Firm Butt (knot)

Firm Butt (knot)

I’ve been thinking about how/why some bullwhips have wobbly butt knots.  This has been in my head since my last visit with Joe Strain.  Some people think that having a wiggly knot is a cosmetic issue, not a functional one, but Joe thinks that any wiggle in the butt is bad, and I agree with him.  The theory is that any unnecessary movement in the butt can wear down the leather in butt over time.  

Now with that thoery in my head I’ve been trying to find out what causes the wobble in the butt.  I think it’s caused by two things:

  1. The knot foundation (lead or leather) not being firmly attached
  2. The leather (or lack of leather) under the knot foundation not being firmly attached to the handle.  
One thing that I’ve done to stop wiggle in my butt knots is to bind each layer of leather under the knot foundation very tightly.  Another thing I do is add a bit of a layer of artifical sinew under the knot foundation to give it something with a bit of a tacky texture to hold onto before I tack on the lead that I wrap tightly around the handle.  
I used to tack the heck out of the knot foundation to get it secure, but I wasn’t securing the leather below it tightly and would start to wobble.  I now think that you can nail the check out of the handle foundation, but if you don’t secure the leather below, it will start to wobble.  
Louie