This Instructable describes how to make this ancient toy with a modern laser cutting.
For those among you asking: “what is a hooey stick”, I refer to this excellent Wikipedia article. You might know this toy who’s origins are lost in time under another name like Gee-haw whammy diddle, Ouija Windmill or a VooDoo Stick.
Rubbing the ridges with a pen or similar round object makes the “propeller” spin. Just a little practise suffices to make it work. Controlling the direction it spins is in the way you hold the hooey stick and is a somewhat more tricky.
Here is a short video of my youngest daughter Imme making it spin:
I dedicate this Instructable to J, for setting us AIR’s up quickly to do some laser cutting and always being ready to.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
The hooey stick is part of a series of laser cut toys and gadgets that are supposed to make a one-sheet (or two-sheet) advent calendar. Only elastic bands and machine screws + nuts are to be added. For this project I chose 3mm thick acrylic sheet. But the design for this hooey stick is largely thickness independent. The minimum thickness is determined by what is needed to hold the screw and nut. I guess 1.5 mm should still do. And as long as the “propeller” does not become too heavy it will still work with a larger thickness, probably up to 5 or 6 mm will still work. I expect it will also work when cut out of plywood.
The minimum sheet size is about 13 by 3,5 cm or 14 by 2 cm with an alternative design included in the next step.
The axle is made with an M3 machine screw (or bolt if you like), minimum 16 mm long (I used a 20mm one). A regular M3 nut is used to keep it in place.
Obviously the main tool is a laser cutter connected to a computer. I had the luck to be able to use a new 120W Epilog laser cutter in the new workshop at Pier 9.
A tool to tighten the machine screw (like an Allen key in my case) proved to be optional as tightening by hand is sufficient and even preferred not to crack the acrylic.