One thing that I had a lot of trouble with when I first started making signal whips, snake whips or any whip that had a shotbag in it. The first challenge was how to make the shotbag and the second was how to plug that shotbag.
This will deal with plugging the shotbag. There are basically three ways to do it:
- Fold over the top and bind it in place.
- Plug the top.
- Sew the top shut.
I’ve used the first two methods, but not the third. The reason I’ve never sewn the shotbag shut is that my shotbags aren’t sewn, so sewing just the top doesn’t really make sense.
The first method works well, all you do if leave about 3/4 of an inch of the shotbag empty, then you fold over the top and bind it place. I quite often use this method, but for the whip I’m making right now I used a plug. Basically for the plug I roll up a piece of leather and shove it in the opening. However before I put the plug in I put in a squirt of Gorilla Glue.
The cool thing about Gorilla Glue is that it as it dries it expands and really seals the opening. Also the expanding fill in some of the space between the lead shot.
Once the Gorilla Glue is dry, some of it will have foamed up past the top of the shotbag. Simply take a knife and trim off whatever overflowed.