endless links, including more information on making than you can digest in the next year!

I made a lot of big whistles last year - mainly to experiment with more manageable fingering spacings. I just looked at what I liked and didn't like ... and made them - but I made had some whistles back in the 1960s, so I had a background. Anyway ... I have a whole new set of ideas that I need to test when I stop doing other things ...!

If you have any specific queries, by all means, PM to me, but I think you will find site through Chiff & Fipple that cover everything you need. (I can steer you to good sites if I know what you want to do.)


Bob Bolton (going back to 58 pages of music I need to learn before the Federation Ball turns me into a pumpkin!)

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Subject: RE: making pennywhistles
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 10:30 AM

Mike, the following web site has some rather good detailed instructions.

Cap't Bob

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