I finished the latest whip today- number 8, a dark brown and teal 10 ft. bull whip. The whip has a couple of unusual features. First is the English eye fall hitch, the second time I’ve used this hitch and second is a carapace overlaying the first part of the thong. The carapace is something I’d seen on other whips and after doing some research in Ron Edwards book How to Make Whips and watching a video on making a square start on a plait (a technique used on stock whip handles) I was ready to give it a try.
The whip has a 10 inch long 1/4″ steel rod in the handle, a shot loaded core, and 3 bellies, an 8 plait, a 12 plait, and a 16 plait. The next time I do a carapace on the whip, I’ll probably leave out the first, shortest belly. The carapace serves the same purpose, I think, as the first belly, and the whip is a bit thicker and heavier than I like. The overlay is a 24 strand herringbone plait in dark brown with an English eye fall hitch that holds a 24 inch double loop-ended fall and a 12 inch Dyneema cracker. the loops on both ends of the fall and the English eye loop on the end of the thong make changing falls and crackers easy.
The carapace (not sure if this is the right name for it or not) is a 24 strand diamond plait with the strand colors arranged to form a barber pole pattern. The handle is 24 strand a stair step plait pattern, also learned from Ron Edward’s book, although I was first inspired to do this pattern by a Bernie Wojecki whip that I mentioned in an earlier post. the heel and transition knots are pineapple knots over a leather foundation. The whip was waxed in a 180 degree paraffin bath.
As I mentioned, the whip is kind of heavy, but it cracks very easily and quietly with a easy motion, but thunders if you put some muscle behind it.
The steel rod and shot loaded core.
A nylon web bolster and a lashing of artificial sinew is added to strengthen the transition.
The first belly is a 8 strand herringbone plait from the heel of the handle extending for 22 inches, including the handle and is tied on with artificial sinew and a second bolster and and lashing with sinew is added over the transition. and down the core.
The second belly is a 12 strand herringbone 48 inches long and is also tied with sinew and bolstered and lashed
For some reason I neglected to get a photo of the 3rd belly, but is it attached and treated in the same fashion as the others, except there is no bolster, just the lashing.
The overlay is started at the end of the thong by braiding the English eye fall hitch in the middle 2-5 inches of the 3 longest overlay strands, then bringing the ends of the braid together and starting the thong with a six strand herringbone plait.
The plait continues, adding new strands to gradually increase the taper of the whip until you reach a length that, when added to the length of the core/bellies/handle section is equal to the total length of the whip you desire and then the core is added to the overlay.
I continued plaiting (hour after hour,) adding strands as needed until the 24th strand was added about 10 inches or so before reaching the transition. The strands were then tied off with artificial sinew and the 12 longest were spiraled up the handle to the heel and tied off again with sinew. the other 12 strands were trimmed at the transition. 12 strands of teal were tied onto the heel and plaited back down the handle into a stair step pattern and then tied off at the transition with sinew.
22 inches from the heel I tied a square start for a 24 strand diamond plait, alternating the strand colors to ahieve a barber pole spiral around the carapace.
These strands were tied off at the transition with sinew as well. The heel of the handle was trimmed two inches to get rid of all the ragged ends and the heel and transition were covered with a leather band and secured with many layers of sinew. The pineapple heel and transition knots were tied.
The fall and the cracker were made and attached to the fall hitch and the entire whip was waxed. the waxing darkened the whip some, but it will lighten again as it is used.