Right now I’m working on making a bullwhip that has a cane handle instead of a spike or spring steel foundation. Early on I had made a couple of bullwhips with wood handle foundations (per ron edward’s book).
This morning I was reading the APWA’s website and found Glen Denholm’s method for making a bullwhip (http://www.apwa.org.au/forum/viewthread.php?forum_id=4&thread_id=5). One thing that I didn’t like from my early attempts at making wood handled bullwhips was that the handle was light.
Glen’s method has me loading the inside of the cane, which I found interesting. So I dug up a piece of Tohei Cane that I had kicking around and cut off a 10 inch piece of it. I drilled it out at both ends and filled one end about 3/4 of the way with lead shot. Then I put in some glue, the finished filling the hole almost all the way with lead shot and added some more glue.
I figured 3 inches of the lead wouldn’t be very noticeable. I was amazed at how much weight the lead shot added to the cane handle.
The next part was to make a 4 plait “core” to stick into the other end of the Tohei Cane. I ended up making two little plaited bellies, one about 5 inches and then one 8 inches long. I left short filler strands on mine (Glen doesnt’ mention that on his instructions). The reason I left the filler strands was to give the whip a smoother taper than if the belly just dropped off.
I put a line on the 4 plait core so that I knew when it was pushed all the way into the handle.
I put some glue into the handle and put in the 4 plait core/belly. Right now I’m waiting for it to dry. I’ll start writing again in a few hours…or whenever I get a chance to do some more work on it.
The glue is dry and the I’ve added another 4 plait layer. Glen uses 2 strands folded in half to make this layer, I had all four strands connected at the top and tacked them into place. The tacks hold the set for this layer and they also go into the cane and help anchor the core/belly.
One thing I’ve noticed is this whip has a pretty stiff transition, which should help keep it firm over time (I think). After having made this whip, I realized that I should have tapered the handle down toward the thong of the bullwhip so that there is less of a bump at the handle thong transistion.
I made the knot foundation out of lead to put a little extra weight into the bullwhip.
The 12 plait overlay had a pretty drastic drop coming off the handle, so I’m really kicking myself for not tapering the end of the handle. I used the knot to hide this drop off a bit, but in the future I will taper the handle.
Another thing that I would do if I make another whip like this is to try to straighten the cane handle out more.
After trying out this bullwhip I’m glad I tried it and will probably in the future make another one like it. It cracks well and it’s going to have me experiment more with full lenght bolsters.
Here’s a video of my giving it a few cracks: