GeeHaw Whimmy Diddle

What is a GeeHaw Whimmy Diddle? It is a gadget that doesn’t do anything but is a lot of fun to make and play with. You may have seen one and it might have been called by a different name. Below is a picture of the one you will make in this project.

This project is rated: MODERATE

Materials needed:
  • Two pencils, small sticks, dowel rods, or any combination of two
  • Paper, a small piece
  • Straight pin
  • Knife or file

Project Instructions

  1. A tool must be used and it is advised that the project be supervised by an adult.
  2. Cut notches in one of your chosen rods at about one-half inch intervals as shown in the picture.
  3. Cut out a “propeller” from a piece of stiff paper or light weight card stock. Make it about one half inch wide and two inches long.
  4. Put a small hole in the center of your “propeller.”
  5. Put a pin through the hole of the “propeller” (it must be a loose fit); and push the pin into the end of the rod you have prepared (in the picture, the eraser on the end of the pencil holds the pin.)

Now comes the fun part. Hold the GeeHaw Whimmy Diddle in one hand and with a second pencil (stick, rod, etc.), rub back and forth over the notches of the GeeHaw Whimmy Diddle. If you do it correctly, the little “propeller” will spin around the pin.

Can you make the “propeller” spin the opposite direction? Did you get it to spin at all? If you can’t do one or the other and are desperate to know the SECRET you can look at the link shown.

GeeHaw image

GeeHaw Whimmy Diddle

Why is this called a GeeHaw Whimmy Diddle? It is a whimsical (whimmy) device that you diddle with. In bygone days, people trained their horses to turn right or left when they called out, “Gee” or “Haw.” To make your demonstration more mysterious, call out “Gee” and make the gadget spin one way, then call out “Haw” and make it spin the other way.

Once you know how to do it, show your friends. Let them try. They can watch you do it and still not be able to see how you do it!

GeeHaw Whimmy Diddle SECRET

When you stroke the GeeHaw Whimmy Diddle, only stroke the notches in one direction. For example, press the second pencil against the notches and push it away from you; then lift it slightly so the pencils don’t touch and bring the second pencil back towards you. Repeat this and the “propeller” should spin. To make the “propeller” spin the opposite direction, reverse the procedure. Engage the notches as you pull the second pencil towards you and lift it when you push it away. You can get the “propeller” spinning in one direction and then change the method you stroke it and the “propeller” will stop and then start spinning in the opposite direction.

Have fun and fool your friends!

Tags: toy
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