Last night I started work on a bullwhip with a 16 inch handle. I used a 16 inch fibreglass handle foundation that I got from David Morgan.
Compared to the tradtional spike, these are very light. The main reason that I picked this fibre glass handle for this bulwhip is that I’m planning on doing the handle as 24 plait and wanted a longer handle to do more patterns on. The fibreglass handle is hollow, so I filled it with lead shot to add a bit of weight to it.
Also the from my expereince in the past it’s hard to get the core nice and tight around this handle because it’s thin. So I put a bit of glue on the handle then wrapped the core with sinew very tightly. Hopefully that will give me a very firm foundation to put everything on top of.
The fibreglass foundation also tapers a bit, so I split my core to be a bit thinner at the butt and thicker towards the transition. I also plan on doing that with the bolsters so that when the overlay goes on the handle won’t taper.
I could leave a bit of taper to the handle, but since I’m planning on a 24 plait handle with some patterns, I don’t want to deal with having to taper the strands. Also because this handle is thinner than a spike handle foundation, I’m plaiting the bellies over the handle. That will bulk it up a bit giving me more surface area on the finished whip…and my 24 plait strands will be a bit thicker and easier to work with.
Later today I’ll probably cut out and attach the inner bolster.