Cedar Whistle

Handmade because you're worth it.


February 2017

Sawmill Toy Photo Gallery

These are some of the pictures I snapped while in the process of making a few of these toys this morning.

The sawmill toy is a simple contraption that was used all the way back to ancient times to entertain people.  Often called whirligigs or button toys, all these names refer to the same type of toy.  

People suffering through the Great Depression played with these as they were inexpensive to make and free to play with after they were made.

Recently I seen a story about how these were being used in desolate locales that lacked electricity.  The people there helping the poor would put small vials of blood in the toy and spin it.  The center piece spins so fast it acts as a centrifuge and separates the blood allowing diagnoses of malaria, HIV and other diseases.  In fact the sawmill toy when measured by RPM’s is the fastest human-powered machine on earth.

Make sure to go over to our Designs by Desira Facebook page and check out some of the other things we make.   I also have a Youtube channel called Shecks 812 where there is a video of this toy in action.

Thanks for reading.  Be good. God bless.


Magic Wallet Picture Gallery

Today I built a few of these.  When I was young we called it a magic wallet.  It is a simple thing to make but it is mesmerizing the first time you see it work.  Kids love it.  If you want to see a video of it working its magic head over to our Designs by Desira Facebook page and check it out there.

Hand Cut West Texas Whistle

While on a recent trip to Texas I decided to sit out in the sunshine and seventy degree afternoon and carve a whistle. Any trip to the desert away from the Ohio Valley gloom of winter is nice even if it is an unplanned jaunt to help family.

The itch to wood work hit but the only problem was I didn’t pack my power tools in a suitcase for the 1200 mile drive.  All I had was a trusty pocket knife.  The only thing I could think to do was carve a whistle.

I searched around the backyard and alley to find a hardwood limb to carve and some smaller stock to carve into the fipple.

I found a small piece of maple and set about cutting it to length and laboriously boring out the middle with a pocket knife blade.

After the hole was done I used the saw to cut the window and lip into the barrel of the whistle then set about whittling the fipple.

After I whittled the fipple to a size that fit in the bore hole I sanded a flat side on it using the concrete patio as sandpaper. It needs a flat side to direct the air at the lip in order for it to split the air and make the whistle sound.

Since I had no supplies I used some of the whittling chips to wedge the fipple into place instead of glue. Then I used the concrete again to form a crude mouthpiece and smooth out any other rough edges.

They didn’t turn out perfect but it got me outside in the sun for a couple of hours of wood carving fun.

I’m typing this on my cell phone so I’m not including any pictures on the blog post.  If you want to see a few pictures go over to our Designs by Desira Facebook page.

Thanks for reading.  Be good.  God bless.







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