Hardware Store Bullwhip




Introduction: Hardware Store Bullwhip

About: Farm kid, welder, backyard mechanic and blacksmith, muscle (car and body) enthusiast. People hunter (search and rescue).

I'm basing this instructible on a video made by Adam Winrich (http://youtu.be/gOcRZrESYCI). Use this video as a guide to my steps, he shows them in real-time.

Tools required:
Knife or scissors
Tape measure

The materials you need are:
Some Mason string
1 foot of 1/2 PVC tubing
1 1/2" PVC coupling
10 feet of 3/16" braided nylon rope
10 feet of 3/8 twisted nylon rope
8 feet of ball chain (the stuff on sink/bath drain plugs and lamp pull-chains)
1 roll of electrical tape
1 roll of athletic tape. I'm using hockey tape in this instructible, but that's because I'm Canadian.

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Step 1: Cut List

3/16 braided rope: 1x120"
3/8 twisted rope: 1x54" 1x40" 1x18"
Ball chain: 1x60" 1x24" 1x12"

You can connect pieces of ball chain together to make the lengths needed since the whole apparatus will be taped up later on.

Tip: pros tape rope on either side of where they cut before they cut, ensuring the rope stays together.

Step 2: Taping Loose Ends

Tape together the 3/8 twisted rope at one end. Make sure it's all together at that end. The reason for the different lengths is to form a better taper in the whip.

Tape the 3/16 braided rope to the 3/8 twisted rope, leaving a couple of feet sticking out.

Fasten in the ball chain. Tape in one piece at a time, and wrap around the whole thing a couple times afterwards.

Step 3: Handle

Stick the coupling onto the tubing and feed the couple of feet that you left sticking out of the main whip body through the coupling. Make sure that the taped bundle of rope and chain fits snug into the coupling. Pull the 3/16 rope tight and anchor it to the outside of the tubing. Then to form the knob at the base of the handle, zig-zag the rope and tape continuously as you go. For every zigzag, go around the tubing with the tape once. Cut off any excess rope. If you run out of rope, just add in some more from your stock.

Using the athletic tape, cover the open end of the PVC with two strips. From there, you can tape in a grip on the handle by anchoring the athletic tape (wrapping around once) and then twisting it to make the grip. From there, start at the bottom end of the handle and wrap around, overlapping each consecutive wrap by half the width of the tape.

Step 4: Cutting a Better Taper

Untwist about a foot of each piece the 3/8 rope and cut back one of the three strands about 4" and another about 6". This will form a better taper.

Step 5: Taping the Thing

Lash/tape/clamp the handle to something to keep it from rotating as you tape the whip. Start from the handle and tape your way to the end of the whip, overlapping by half. Once you reach the end of the 3/8 rope, tape back towards the handle, keeping the direction of your wrap the same.

Step 6: The Cracker

To make the cracker, follow Adam's video.

It's optional to do what Adam does in the video for making the cracker. Instead of melting the end of the 3/16 rope, I just tied the cracker and the rope together in an overhand knot.

Step 7: Learn to Crack

Shameless plug for Adam, watch his videos for how to's on cracking and such. Be safe, have fun, and thanks for reading!

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    5 Discussions


    5 years ago

    You can melt the end of the rope with a lighter to prevent unraveling as well, it can burn you though. Nice use of what's available!


    Reply 5 years ago

    Yes that's a great idea, melt the ends of the 3/8 after you've trimmed them down. Thanks for the feedback!


    Reply 5 years ago

    Sure thing! Great Instructable!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is awesome! You definitely can't tell from looking at it that your bull whip's handle is made from PVC. Great job!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I was surprised at how well it performs given the nature of PVC. Thanks for the feedback!