Reprinted from MUGWUMPS Vol. 1, No. 6, November 1972

The gee-haw-whammy-diddle is a rhythm toy which makes a characteristic sound when one stick is rubbed back and forth across deep notches in another stick. A spinner nailed to one end of the serrated stick will revolve in response to the vibrations.

By knowing the secret of the whammy-diddle you can make the spinner turn right or left at will, hence, the name "gee-haw." Of course, you should try to keep time to music.

Almost any sort of twigs or sticks will do for making whammy-diddles. Birch dowels available in lumberyards or hardware stores work well. The rubbing stick is usually made thinner than the notched stick. Drill a hole for the spinner nail in both spinner and dowel. The nail should fit tight in the notched dowel but not so tight that the dowel splits.

We are indebted to Sam Rizzetta, who submitted the Gee-Haw-Whammy-Diddle plans. They were first published by the Smithsonian Institution and copies of these and other interesting pamphlets are available, free, upon request. Write the Office of Public Affairs, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560. Particularly interesting is "Making a Hammer Dulcimer," leaflet #72-5.

See also Making a Double Whimmy-Diddle
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