How to Make a Sumac Pocket Whistle

How to Make a Sumac Pocket Whistle

Making a functional whistle that can fit in your pocket can be a difficult process that takes some practice, experimentation, and tuning, but I hope that this guide will well inform you in how to create a Sumac Pocket Whistle.


  • straight branch of staghorn sumac (or any other wood with a soft pith, such as willow), 3-4″ long with a 1/2″ diameter
  • a few twigs, stripped of bark, with a 1/4″ diameter


  • hand pruners
  • hacksaw
  • small, sharp knife
  • drill
  • 1/4″ drill bit


Since this Instructable deals with power tools and knives, work with caution and wear safety equipment when necessary.

Step 1: Hollowing Out the Sumac

Using the pith in the middle of the sumac as a guide, drill a hole lengthwise through the sumac using the 1/4″ bit.

Keep the RPM of the drill high while you are drilling, but don’t apply too much pressure. Take your time to decrease the chance of splitting. Be sure to keep the bit in the middle of the sumac as best you can. If the bit is shorter than the sumac, drill from one side and then the other.

Final Result:

Finishing Touches

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