I finished the bullwhip last night about 0100 after about 5 hours of plaiting the handle, building the knot foundations and tying the heel and transition knots. The whip actually came out an inch over 8 1/2 ft. It has a 10 inch long, 1/4 inch steel rod in the handle and is shot loaded the first 2 ft of the thong. The transition has a nylon mesh bolster and artificial sinew lashing between the bellies and there are three bellies. I used 421 ft of paracord for the bellies and overlay plus another 55 ft of paracord for the handle decoration and knots, several hundred ft of artificial sinew, a couple hundred BBs , 104 inches of HD 1100 paracord for the core (it’s a little larger and the BBs are easier to stuff in,) about 28 inches of bead chain to weight the fall, 12 feet of Dyneema for the cracker (it’s pretty fine and had to doubled several times to end up with a 12 inch cracker, and about a quarter roll of hockey tape. Oh, and some parafin to wax it. I didn’t keep a close track of the hours, but I believe I have about 35-40 hours of actual hands on over 2 weeks, 12 of it in an almost unbroken stretch the day I plaited the overlay. With the fall and the cracker the total length of the whip is 11’11” and weighs 2.4 pounds. The thong overlay used over 200 feet of chocolate brown 550 paracord, The handle is forest green and a camo pattern called Knights.
I had a few problems with the whip, I think that I dropped off some of the overlay strands too early and ended up with some gaps in the plait in a few places. Along the same line, there is too long of a stretch between when I dropped from a 6 plait to a 4 plait and the fall hitch, in other words the taper ends too far from the end of the thong, in my opinion. I also, in spite of what I thought at the time was meticulous plaiting, ended up with twisted cords in a couple of places. The plaits are in the right order, just the cord is twisted and doesn’t lay perfectly flat. Another problem, although not really a mistake, just bad planning on my part, is that the pattern in the handle isn’t very clear and I think that is because I used the green as the base and the camo as the interweave. I think that it would have worked better if I had done the opposite.
Some things I like about the whip. It rolls out pretty good, it is very easy to crack and it feels substantial when you hold it and swing it. I really like the double ended weighted fall. I also like that the chocolate brown paracord has a very leather-like look to it, especially after it was waxed. As soon as someone gets home to hold the camera (I don’t have a tripod) I’ll post some video of it being cracked.
These photos are after waxing. I’ll have to touch it up a bit with a hair dryer to even everything out. The colors darkened a bit, but the hot was really tightens everything up and the was makes it weatherproof.