My current project is working on an 8 foot Indiana Jones Style Bullwhip. I’m trying something that I don’t normally do when I make these whips. I’m trying to get a slightly lower profile on the heel knot.
Basically there are few ways to do this:
- Use thinner leather: This option will change the entire whips profile, not just the heel knot.
- Use less lead: This will also accomplish making the heel knot smaller, but may potentially give the whip an undesirable “in the hands” feel.
- Put the lead on sooner: By putting the lead on a lower layer, I can use the same amount and it will stick out less.
I opted for adding the lead on a lower layer of the whip. Normally the lead goes on top of the outer bolster. My thinking all the layers give me some meat to attach the lead to.
If you look at the picture above you will see the layer that’s cut short is the outer belly. By attaching the lead in that space, the lead will not be on top of two layers (the outer belly and the outer bolster). That’s going to reduce the profile of the heel knot, however visually I won’t know how much until the whip is done.
This morning I got an email from Franco Zoccali letting me know of a type of handle that I didn’t mention. He mentioned a whip that is fat at the butt and tapers towards the thong. I’ve only seen it in a bullwhip with a wood handle and not a plaited handle…and somehow I didn’t think of it.
There’s another type of handle and that’s the handle that has a buldge in the handle. I didn’t mention this type on purpose for two reasons.
- I was talking about how the handle to thong transition is, and this buldge isn’t at the transition.
- I think it leads people to incorrectly hold the bullwhip…holding the handle in their hand, not the butt.
Below is a picture of bullwhip by Nemeth:
Right now I’m making a couple of the budget bullwhips and I’m putting a little bit of lead in the butt of them. I don’t know what this will do to the whip, and it may be something that I keep doing.
If you look at the picture above you can see a slight bit of taper going from the butt towards the thong of this whip.
Right now the two budget bullwhips I’m working on have the bellies plaited and lead attached, the next step for them is to plait the overlays.