Whip #13 – Orange Goat

A light weight experiment

Had a few questions come up in the last whip I was making.  The great whip making purists of Australia are forwarding a proposal that a metal or weighted core will actually slow the whip.  This pre-supposes that all whip makers have equal skill & that shortcuts to a proper throw, like say shot loading a snake whip are just that, shortcuts.  The purists claim that a properly setup whip made without a weighted core will out preform a weighted core & last longer.  I’m not sure if it’s true or not – as the people who like weighted whips explained to me that the crack is easier to do with them.  To each their own I think.

Second, I’ve been pondering how to best get straight cuts with beveled edges without professional grade setup ringing in ~$200 for the splitter, ~100 for the strander, ~100 for the 30 & 45 degree beveler … on the low end.

Sadly, before I could finish this one – it dropped off my hip & was stolen at the renaissance festival in Minnesota – a friend saw it at the employee party that night, but figured I lent or sold it to the individual.


Pre cuts to setup for strands

I did a little cute U shape on my goat hide, which I could then make a single cut from as I added each layer to the whip.  I slanted one end hoping to end up with strands that were all identical in length.  It did not work.  Looking for suggestions to that idea.

(No image)

12″ Core was 4 strands from trash around the edges with bolster shaped as an airplane delta symbol for tapering from the 2″ mark and full circumference another 2″ later the bolster was half that thickness and from there it was approaching but not quite zero till the 12″ mark.


Probably 36″ in strands to start for the 24″ belly and chopped off a bunch when I eye balled & saw the taper wasn’t quite right.

  • 16″ long Core:  ~5mm x 4 with 8″ long half of circumference bolster
  • 24″ long Belly:  ~8mm x 4, 36″ long strands – 30mm circumference. @ top, 15 mm at an inch before the fall

Pre-rolling, after cutting the 4 plaits each in half.
2nd Belly

Originally there was going to be only one belly, but I did’t like the way this one was going.  I wanted to try seeing what taking it from a 4 plait at the handle, into an 8 plait by splitting the 4 plaits each in half would look like.

2nd Belly – estimated : a 1.5 x multipler 45mm at the handle, 22mm before the fall
  • 2nd Belly actual:  70cm long, 5cm @ handle, 3.5cm @ tip  (108cm long prebraiding).
  • I used the 8 column for my measurements.  The last two columns being in case I made another of the same length and did it in other numbers of strands.
2nd Belly Strands
 Loction Total Cut 4 8 12 16
Handle 45 11.25 5.625 3.75 2.8125
Tip 22 5.5 2.75 1.833333 1.375
Diff 11.5 2.875 1.4375 0.958333 0.71875
1/4 24.875 6.21875 3.109375 2.072917 1.554688
Mid point 27.75 6.9375 3.46875 2.3125 1.734375
3/4 30.625 7.65625 3.828125 2.552083 1.914063

Pre-rolling the sheath of the whip into the body.
Pre-rolling the sheath of the whip into the body.
  • Sheath – 216cm length strands, 7cm @ handle, 5cm @ tip

Triangles or not?  For cutting technique.

So, my idea was because of not having a professional grade setup or equipment, I should try cutting strands to just cut from one corner, to the opposite corner of the strand.  Forming 2 triangular strands from each rectangular strand I cut.  The idea was to make even strands for beginners. Well, it’s difficult to do on a small hide, due to having to cut them with round angles in places.  Here’s what I ended up doing…

Sheath of the whip, my calculations:  Strands 1.5cm strands wide, they were 216cm long.

Position Width of strand Total Width
1 (216cm) 9.625 77
2 9.25 74
3 (151cm) 8.875 71
4 8.5 68
5 (108cm) 8.125 65
6 7.75 62
7 (65cm) 7.375 59
8 7 56
9 (22cm) 6.625 53
10 6.25 50

Process, rather simple but a trick or too …

  1. On the back of the leather – which is not going to be showing, I marked off the widths at each length of the strand from the chart above,  I also add smaller markings for the 40% & the 60% positions for small increment in case the strands too long to track easily.

    Triangles cut from rectangular strands. Yellow is 50% way point. Solid red being 30% way point. Dotted red is a guide for 40% of the way & 60% to taper smoother.
  2. Since I am working with goat in my experiment, I jumped or pre-cut a beginning path for the blade with scissors on one end of the strand.
  3. I setup my Australian Strander for 2mm (the minimum I figured I can get away with lengthwise) and guided it thru the already started cut.  My check point was 30% of the length of the strand, when I reach there, I pause my draw thru the strander & then add a few twists to get it to 3mm cuts.

    Guiding the strand to be cut into the Australian Strander.
    Guiding the strand to be cut into the Australian Strander.
  4. I repeat step 3, but at 40% of the length of the strand I begin, I increment the roller wheel a turn
  5. Then again I increment, before the 50% check point finally reaching the half way point for both length & width of the strand.
  6. Now, instead of keeping going, I pulled the leather off the strander and worked from the other end with the same process to meet my previous work in the middle of the strander.  Lesson learned, just get close to having them meet, then use a knife or scissors to finish the cut – it’s smoother and saves the time as you will likely have to trim it anyways.

    Meeting the previous work and completing the cut.
    Meeting the previous cut in the middle and completing the cut.

Measurements for the strands
Ok, so here’s what I did as my first test …
  • 15mm thick strands x 2160mm long.
This obviously failed, since 8 x 11.25 much less 150mm – 4 mm is 146mm & almost twice the needed 70mm on handle.  I trimmed these down to fit the 1.5 waste estimation most people cite on the internet.

Tips on cutting the triangle strands from the rectangular strips
Once you get the leather off the hide section…on the suede side (non-smooth)
  • They call for 1.5 times the width, but I made it 2 times the width for ease of cuts as by the tip I’m dealing with 2mm on a cheap soft hide.
  • Mark your percent of length with little “+” signs, but no where near the edges in case in trimming you cut so close to it that the black marks show on the edge of the strand when weaving.  I marked 50%, then 75%, 25%, then 60% & 40% with “+” symbols.
  • Eye ball the piece & select straightest side.
  • Trim any uneven edges on this side / edge & then the other
  • Mark every 6″ or every 3″ when starting out with a dot for where the taper should be – do the dot by dampening the leather and an awl point or by using  a felt pen.
  • Let the leather dry for several hours or all day if you over did the awl step above
  • Jump weaker leather with scissors to prestart the cut
  • Use the austrialian strander to follow the line of dots you marked for the taper
  • Remeasure it all & adjust as needed
  • Even out the lace on one edge to be straight for your “true” edge.
  • Smooth out the leather on which ever edge needs it and you are donenow

The finished product is at the top – I am still trying to find the photo’s of the triangular cuts once finished.