(Hooey Stick or Gee-Haw)
This stick seems to be magic. When another stick is rubbed
across its notches, the little propeller at the end is caused to turn. When it is
rubbed differently, the rotor turns in the opposite direction. These "gee"
and "haw" movements have created a legend that the whimmydiddle is a lie
detector, but actually the operator controls the "true" and "false"
1 (A) body, hardwood branch, 7" to 9" long
1 (B) rubbing stick, hardwood branch 4" long
1 (C) rotor, hardwood twig, three sixteenth diameter by one and one half inch long
1 (D) nail, box nail, 1" long small diameter
Use any small hardwood branch which does not have a pithy center. Green (live) wood is the easiest to carve and will harden as it dries. Cut the sticks as shown. Carve down the end of the body and the end of the rubbing stick. Carve six to ten notches, about one eighth inch deep and evenly spaced, into the top edge of the body. Carve out the rotor to concentrate weight at its ends. Drill a hole in the center of the rotor for the nail. Drive the nail into the end of the body, leaving the rotor free to rotate. Test the Whimmydiddle by rubbing the notches briskly, using the rubbing stick. If the rotor will not turn or reverse properly, keep carving down the diameter of the body and/or deepen the notches. When the Whimmydiddle reaches the "happy spot," then stop carving.
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Go to these pages to learn more about pioneer life on the trail:
|Cooking||First - Aid on theTrail|
|Fire Building||Pioneer Pastimes|
|Crossing the Rivers||Dangers on the Trail|
|Who were the Pioneers?|
|Why did they travel to the frontier?|
|Where did the pioneers travel to?|
|What are some of the trails they used?|
|What did they take with them?|
|How did they travel?|
|What were their wagons like?|
|What was a Wagon Train?|
|Who led the Wagon Train?|
|What were their lives like on the trail?|
|What did they do after reaching their new homes?|
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