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Thread: Penny Whistles

  1. #1
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    Default Penny Whistles

    Time for a change from all those stringed instruments!

    Here are a few of my latest batch of pennywhistles ready for Christmas. The small one with only one hole is for Mr Two, I reckon he might be able to handle that and cause a bit of distress to boot1

    There's a little bit of wood in each - the fipple block!

    All are made from 12.5 mm conduit (a $7.00 length makes about ten) and they all sound rather sweet if I do say so myself!

    There's a comprehensive how to on the web here for anyone interested:
    http://guido.gonzato.googlepages.com/whistle.html

    Mine aren't exactly from those plans, but the principle is the same. Pics taken before the final 400 grit touch up, which explains the odd bit of fur on the mouthpiece. After shaping it and testing, I boil the timber in paraffin wax for a bit, to keep the moisture out - seems to work well and it sure stops the nasty tannin taste!

    The resident quilter makes the carry bags!

    Cheers,

    P
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    That's ingenious stuff using conduit for the penny whistles.
    They came up a treat and let's not forget the custom made bags.

    What exactly does the fipple block do ? Similar to a reed is it?

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    Here's a diagram from Guido Gonzato's pages:



    The fipple block is shaped to direct the air over the lip, which causes a pressure drop (?) and a subsequent clash of air direction. (I think that's the theory). A reed relies on vibration to make the sound.

    I used to make a much more complicated (and prettier) cap (pic below), but that all got to be too much like hard work, and Guido's version only takes two cuts even if it doesn't look as flash!

    Cheers,

    P
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    I agree the second one is prettier but sound is important, any chance we could hear them and do you make them out of wood ever.

    Jim

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    Good one Peter! love the bags,

    Ive been using aluminium recently and taken to making the fipple out of a double layer as in your bottom whistle, much more control over the octave. I use Daniel Bingamons spreadsheet for spacing but most players bend the notes with their breath anyway....

    Ive been giving them to my BIL's kids for XMAS, birthdays etc, they always seem to end up bent after a couple of weeks......
    "We must never become callous. When we experience the conflicts ever more deeply we are living in truth. The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil." - Albert Schweizer

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    D you know Andy Rigby? He's a harp maker based in Maldon Vic. He's done a lot of experimenting with whistles made of conduit, too. And other things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toejam View Post
    I agree the second one is prettier but sound is important, any chance we could hear them and do you make them out of wood ever.
    Never out of wood, but one day I'll get round to making a few ocarinas and even some so called "native" flutes. I'll happily record the sound, but I'm no player so it'll be a set of scales, or Twinkle Twinkle!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastiaan56 View Post
    Ive been using aluminium recently and taken to making the fipple out of a double layer as in your bottom whistle, much more control over the octave. I use Daniel Bingamons spreadsheet for spacing but most players bend the notes with their breath anyway....
    I hadn't thought of Aluminium, I made one many years ago from copper and I've been thinking about that again lately, perhaps a set in a few different keys.

    I've even wondered about turning a timber fipple, like the commercial plastic ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by contrebasse View Post
    D you know Andy Rigby? He's a harp maker based in Maldon Vic. He's done a lot of experimenting with whistles made of conduit, too. And other things.
    No I don't know Andy. I just love the fact that just about anything can make music, it fascinates me no end!

    For those interested in having a go, spend five minutes watching this video, it should take away any lack of confidence!

    cheers,

    P


    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hODT_WkTkk"]YouTube - PVC whistle in 5 minutes[/ame]

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    I agree Midge, it always amazes me what can be used to make music.

    They look very smart especially with their own colourful bags.

    The video certainly takes the mystic out of making them.

    Can you make me an African flute?
    Scally
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    This is my first attempt to use and link to Youtube so if there is no movie I have blown it. I can't work out how to just add a MP3 here so I've gone the long way around and made a Movie rather than just the sound file.

    I have not made Kalimbas for some time but though I would add a non stringed instrument to this thread.

    It is made of Blackwood with a Western Red Cedar Soundboard and Stainless Steel keys.

    Youtube link to here it being played [ame="http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=uGAF0MzYpRg"]YouTube - fishing[/ame]
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    Does anybody know a way to add a MP3 file to a thread. I was a bit surprised that MP3 was not listed as this is a musical instrument section of the forum.

    Jim

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    Default

    Maybe we could ask the admins nicely to turn on that facility for the instrument forums? It does seem to be an unfortunate oversight given the nature of the discussions!

    Cheers,

    P

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    Thanks for the suggestion P. I left a message for Neil and will get back if there is any news on the subject.

    Jim

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    Thank you for your request.
    We will look into it.

    DavidG
    Moderator

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    The video worked fine.

    Nice resonance on your kalimba.

    I like the sleek shape. Is is comfortable to hold and play?
    Scally
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    Thanks for letting me know Scally.

    The back is Egg shaped and I would say is reasonably ergonomic.

    Did you notice the the use of the sound hole to get some of the effects. That hole fits a thumb and can be blocked or left open. Also It is tuned to a minor harmonic scale so any combination of those notes put together in a vague rhythm will work so that anybody can play it.

    Jim

    Its a nice thought that trees can sing when they're dead

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