my shop

An old saying is “To do the job right, you need the right tools.”  I had almost none of the tools to make whistles when I started out.  So I started with a metalworking lathe:

metal lathe

My old one gave up the ghost; this one is brand-new.  You can see a bench grinder behind it — I use this to sharpen tools and occasionally to face off reamers.  The table is also new — I made it from 8020, extruded aluminum channel stock.  It’s topped with finished plywood.  In front of it you can see a magnetic tool holder.  I dunno what I did without those.  Now I mostly make the metal fittings on this lathe; occasionally I true up a piece that’s warped after roughing or something.

The metalworking lathe is not optimized for making whistles.  A few years ago I got a woodworking lathe:

drilling

This is set up for drilling, but you can see the gouges and scrapers on the tool holder and the tool rest just front-left of the drill bit.  This is a setup for drilling the pilot hole; the final hole is drilled using a gun drill.

A couple of years ago I bit the bullet and decided to begin making all my metal fittings.  The curve of the mouthpiece is roughed out with a milling machine, and the curve in the wood is cut with a scroll saw:

mill and scroll saw

The mill is set up for drilling — the wooden parts on the bed are my guides for drilling tone holes — I center everything up on the bottom hole and then insert gauge blocks to position the rest.

You can also see some boxwood under the table.  I cut this from logs I bought in about 2007.  Pieces still occasionally warp after I’ve roughturned them.

Finally what keeps me sane during my hours in the shop:

boom box

This is an all-weather boom box.  The first one I had in the shop didn’t last long because the guts became clogged with sawdust.

 

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