Whippings are preferable to back-splices whenever there is a need for the rope's end to pass through an eye or a block. I think a whipping is always preferable because a back-splice will catch on anything at the most inconvenient moment.
Whippings are usually made from waxed twine or rope yarn. For my example I've used some braided cord. A boot lace will do.
The length of a whipping should be at least equal to the diameter of the rope, and for permanent whippings, a second one should be made nine diameters from the end.
My favourite whipping is the sailmaker's whipping. I think it looks great and I've never seen one work adrift. Here's how to make one...
Step 1: Getting Started
- Get the end of the rope to be whipped in one hand.
- Get the twine in your other hand.
- Poke the end of the twine through the rope passing under one of the strands. About 200mm from the end of the rope.
- Now pass the twine over the next rope strand and then through the rope again going under the last strand. It should come out between the same two strands you first poked it through.
- Pull the twine through to give yourself about 200mm hanging out.
- Leave about 50mm of bight hanging at the back.
- You should now be ready to start whipping.
Step 2: Whip It!
- Leave the short end of twine and the bight hanging.
- Take the long part of twine and tightly pass it round and round the rope, working against the lay, toward the end of the rope.
- Continue until you have sufficient turns. The whipping should be at least as long as the rope is wide.