Article, photos and video by Wade Costenbader of Victory Guitar Pickups.  You can find more of his instruments and videos at Wade on Cigar Box Nation.  

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.


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Most Excellent!!

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!!

Some folks asked for the link if I were to sell my limberjacks.
So, here's the link:

Victory Dancing Moonshiner Jig Doll Limberjack 2017




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