Inspired by the castlevania series of games and of course by Indiana jones I decided to create my own bullwhip out of 550 paracord. I also created a video as I felt that this helps to show how to do some of the braids more clearly. If you follow this Instructable then you should end up with a paracord bullwhip which is about 7.5 feet in length depending on how long you make the fall.
Step 1: Things You'll Need
- Paracord (alot of it, all together I think I used about 250 feet and its always better to have spare)
- steel bb's (although these are optional they do help to give the whip some heft, and produce a nice loud crack)
- mild steel rod (this can be substitued for a large nail or even a wooden handle, this should be between 8 and 9 inches in length)
- a lighter (this will be needed to seal the ends of the paracord and prevent fraying)
- a file (to file a groove into the steel rod)
- a sharp knife or pair of scissors (to cut the cord)
- electrical tape
Step 2: Creating the Core
Begin by filing a groove into your metal rod about 2cm from the top, then cut 4 lengths of paracord, they should be: 2m, 1m, 80cm, 50cm.
then remove half of the inards from the 2m strand and fill the gap with bbs, both ends should then be singed to prevent fraying. Find the area in the middle of this piece of paracord where the bbs end and tie this off with some paracord inards and then tape around this area. The inner strands should then be removed from the remaining 3 lengths of paracord and the ends should be singed shut
Step 3: Attaching the Core
Take some of the Paracord innards and tie all four strands to the groove created in the handle, making sure to tie it as tight as posible. Then use electrical tape to make sure the four strands are attached, and also to tape the strands together to the end of the second longest strand.
If all has gone according to plan you should now have something that looks vaguely whip like.
Step 4: Some Extra Mass
This step is entirely optional but I the cut the same four lengths that I used for the core and proceded to use them to create a first short plaited belly.
This is done by folding all four strips in half and placing them over the bottom of the handle. One strand is the taken from the front (nearest to you) left, inbetween the second and third strand on the right and back over to the back (furthest away from you) left. This is then repeated with the right. This pattern is known as under two over two, because the strand from the left goes under two strands on the right and over two strands on the right. When strands start to get to short they will have to be dropped, this is done by pulling the strands tight and flat to the body of the whip and braiding over them. The pattern then becomes under two over one and will continue until it eventually becomes under one over one. when these final strands become too short they should then be taped down to the central core.
Step 5: The Second Plaited Belly
You should now cut the following lengths of paracord:
(x2) 5 meter = 16.4'
3 meter = 9.9'
4.3 meter = 14.1'
Take these four strands remove the innards and seal the ends (with a lighter), as the strands get longer then it becomes easier to tie the innards to something sturdy and pull the outer layers off. then find the centre points for each strand and place them over the handle. Then repeat the previous step, using the same plait which begins as under two over two. This belly should extend much further down the length of the whip and once finished should once again be taped to the end of the whip.
Step 6: Pommel
It was at this point that I chose to add a pommel to the end of the whip so that I had something to seat the final belly against, without it sliding off. I chose to use a 3d printed skull, however you could use absoloutely anything from a piece of wood to a fancy paracord knot. This step is once again optional, or could be added when the whip is finished but I found the extra security of knowing the cord wouldnt slip off the end of the handle to be very useful.
Step 7: The Final Belly
Cut the following lengths of paracord, remove the innards and seal the ends.
(x2) 7 1/3 meters = 24'
5 1/3 meters = 18'
5 meters = 16.4'
4.3 meters = 14.1'
3 meters = 9.9'
You should then find the mid points in each peace and mark these so that you can line them up when placing all six on the handle. This will be the outer core so if you want to add some interesting colours to your whip then now is the time to use nicely coloured paracord (I cut the 5m and 5.3m lengths from orange and you can see how that affected the pattern). It doesn't matter in which order the lengths are placed onto the handle as long as there centres are in the middle. Then the braiding begins once again, it starts as under 3 over 3 and eventually becomes under 3 over 2 and then under 2 over 2. It will then transition to under 2 over 1 and finally under 1over 1. Remember that as this is the outer most layer to pull the plait as tight as possible when braiding it, and to drop strands nice and neatly.
Step 8: Attaching the Fall
cut another piece of parracord which is about an arm lengths long seal both ends and leve the innards in (this will be known as the fall). Take this and tie a slip knot in one end then place this over the tip of the whip and over the four loose strands from the final belly, then pull the knot tight to keep the loose strands from unravelling. Then tie each loose stand and the strand from the central core to this new piece of paracord, do this using half hitch knots. Once all of the pieces are securely tied to the fall they can then be trimmed and singed shut, this includes the central core piece.
Step 9: The Cracker
The final step is making the cracker and attaching it to the end of the fall. Take some of the spare paracord innards and cut about 6 inches from them and seperate out three strands. These three six inch strands will be used to make the cracker. first pinch the middle and twist one side, then hold this side twisted and twist the other side, pinch both of the ends together and release the middle. then tie a knot near the end to prevent the whole thing from untwisting. Then thread the tip of the fall through the natural loop of the cracker, take the cracker around the back of the fall and pull it through the loop created to finish the knot. Pull this as tightly as possible and your whip is now finished. The final optional step is to take a piece of wood and roll it over the whip.
Step 10: Give It a Test
You may struggle to get a crack at first but practice flicking it behind you and then quickly flicking it forwards before it touches the ground, you ahould be aiming to send a wave down the whip and this should produce a nice crack after a little practice.