flute and whistle swab with extension

How to Make an Extension For The Dragon-Stick Flute & Tin Whistle Swab

The construction method for the Dragon-Stick flute and tin whistle swab imposes a practical limit on how long you can make it. Anything longer than about twelve inches will cause the 3/16 inch dowel to bow. A twelve-inch swab works well for swabbing out the head joint or oiling wooden penny whistles and Rudall type flutes, but for big Prattens, Folk Flutes or low D whistles, you might want something longer. Here is an effective way to create an extension for your Dragon-Stick flute and whistle swab that allows you to make it almost any length you like.

flute swab materials
flute and whistle swab cotton ball wrapped with dental floss
flute and whistle swab cotton tip cinched tight

(1) Using a jackknife or chisel, cut a half-round notch out of the ends of two 3/16 inch dowels as shown in the photo. The length of cut should be about a half inch, and the depth should be one half the diameter of the dowel. Make the inside surface flat for each notch so that when placed together, the combined diameter of the two overlapping sticks is still 3/16 inch.

(3) Make your Dragon-Stick swab as normal, but this time use a dowel with a notched end. Stretch the dental floss over the ledge of the notch against the flat surface. Use a one-inch piece of vinyl tubing to hold the dental floss in place. Push the tubing over the end so that it overlaps the end of the notch (where the dental floss is) by 1/4 inch.

(4) Push the other dowel with the notched end into the vinyl tubing so that the two sticks overlap inside the tubing with the flat surfaces snugged together.

(5) Use a short piece of masking tape to tape over both ends of the vinyl tubing just like the swab end of the Dragon-Stick. This will prevent any possibility that the vinyl edges might scratch your flute or penny whistle.

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