Step 16: Making the cracker

The last thing we will need to make things fully functional is the cracker.
It's the part of the whip that makes the actual noise.

This is a throw away part of your whip as it will wear with use.
When it becomes to damaged, just untie it,trash it  and make a new one .

To make it :

-    Take an arm length piece of your string
-    Fold it in half, then twist the two strands together as you did when making the guts.
-    Tie both strands in an overhand knot a few cm from the end
-    Fray the ends

Then tie it to the fall as pictured.

<p>I have made several of these in 6&quot;, 9&quot; and 12&quot; lengths. They are super awesome. My kids love them, my scout troop is known for their abilities with a bullwhip and I have used the instructable to teach others how to do it. Both of my girls have made their own and all four of my kids can crack a whip like a champ thanks to this instructable and Adam Crack (See YouTube for instructions, thanks Adam). I am learning how to aim and have done a small show for a local scout camp. </p><p>I first tried this because a friend and I are a bit eccentric. He wanted to learn and bought several that lasted from several minutes to several hours and cost $20-$200 each. When I saw the instructable, being and Eagle Scout myself, I knew I could do it. $20 dollars later I gave one to my friend and several years later we are using the first one I made. I can't thank you enough for the fun that I have had. The police have been called, and my life has been threatened for violating the noise ordinance (the police said it was within the ordinance where I live.) We worked out the life threatening since I have learned to love my neighbor.</p><p>Live is such a thrill and bullwhips make it so much better and louder and funner. The picture is of three 6&quot; and one 9&quot; that I have made. The one in the top left it three years old and is still going.</p><p>Thanks again.</p>
Thanks a lot for sharing your story. It's always nice to see people enjoying the new hobby and passing it down to others.<br> <br> I still have the original whip from this instructable too, and yes, Adam is also my go to source for learning.<br> <br> Have fun and maybe try to have the neighbor join in ?
<p>Well first one, not the best, but gives skills for next and better. Thanx for instructable.</p>
<p>thanx again, made another. Shorter version as one friend asked.. </p>
<p>Looks good to me. Now let's make some noise!</p>
<p>Love this ible, thanks so much for writing it. It's definitely the best one I've found. I've made two whips and am working on a third now. My first whip is pictured. Right now, I'm working on a hybrid of your metal core / paracord belly with a leather outer plait. It's almost done, and I can't wait to show it off!</p><p>On a side note - I couldn't find any lamp chain, so I did the next best thing. I used a whole mess of .177 steel BB's and fed them one at a time into the gutted paracord (at about 6 BB's per inch). It took forever, but worked REALLY well. I might write up my own ible as an alternative starting method and reference yours for the main body of work.</p><p>I've also found what might be the best cracker material - Kevlar! I have a sample of some and pulled a few strands of out the weave. I then used your method to wind them into a cracker. It is holding up extremely well. and sounds great. The cracker pictured is Dacron or something, not Kevlar (which is yellow).</p>
Nice job ! Glad to see that the ible met it's expected purpose.<br> I wrote it because &quot;back then&quot; I couldn't find any step by step ressource that one could follow without doing further research on the various aspects.<br> <br> There might be an alternative to stuffing BB's into the cord that might be easier to obtain locally in sewing or craft shops: google &quot;curtain weighted cord&quot; or &quot;sausage bead weighted cord&quot;. It's basically hollow cord with shot grains already put inside, and threaded on a smaller cord so they don't risk ending up packed at one side of the cord from repeated swinging around.<br> <br> (Their legitimate use is being sewed at the bottom of curtains to ensure a nice fall. )
Thanks. Your ible was very helpful.
<p>Thank you very much! I made one for one of my friends and it works great!</p><p>Here are some pictures of the finished product:</p>
<p>just finished my second. started yesterday and only put around 5 and a half hours into it. </p>
<p>Your link for the star knot is no longer working. I think this may be the same one you were talking about: </p><p><a href="https://sites.google.com/site/newknoticalarts/tutorials/star-knot" rel="nofollow">https://sites.google.com/site/newknoticalarts/tuto...</a></p><p>Your whip looks nice, good instructable. </p>
<p>Yes,thanks.Your link is indeed a mirror of the tutorial I was recommending.</p>
I made two whips and they came out good. If anyone is interested I'm selling them
Hey CH5, <br>brilliant set of instructions. Time estimate right on and what an excellent whip to end up with. The missus and I went into the back garden and were breaking the sound barrier within minutes. Excellent. Thank you
Thanks for your comments :)<br>I'm glad you enjoyed it.<br>Any pics ?
Hi CH5<br>Here are a couple of photos. <br>Rather than a nail I used an old kite strut for the handle. I lengthened the first four strands to run the length of the handle as I thought it would hold together better. To finish off I screwed a round head brass head screw up the center of the rod. I am contemplating doing a knot on the end of the handle but having tied it in larger rope the thought of doing it in paracord is giving me the willies. Maybe I will just polish the screw head and call it a day as it does look nice and works very well.<br>thanks again <br>Martin
Thanks :)<br>Seeing all those pictures makes me wish i had much more time to try out all those color variations.
Great design, excellent and clear instructable. I've been working on mine on and off for a while, and just finished it. Figured I'd share.<br><br>I didn't have much luck with the knot you used to secure the cracker, so I made up my own. pictures and video below.<br><br><object height="360" width="640"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ELdpYqib91c?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ELdpYqib91c?version=3&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640"></embed></object>
Awesome ! thanks for sharing the pictures :)
Hey, I completed another! (c;
I finally made my second whip. Black and pink. Took about a week to make. I used mosquito cord for the crkacker... best thing I have found yet, works amazingly. Also, instead of using duct tape for wrapping the core, I used light automotive shrink tubing. I was hesitant at first, but it made the whip less rigid and really gave it more crack. This whip ended up being 10ft. from handle to cracker.
Sweet :)<br> I guess you only used one ping doubled strand to achieve this pattern ?<br> ( I'm stressing that so people could have various recipies for differnt patterns from the comments )<br> <br> Nicely done!<br>
good stuff... here are pictures of a few whips I have made, and by the way I'm only 16 so I'm sorry if the picrtures don't look very &quot;professional&quot; XD <br> <br>The 100 % complete ones are shown in close ups, the 8ft blue one is gutted paracord with simple round diamond and tripled 4 strand plaiting on the handle, the black one is a 10 ft 8 plait &quot;Indy&quot; Bullwhip made of... the DIYer's best friend Duct Tape
These look nice !<br> I was wondering: how good does the duct tape one perform?<br> What did you use on the inside ?<br> It looks great.Did you fold the tape strips lengthwise to get a thinner non-sticky band ?<br> I<br>
I have found that mosquito cord works exceptionally well for a cracker. Light weight, super strong, flexible and small diameter (1/16&quot;). Its sheathed with nylon like paracord but has a twisted pair of very tough nylon string in the core.
After many many hours over several weeks of evenings, I have complete my own using these instructions. I have made a few changes including larger lamp chain... which I think ultimately is the cause of mine being a bit shorter; from the tip of the handle to the tip of the fall it is 7ft. 3in. to the tip of the cracker it is 8ft. 3in. Lookng at your star knot and handle compaired o mine, I believe the spike I used for the handle was a bit larger, but it tapers nicely to the whip. I had to use more material in the plaiting for some reason I cannot explain and still ended up too short on the plaiting. Also, I think I pulled the plaiting too tight, as my whip is very rigid and in some spots was not able to hide the drop strands very well because I could not slide the bottom strands up enough to hide them. I thought the red stripe would make the whip stand out a bit more. Like yours, I fastened the star knot with a Mathew Walker knot, but I crowned the star knot to fill the hole in the end and have three passes through the rabbit holes. I put a turks head on to mark the top of the handle. Unfortunately, I did not know how to hide the ends to the Matthew Walker or the Turks head nicely, so there is a small dot where I melted the ends where each string came out. Also, I cut the ends off short and melted them to the half hitch knots where the fall attaches because I got ahead of the instructions, where you left the ends just cut short, but it ended up looking fairly nice regardless. I didn't have any medium diameter string, so I made the cracker out of some of the guts from the cord and it worked extremely well. This whip cracks incredibly loud and easy. All in all, I am very happy with the results of my first attempt. I think my next will go faster and a bit smoother. There are a few things I may put my own twist on with the next one. One of the bigger changes I may make next time is using shrink tubing in place of duct tape. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise on this project, I enjoyed doing this immensely. (c;
Hi, your whip looks very nice :)<br> I featured your comment so everybody can see the results near the top of the page. I also planned on using multiple color strands, but didn't have long enough strands of matching colors at the time.<br> How many orange strands did you use ? My guess from the pattern would be one ?<br> Very nicely done, and thanks for your support :)
so I'm layin on the couch snappin my paracord bullwhip around the room like I tend to do when I decided to revisit your instructable. <br>After perusing the comments for quite some time I realized no-one has actually posted a pic of a bullwhip they made using your directions. <br>So here is some photographic whippage for your ogle-ing pleasure. It aint perfect but neither am I. Your instructable was excellent, well written, easy to follow, at least if a dullard like myself could do it, well, you know. <br> <br>
Hi, thanks for posting some pics, as you mentionned it I didn't get that much graphic feedback on this instructable, it's nice to see some.<br> Also thanks for your support, doing this instructable took some work, and i'm glad people find it clear enough to follow.<br> I hope you have fun with your hand made supersonic toy :)<br> <br>
hey! great instructable - i've made a whip of my own in a few hours :) could you please come up with a formula to calculate particular lengths of paracord for different whip lengths? is it just proportions i'm looking for or is there more to it? all the best, tomek
That's the question I most get since I published this instructable.<br> But unfortunately, I don't know of any ratio for this.<br> Especially since many things might make it may vary such as :your plaiting style , the initial materials, the thickness of your differents layers...<br> I think using simple ratios based on this example should be close to what you'd need, but i'd recommend extanding them a bit , just in case.<br> That's the only whip I've made so far so I lack data to make the estimates more accurate, but if you happen to try it with other lengths, I'd be interested in the outcome ( lengths you used, length reached, leftovers..)<br> <br> I'm glad you like it, thanks for your support ;)<br> ( You're from Poland ?Right? )<br> <br> <br>
Thanks for responding. In fact I've made the one to your measurements for my kid (who is really into indiana jones at the mo) but had so much fun doing it, that i'd love to make another, possibly longer. The question is not so much about the length of the plating but about the guts. Logically the guts determine the length of the plating, so I can figure them out. It is just a question of dropping the thickness at the right points. How did you come up with the lengths? Did you just eyeball it? And, yes, I'm very much from Poland (Warsaw at the mo) :) All The Best, tomek
The exact place where the whip gets thinner isn't really critical.<br> Even I didn't 100% follow the exact measurements I give here.<br> To make it neat , if the whip is 5 sections long,thinning every 1/5 will probably work fine for the guts, maybe with the end segment slightly longer than the others.<br> You might also want to add additionnal sections ( and a corresponding number of pair of strands to the plaits) to the whip If you want to make it longer.<br> <br> Since they're 3 layers, when making each one, drop thicknes 1/3 way of the underlying layer to get an even progression.<br> <br> I made a ( crappy ^^' ) diagram to better explain it below:<br> Black bars are the gut sections, blue is the first layer, red is the second one.<br> vertical green marks show points where the whip loses thickness, note that they end up evenely spaced.<br> <br> I hope this helps.<br> ( I was born in Warsaw btw ;) )<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br>
thanks a lot :) now i have enough info to figure it out :) (as for you being born in warszawa, well .. it's a small world already, and it's getting smaller by the minute :) regards, tomek
hello again! :) this instructable is AWESOME! well, i finished my whip, but the only problem is i cant get the star not on the end of the handle, any tips? i will post some pics soon. THANKS!!
I answered that earlier in the comments already: Once you've tied the knot on the table, it will very loosely fit around the nails head. What makes it hold is the very tight matthew walker's knot tied with the remaining strands around the base of the handle. Then just cut the ends of the remaining strands so a few millmeters are left, melt them, and smear around the knot's end like an O-ring. Also, when beginning the knot , i dont melt 6 strands together like on the suggested website but rather cross 3 middled strands &quot;over/under&quot; like In the following. It helps saving some space.( you could also thread them through each orher like in step 15,pic 3 to save some more and make the tying easaier.)<br />
well, i tied my star knot, but i didn't do what the picture above suggests(at that time i had no idea what you were talking about in the other comment) and when i make my mathew walker knot, it just slides right off, it was tight too. any suggestion?(sorry if i am getting annoying with all my questions)
here are some PICS!
It looks nice in beige too :) I think that from the pics I understand what's going on: The melted part on your knot seems to take up a lot of space from inside the knot, and therefore you're just putting the knot close to the nail tip before tying it, leaving all the strain on the matthew walker. It should look more like the following illustration ( fear the epic paint skillz ^^ ) Using one of the 2 techniques I mentionned for beggining the knot will probably help a lot. The nail's head is supposed to be stuck inside the knot after it is tied and dressed. It will fit loosely. I hope this helps.
that helps a lot! thank you! i will remake the star knot, hopefully, and see if that works.
Great instructable! You beat me to it! I&nbsp;have made several whips of paracord, but lack the documentation for a full on instructable as of yet. The most recent I&nbsp;made was a snake whip with plastic coated steel cable as the core. Keep up the good work. You have my vote and 5 stars!<object height="385" width="480"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/uPe9k6QHoE8&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/uPe9k6QHoE8&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480" /></object><br />
Thanks for your support!<br /> Your whip sounds great ^^<br />
Love this instructable!! This is my second whip, the first was duct tape which is heavy and doesn't hold up too well. I'm about to wrap my last layer and was confused when it says to cut the shortest cords in the inside layer... When should I be doing this?
<p>Here are some illustrations to show what I mean. [Click on the pics to see the examples. (My {inanimate} narrator Sam killing a bee.)]</p>
<p>1) First, you lay out the whip behind you, holding it near the end of the handle.</p><p>2) Then, you pull it up over your head, keeping it in a straight line.</p><p>3) Finally, when the whip is about halfway between parallel and perpendicular with the ground, slowly snap your hand forward.</p>
<p>After watching a MythBusters on Indiana Jones, I started loving whips. Very recently, I bought a very cheap bullwhip that turned out to be more of a snakewhip, but still very effective. I have a method of using it that isn't good on cracking [super] loud, but is GREAT with accuracy.</p>
<p>Quick question about the handle by itself, how did you add that nice &quot;bump&quot; stoppage at the end? You said that it was a start and Matthews but how you actually made it? Did you built it on the handle or separately and attached it?</p>
<p>I would guess that the creator made a star knot, then attached it separately. I would [also] guess that it was done by him looping the Matthews knot into the star knot, instead of through it [it has been a question since you asked, sorry for replying if you already figured it out].</p>
<p>It's a star knot, started with 3 cords interwoved at the center producing 6 strands , instead of using 6 strands fused together.</p><p>The star knot is made separately, then put on the top of the handle, the nail head won't hold it strong enough by itself, so the matthew alker is then added with the remaining strands to keep it in place.</p><p>All of the above has already been mentionned in the various comments, look for a picture of 3 strands assemblen in a triangle for the start of the star knot, and an ugly red and blue paint image describing how the knot is fixed to the handle.</p>
&nbsp;This is the first 'make your own 'bullwhip' article I have looked at, so sorry if this is a newbish question. &nbsp;What are the ratios you are using for the section lengths? &nbsp;I am wanting to make one along the lines of 11 or 12 feet total length for theatrical purposes. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> Excellent work, great instructions, many thanks!<br />

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