This is a 12-plait, 6-foot stockwhip with an 18-inch, 16-plait stock. Lengths are in American customary units, since for some reason whip lengths are measured in feet and it was easier to do all the calculations for strand drops in inches because of this.

I am also including instructions on how to make a 6-foot Bullwhip and a 6-foot pocket snakewhip. Since the differences lie in the handles the second two whips will merely show what is different from the stockwhip.

This is an advanced tutorial. I will show several complex knots and methods for creating fancy patterns on the stock. The reader should have a knowledge of basic knots, such as the constrictor knot , the sheet bend , the wall knot, the crown knot, the blood knot, and the Spanish ring knot. I do assume a knowledge of plaiting (braiding) terms, and knowing how to plait (braid) will be helpful, though I do describe all over and under patterns. Explaining the tying of Turk's Heads and Globe knots would take up far more space than is available in this tutorial, so if you wish to use them I suggest KHWW.net's Grid Maker, the Turk's Head Cookbook, and the Globe Knot Cookbook.

I frequent the KHWW forum, and there are many helpful tools and articles on the site. The International Guild of Knot Tyers, of which I am a member, is also a good resource.

Terms:

O Over

U Under

O1U1 Take the strand Over one and Under one other strand.

**Signing Up**

How can you attach a wrist strap to the bottom of the bullwhip and still make the lump knot?

I'd make a strap with a 3-strand flat plait of paracord, glue/tack it to the sides of the stock near the base, and weave the lump knot through it.

This is a well done starter guide for making a whip, good job! I'm a professional whip maker in Massachusetts and I've made several hundred whips. I hope you aren't offended if I offer a little bit of advice.

When deciding on a handle core you want to keep in mind that wood will absorb moisture and swell/shrink quite a bit. This will drastically shorten the life and impede the performance of the whip. Almost all professionals use 1/4" steel rods; They cost a few dollars for a 3ft rod at most hardware stores. With the width of the handle, your best performance will come when the finished handle is 3/4" thick. Traditional stock whips have handles slightly thinner than that. American Stock handles are 18" and Australian are traditionally 21". I prefer the Australian stocks (they are lighter and thus faster). My biggest advice is to always, always, always remove the white inner core from the paracord. The white core is prone to shrinking and will cause your finished whip to warp drastically. Also, by removing the cores, your whip will have less bumps and lumps in them improving the flow of energy and the overall look of the whip.

A general guide line for core/belly/overlay is that the core should have a tapered weight going 7/8 of the length of the finished whip. The belly should go 3/4 and the overlay (obviously) goes the full length.

If you want to learn some smoother techniques, look up Em-brand-whips on Youtube. Bernie does a wonderful job of offering instruction. Also, Ron Edwards book "How to Make Whips" is an amazing resource.

-Theodore - ViciousWhips.com

Do you have a better visual for step 26? the visuals are just confusing me....

The measurements look about right at first glance, though I've not actually calculated them out. Most paracord shops sell in 100 foot hanks anyway, (eg Supplycaptain.com sells 100ft for $7) so buying 4 hanks should give you some to spare.

The formula, with units: 6 ft * 12 in/ft * 1.75 = 126 in. (TeX $6ft\times12\frac{{in}}{ft}\times1.75=126in$) It's just converting feet to inches, then multiplying by 1.75 to give extra length for the braiding (the strands spiral around the core/belly, and you need some room to work with.) Really it's just WhipLength * 1.75 (or WhipLength * 1.5 if you don't need as much extra cord due to being an experienced plaiter.) The other strands drop out at intervals along the thong, so you cut them shorter so as not to waste cord. You COULD do the entire thing with full-length strands, but there would be quite a lot of waste. Paracord is cheap, but it's not THAT cheap. If in doubt, err on the side of wasting some cord by making the strands too long. You can always cut more off, you can't easily add more in.

To explain the reasoning, and how to figure out what the lengths should be:

So you have a strand length of 126" for a 6 foot whip. You could cut 12 strands 126" long and bind all 12 strands together at the handle end, but that's hard to do, it's far easier to start the plaiting in the middle of the strands. So you make 6 strands 252" and fold them in half. But that wastes cord, since you need to drop strands in pairs to get a good taper. If you want 6 strands to be full length for the fall knot (a good number) then you can pick your strand drop locations to determine how the whip tapers. If we want a perfectly even taper there will be three drops (6 strands dropping out in pairs) so the whip gets divided into 4 parts (start -> 1st drop, 1st drop -> 2nd drop, 2nd drop -> 3rd drop, 3rd drop -> end) of equal length. 126"/4=31.5". 252"-31.5"=220.5", 252"-63"=189", 252"-94.5"=157.5".

I've updated step 14 with a more thorough explanation of the strand drop math.

Many thanks, Adam

(sorry for not putting this as a reply, it wouldn't let me for some reason :S )

18" from the base of the handle, yes.

The bb container says 4mm, my calipers say 4.35mm.

2x 187", 2x 218", 2x 250" for a 12 plait whip.

The reason to start 126" (135" for a bullwhip) from the middle is just a way to reduce waste cord. If you were to make the strands longer and fold them in half (they'd be 252" for a stockwhip or snake, 270" for bullwhips with 9" handles) you'd have more excess when you went to drop a strand, by starting with an offset your strands will end a bit beyond where you would want to drop them anyway, so you should have at most 2-6 inches of waste instead of several feet.

Let me say, your tutorial is the best about nylon whipmaking I´ve ever seen, and I´ve been searching a lot...

I only have one more question about the construction:

How do I determine the correct length of weighted parts of the core (the strands filled with bb´s) accoring to the length of my whip?

I´ve built a bull and a snake following your tutroial but now I would like to make something very short....2, max. 3 foot long...

The other formulas considering strand lengths and drops work well, but I need to know about the length of the weightened core...

Thanks for your precious work here...

1/3 to 1/2 of the whip should be weighted. With a bullwhip much of that weight comes from the handle, so I use less cord, with a snakewhip there is no extra handle, so the full 1/2 length gets ballcord.

Of course this can vary depending on what you want. I've made some very small "pocket snakes" with ballcord all the way to the end, and a very heavy weighted handle end. These are traditionally made because a whip is legal, while a blackjack is not. For faster fancy-crack whips I tend to use less (or no) weighting to make fancy patterns easier, while more weight makes getting a loud crack easier.

So first figure out what you want, then determine how much weight you need. More weight = louder but harder to crack rapidly, less weight = softer and easier to crack rapidly.

Thanks for the great instructions on making a whip. I've been looking for this for some time now. Great instructions and great looking whips!

Robert

Pick how long you want the whip.

Pick how many strands you want. Divide the length of the whip by HALF this number, that's how far apart the strand drops will be.

Divide the whip length by 4. This is the length of your shortest core strand. Multiples of this are the lengths of the other core strands.

Multiply the whip length by 3.5 (I get this from 1.75x the length x2 because the strands are folded in half. If it were a leather whip one would multiply by 1.75,)

Do the same with the strand drop distance.

You now have your total length, and a length for each set of strands. The longest strand of the core comes out to the end of the whip, and your belly plait should end 1 strand-drop length away from the end, so chose the lengths of its strands appropriately.

EG 11 foot whip, 16 plait. Convert to inches for convenience.

132" whip.

132/8=16.5" between strand drops (1'4.5")

132/4=33", 66", 99", and 132" core strands.

132*3.5=462" for the longest overlay strand.

16.5*3.5=57.75" off the strand length for each strand drop.

The rest of the overlay strands will be: 404.25", 346.5", 288.75", 231", 173.25", 115.5", 57.75"

The belly is an 8 plait, going out to 115.5", so:

115.5/4=28.875" between strand drops.

28.875*3.5=101" off each strand.

115.5*3.5=404" for the longest strand.

The rest will be 303", 202", and 101" long.

Using your example the shortest belly strand is 101". This strand won't make it to the end of the belly(115"), so I'm assuming that it gets folded and accounts for strand drops. How should these strands be folded to account for the drops?

Secondly, in your tutorial you only have two lengths for your belly strands, are these two different methods?

I was working out your whip on here to try to make sure I was doing the math right on my own and I came across:

"For the overlay there are 12 strands total, so 6 strands folded over. I don't fold them in half, that wastes cord when dropping strands. Instead I chose how many strands will go all the way to the end (usually 6 or 4) and figure out the length of the side strands. 6*12*1.75 (1.75 is a reasonable "safety" margin for the extra amount taken up by plaiting) = 126" long strands. Accounting for strand drops every 18": 2x 169" (14'1") 2x 200" (16'8") 2x 232" (19'4") Find the "middles" (actually 126" from one side of each of the strands, lay them out with 3 long sides & 3 short on the left, 3 each on the right, and start a 12-strand diamond. "

Given my math is correct, You subtracted 20" from the longest 252" strand to give the 232" piece, then subtracted about 31.5 thereafter, what was your reason for subtracting 20" the first time?

Your error is the 252" bit, I never use 252" long strands anywhere.

So we want a 16 plait whip, with 6 of the strands extending the full length.

After folding, we want:

6x 132" strands, the rest evenly spaced strand drops, without wasting cord.

So 132/4 = strand drop distance = 22" (Why divided by 4? because there are 10 strands left, in pairs, and if we divide by 5 the last pair would be 0" long. We want them 1 strand drop out, so divide by 4 to get even drops with a nice start.)

2x 132-22 = 110"

2x 110-22 = 88"

2x 88-22 = 66"

2x 66-22 = 44"

2x 44-22 = 22"

But that's after folding! What about before? Well, just pair them up, shortest to longest.

2x 132+22 = 154"

2x 132+44 = 176"

2x 132+66 = 198" (we have now used up the 132" strands, so the 88 and 110 inchers get paired...

2x 110+88 = 198" strands Hey, it's the same as above! They just get folded differently. This will happen sometimes. I sometimes use masking tape tags at the fold point to remind me which strand is which.

As for offending me, I made this tutorial to teach some basic whipmaking. Expanding on it to make longer/fancier whips is certainly a good thing, and I'd much rather know that people are getting use out of the tutorial as a jumping off point than have it tell you only how to make one kind of whip. (well, three.) Since the questions and answers are public they can help anyone else who runs into the same problems later on. So no, I'm not offended at all.