You've been warned.
So in addition to the whole knifemaking thing, I've taken on a new hobby recently. I guess you've maybe seen a picture or two of a whip crop up in my picasa albums, but I thought I'd show you a bit more.
See, since I was but a wee lad, I've been fascinated (as most boys are I guess) by things like horses and all the paraphernalia that goes along with. Including things like bridles, ropes, saddles, and incidentally, whips. Okay, so the whip part isn't necessary for the horse most of the time, but it's a part of the culture. When I say whips, I mean Bull Whips, of the variety that catch the imagination of most boys at some time or other. I've owned a whip or two since I was in my young teens I suppose, and enjoyed learning how to crack them.
As interesting as ropes (of the cowboy variety), and whips are to me, I had never really gotten serious about making one. That is, unless you count a 12 year old boy spending hours on end braiding bailer twine strands together to try to make his own lasso. I've always had an interest in braids and knots that was idling back on a shelf in my mind somewhere, and when I recently discovered a nylon rope known as paracord, that interest reawakened.
So I've spent some time learning all about things that make good core materials for whips, and reading interesting books and looking at helpful youtube videos about plaiting. (That's the term we snobbish whip makers use when we mean "braiding") The intricacies of the patterns that can be created are fascinating to me, and while I certainly don't have a very advanced ability, I'm still enjoying learning this stuff tremendously. So, since it's about time for me to go to bed, I'll close this post off with some pictures. Let me know if you need a whip, by the way!
This is a little 4 foot whip I did recently and sold on Ebay. By the way, this and all the whips shown here are made with a core of some kind, and then a plaited "belly" or two, and then a final overlay. The overlay on all of these is a 16 strand plait, which of course drops strands as it tapers to the point of the whip, ending in four strands at the fall hitches (those knots at the end of the braid).
Here's an 8' whip that will sell on Ebay tomorrow evening. (Bid now if you want it)
And a close up of the fancy plaiting in the handle, which I really like on this one. Incidentally, sometime when you're bored, have a shot at making one of those knots you see on the handle!
This is my most recent, a 10' green and tan whip that belongs to my brother.
And I closer shot of the handle on this one. Believe it or not, this handle was way easier to plait than the black and purple one. But I really like it anyway.