Black Magic

I finished a 6 foot bullwhip today that I’m pretty proud of. It’s one I made for myself with an all black overlay, 2 bellies and a test of a new technique for plaiting the overlay. I wanted to incorporate an English eye for the fall hitch instead of the traditional fall hitch. I had seen this type of hitch being used by other whip makers and thought it was a good way to attach the fall. It makes it a lot easier to change out the fall when it wears out or if you just wanted to try a different length.

The English eye fall hitch requires that the whip overlay be plaited from the tip of the whip rather than the heel and this means that you have to add strands and the core to the whip instead of drop them. It actually was much easier than I thought it would be and the whip turned out very nice.

So, the whip is 6 foot long with a 10 inch, 20 plait handle, shot loaded core, two bellies, a 28 inch weighted fall and a 12 inch dyneemo cracker. The thong overlay is a 16 plait that I started at the tip braiding a 3 strand flat braid for the English eye fall hitch, then a 6 strand diamond plat for a few inches transitioning to a 6 strand herringbone plait. I added a strand every few inches until I to a 8 plaint and then added in the core/bellies and continued plaiting, adding strands every few inches until I reached 16 strands in the plait about 10 inches from the transition. I tied off the strands about an inch above the handle start and, cut off 6 of them and wound the remaining 10 strands around the handle and secured them with artificial sinew at the heel.

I had bought a 1000 foot roll of black 550 for this whip, but I had another 1000 ft roll that I had used for some earlier whips and bellies that I had bought from another supplier that was a slightly different hue and I used 10 strands of the lighter black to do the interweave on the handle. The heel knot is a 15L 8B pineapple knot over a leather and sinew foundation and the transition knot is a smaller 11×6 pineapple knot without the underlying leather foundation.

First belly started.

Tying on the 2nd belly.

The second belly is complete.

The English eye fall hitch.

Adding the core/bellies.

The  overlay is complete and the foundation strands of the handle spiraled around to the heel.

Heel knot tied.

Transition knot tied.

Fall attached tot he English eye,

and the cracker to the fall.

The finished whip.






About a month after I finished the whip and posted this blog entry I added a carapace to the first foot of the thong of whip. I just felt that the transition wasn’t strong enough. Turned out great.20170627_212131


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