The Secret of the "Gee-Haw-Whimmy-Diddle"
The Secret of the
BY ED VARUEY
You can whittle
ere's a whittling project for a lazy
day. We call it the "Gee-Hawthis mysterious
Whimmy-Diddle," an old-time toy that
old-time toy In
will reverse direction at your command.
You'll need a fairly straight tree
just a few minutes.
branch or wood dowel about 16" long
and %" diameter; a straight pin or small
nail; and a sharp pocket or carving
Cut the branch into three pieces: a
10" handle; a 4" rubbing stick; and a 2"
Round off the thinner end of the longest piece. Cut through the bark completely around the stick two inches from
that end. Make a second cut three
inches farther back. Skin the bark off
between the cuts.
Cut 6 to 10 notches in that skinned
space. They must be 3/16" apart and Vs"
deep, uniform, and in a straight line.
Round the ends of the rubbing stick,
and skin the bark off for two inches from
the thinner end.
Make circular cuts Vz" from each end of
the propeller stick and skin the bark
between. Then carefully slice away the
wood on opposite sides of the skinned The whlmmy-dlddle can be carved out of either seasoned or green wood.
portion until there is a flattened surface
about half the original diameter.
Bore a hole in the exact center of the
flat propeller surface. Then put a pin-or
nail through the hole. Spin the propeller. If it stops with one end down, it •
is out of balance. That lower end should
be trimmed until the spinning propeller
will stop consistently in a horizontal
Push the pin or nail into the end of
the long stick and your "Gee-HawWhimmy-Diddle" is ready.
To make the propeller turn to the
right, hold the rubbing stick in the palm
of your hand so your thumb rests
against the notches on the base stick
(see illustration). Run the rubbing stick
back and forth against the notches.
To reverse direction, pull your thumb
back and extend your index finger
along the rubbing stick until it rests
lightly on the other side of the notches.
Keep stroking with tb*e rubbing stick.
So your friends won't notice the shifting of your fingers, call out the commands given to horses—"Gee" for a
right turn and "Haw" for left. Chanting
"Whimmy-Diddle" over and over as you
rub faster to speed up the propeller
adds mystery—and explains how the To make the propeller change direction, you move your hands from the left
old-time toy got its name. ^
position (above) to the right one. Those watching won't notice the switch.
BOYS' LIFE 4f OCTOBER 1978