Instructables

I Have a Whammy Diddle in My Pocket - how to make a gee-haw stick toy

Featured
Picture of I Have a Whammy Diddle in My Pocket - how to make a gee-haw stick toy
As boys, my very-country father showed my brother and I how to make what he called a "Whoopie Stick", then he vexed us for a good while with it. It was doggone fun.

Often called a "Gee-Haw stick", it's an old toy made of two sticks. One is simply a stick. The other is a stick with notches carved into it and a propeller on the end. While rubbing the propeller-stick with the stick-stick, the propeller rotates. Cool, but there's more. By saying "Gee!" it rotates to the right. By saying, "Haw!" it reverses back to the left. This is a great little doo-hickey for aggravating kids and grown-ups alike, both of which often can't for the life of them figure out the perplexing little toy.

A spoiler explanation of how to make it work its magic is included in this Instructable.

 
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Background, Materials, and Tools

Picture of Background, Materials, and Tools
A little background

A "Whoopie Stick" has many names: Gee-Haw Stick, Whammy Diddle, Whimmy Diddle, Whirli-gig, VooDoo Stick, and probably many others. Gee-Haw might be the best name because it's descriptive. In the old days, when driving mules, the teamster might holler "Gee!" to tell the mules to turn right, or "Haw!" meaning turn left. (Mules, of course, don't understand "right" or "left", but they apparently do understand "Gee" and "Haw.") So, calling the toy a "Gee-Haw stick" implies turning right and left, which is what it does.

Materials
  1. Two sticks
  2. Propeller
  3. One small nail
Tools
  1. Knife to carve notches
  2. Drill and bit (you can likely make do without a drill, but it sure helps)
  3. Hammer
Would two 1' 5/16 wooden dowels work?
Tgauchsin1 year ago
In SE MO we call it a Hoo-ey stick. We used to get pastors in training at our men's Bible Study with these,,, we have an older man that keeps one of these in his truck and would say the trick is all in how you say "Hoo-ey" You have to say it with a deep manly Grunt. Hoo-ey!
hjjusa1 year ago
I've heard it called a lie detector. I guess you can decide what you want to be the truth or a lie.
Soozyk1 year ago
Gonna make this with my grandkids. Very Cool!! TY
nyx7021 year ago
Yeap. I will confess that this confounded me as a kid. I rubbed the notches right off mine trying to figure it out.
mbresciani1 year ago
Great stuff!
Thanks!
Also known as a Yip Stick