Right now I’m working on two bullwhips: A six foot beginner’s bullwhip and a four foot 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip.
The six foot bullwhip’s lash is finished, I just need to do the knots.
The four foot bullwhip is almost finished. In need to cut some more falls before I can call the overlay done. t feels like it’s been a while since I’ve made a four foot bullwhip and this one is turning out well (so far), I’ll post pictures later today.
One question I’ve seen a lot in a forums about braiding is how to determine how thick you need the strands to be to cover a core. I use a pretty simple formula that I think for me has its roots in a Ron Edwards book. With a whip I take a piece of scrap lace and wrap it around the thickest part of the whip. Usually that is near the tip of the handle, and where I”m going to put the transition knot. I wrap the lace around the thickest part and mark it and then measure it to get the circumference. Then I multiply that by 1.5. Then I divide that by the number number of strands to get the width of the strand.
There are some other formulas that people use to get the strand width, like taking the diameter and multiplying it by 4.5 then dividing it by the number of strands. Which for the most part gives you the same number as the formula I use. The main reason I prefer the circumference multiply’d by 1.5 is that is easy math to do in my head (it makes me feel smarter) and it’s one less thing I’d need to plug into a calculator.
When it the time comes to cut them out, I start a bit wider in case there is any stretch and taper by eye as I cut. Of course I’m aware of the stretchy spots and make the strands wider as needed when I get to them. Then after they are cut out I resize them to the correct size while I pare them.