My current project is an 8 foot bullwhip. Here’s the core attached to the handle:
This whip is going to be a 4 plait cowhide bullwhip, so nothing fancy, just a working whip.
I use a “doubled” core, I first learned about doing this to my core from David Morgan’s book Whips and Whip Making:
This is a great book, if you don’t have it and want to make whips you need to have it!
I’m getting ready to cut out a couple of cores for the pair of 6 foot bullwhips that I’m making and it got me thinking about the importance of the core. The goal of the core is to be as dense as possible while giving a starting point for the taper of the bullwhip.
I cut my cores wider than the diameter of the handle of the whip that way it gives me a smoother transition from the handle to the thong. Having less taper right off the handle (and more core) will help prolong the life of the transition of the bullwhip. I think the reason a lot of transitions break down is because the core isn’t thick enough and gets floppy at that point.
A lot of people wrap string up and down the thong of the bullwhip to try to reinforce the transition of the bullwhip. I think that this puts a band aid on the problem. If you going to bind the tranistion you need to do a tight bind (not a wider bind like you’d do on a handle) to get any benefit. The way my core is designed it’s to make the whip go from superdense (the metal handle) to the slightly less dense part (the thong) more gradual. Keep in mind that the thong should still be verydense!
By having a better transition of density you are going to get a better tranfer of energy to the whip.