I believe limberjacks go way back to Europe, probably Irish or Celtic. The limberjacks I am most familiar with are Appalachian style... jointed, wood carved toys that bounce on what is called a paddle board.
Video: Limberjacks from Alan Lomax's "Appalachian Journey" documentary
A person would sit on this stiff, thin paddle board and hold the Limberjack with a long stick that was attached to the back of the figure. The person would then tap the board to make the Limberjack dance and make a percussive sound that could accompany musicians.
I used to make this style when I took my guitars to shows and it really helped draw in the crowd. I was looking at a pile of small cigar boxes a few weeks ago and thought," these would make a cool stage for my limberjacks." From there I thought, why not make the Limberjack dance without a stick running out the limberjacks back. Add a little more mystique!
I must admit just like building CBG's,they are addictive to build, but even more so to play with. It is difficult to walk past without giving the limberjacks a few turns.
I spent a crazy amount of time just scratching my head and figuring out the workings, At this point they take about 10-15 hours from concept to completion. I don't plan on making two that are alike.
Very cool, and what a great gift for kids. I can see these becoming family heirlooms.
These are brilliant, Wade. Nice work. Thanks for sharing them here.
Makes me smile! Well done and thanks for sharing!!