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Announcing: The Incredible Magic Hooey Stick

John Banister-Marx

Here's an exciting idea to teach the real scientific method, the edifice of science - - critical thinking. Of course we're talking about skepticism, empiricism and logic. And the Magic Hooey Stick is just the activity you've been looking for.

You'll find the construction plans attached. If you're not handy in the woodshop, I've made a few hundred hooey sticks for sale at $2.00 each plus shipping (around $4.00 for 15 sticks).
  • Send requests to:
    John Banister-Marx
    140 Raintrail Rd.
    Sedona, AZ 86351
    (520)284-0796, email aejbmarx@sedona.net.

To Make Your Own Magic Hooey Sticks:

Allow 1 Magic Hooey Stick per team of two students. Per dozen Magic Hooey Sticks purchase the following:

  • (2) 3 foot 3/8 inch dowels
  • (2) 3 foot 1/4 inch dowels
  • (12) 3d 1-1/4 inch smooth box nails

Tools Needed for Manufacture:

  • belt/disk sander (to smooth edges)
  • hammer (to set nail in main shaft)
  • drill press or hand drill (to drill "propeller" hole and tap hole for nail)
  • band saw or hand saw (to cut dowels to length)
  • bastard half round file (to create the 11 grooves in the main dowel shaft)
  • vice (for holding the larger dowel piece as you use the file to create the grooves)

  1. Cut the 3/8" dowel into six 6 inch lengths.
  2. Cut the 1/4 dowels into six 4-1/2 inch lengths, and six 1-3/8 inch lengths. Check to make sure that you now have twelve 3/8" dowels of 6" length, twelve 1/4" dowels of 1-3/8" length, and twelve 1/4" dowels of 1-3/8" length.
  3. Sand the ends and edges of the 5-3/4" and 4-1/2" dowels to prevent splintering
  4. Using a 1/16" drill bit, drill a hole exactly centered at one end of the larger 3/8" dowel to a depth of 5/8"
  5. Make a mark with a pencil exactly 1" from the end of the dowel with the drilled hole. From this mark, place 10 more pencil marks exactly 1/4" from each other for a total of 11 pencil marks running approximately half the length of the dowel.
  6. Using a 1/8" drill bit, drill a perpendicular hole all the way through, at the exact middle of the small 1-3/8" long 1/4" dowel.
  7. Check for drill hole splinters on this small piece and sand smooth around hole.
  8. Sand polish the ends of this small 1-3/8" piece.
  9. Place the larger 3/8" dowel piece in a vice and create the 11 grooves using the bastard half round file. This will take approximately 6-8 strokes to create each 1/8" deep groove. Best to have the groove somewhat "v-shaped."
  10. Tap the nail in place to secure the propellar to the main, now notched, shaft.

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