Phase Locking Folk Toy v5.0 

Versions of the Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle available from these sources:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hooey Stick Folk Toy

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

See the other versions in my collection here: Phase Locking Folk Toys

Phase Locking Folk Toy v5: a final post in this series featuring the “Magic Twin Helicopters” toy that I found in a shop at the Tokyo airport a few years back. A helicopter themed version of the hooey stick, this time with the four rotor blades serving as the propellers. Rubbing the stick over the notches creates both vertical and horizontal vibrations- and leads to a cyclic motion of the struts in the center of each of the propellers, which begin to rotate (with some effort). See previous posts for more info on this folk toy with surprisingly complex physics.

Phase Locking Folk Toy v4.0

Versions of the Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle available from these sources:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hooey Stick Folk Toy
Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

See the other versions in my collection here: Phase Locking Folk Toys

Wikipedia has some good details about the Hooey Stick toy


Phase Locking Folk Toy v4: another interesting variation of the “hooey stick” toy in my collection. This one has two rotors both on the same stick- and often they will rotate in opposite directions! (Shown here in slow motion for clarity.) Just as with the regular version of this toy (see yesterday’s post) rubbing the stick over the notches creates vibrations- and can lead to an up and down motion of the shaft in the center of the rotors. The hole in each rotor is larger than the shaft, and when the shaft/notched stick is vibrating it only touches the rotor for a short time each cycle- if the timing is right the stick collides with the rotor such that friction gives it nudge with each vibration to set it spinning- and this can work either clockwise or counterclockwise. Sometimes they spin the same direction and sometimes opposite, which seems to depend on initial conditions and a bit of luck. This version, made in Taiwan, was sold in the 1980s. 

Phase Locking Folk Toy v3.0

Versions of the Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle available from these sources:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hooey Stick Folk Toy
Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

See the other versions here: Phase Locking Folk Toys

A detailed physics analysis of this toy was published in 2018 (open acess): Physics of the mechanical toy Gee-Haw Whammy Diddle

Phase Locking Folk Toy v3: spin it left or spin it right, a slight adjustment of the hands produces different results (with a bit of practice) using this modern version of the famous Gee-Haw Wimmy Diddle folk toy. Sometimes also called a Hooey Stick as a demonstrator will often claim that calling out “Gee” makes it spin to the right, or yelling “Haw” will make it spin to the left- which of course is a bunch of hooey! Left and rightward spin shown in 240fps to reduce shutter aliasing.


Phase Locking Folk Toy v2.0

Versions of the Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle available from these sources:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hooey Stick Folk Toy

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

See the  original version here: Phase Locking Folk Toy

A detailed physics analysis of this toy was published in 2018 (open acess): Physics of the mechanical toy Gee-Haw Whammy Diddle

Phase Locking Folk Toy v2.0: the “double whimmy-diddle” with two propellers (an advanced design from Tennessee- according to the printing in the package!). Interestingly, with each start up, the propellers will sometimes spin in the same direction, and other times in opposite directions. Another vintage toy from the 1970s, available for many years from the Mountain Craft Shop out of Wetzel County West Virginia.

Phase Locking Folk Toy: Hooey Stick

Versions of the Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle available from these sources:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hooey Stick Folk Toy

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Phase Locking Folk Toy: rubbing the stick over the notches creates both vertical and horizontal vibrations- and leads to an elliptical motion of the nail in the center of a propeller, which begins to rotate due to friction with the nail. This toy is called a Gee-Haw Wimmy Diddle (see the Wikipedia page- I kid you not) or a Hooey Stick. Note that depending on how the stick is held, the propeller will spin clockwise or counterclockwise.