Quick & dirty flogger walk through…

Updated:  5/4/16 - not recovered - but will be making another flogger to get more photos when I can

The other day I posted some random photos of a flogger I was making – Link.

I had some questions directed my way – so here’s the quick method – most of which deals with doing a handle from scratch.  If you don’t want/need weighting for your flogger – then just buy a handle from someone to mount your flogger on.

In writing this I have two conflicting needs.

First, to effectively convey how to make the flogger.  Second, to do it succinctly.

There’s no way to know what is too little or too much detail.  I’m playing with the format – trying to use the “Read More” option.  I might just make 3 versions on the same page, each going into slightly more detail.

Note:  This thing is an on going piece & I'll move photos in to later.  Also there's no one way to do this stuff.

Flogger falls

  • Weight / tape your leather hide to the table so it does not move as much.
  • Cut the rectangle shape out of the leather in whatever size you want + 2 inches for the flogger head to attach.
  • Select one end of the rectangle you cut, that will be the point that wraps around the handle to attach the falls.
  • On the back of the leather lightly mark a line just under 2″ from the edge
  • Cut an inch or half inch strip from the side opposite of the 2″ mark in a line until you get to the 2″ mark and stop, leaving that last 2″ untouched.
  • Repeat until you have strips of leather all the way across the rectangle you cut.
  • At this point, I like to roll it & tie with strong string / paracord or just hold it in my hand and test how it feels before I go through the from scratch handle process.

Optionally, you might trim the edges to remove fuzzies from the falls or cut shapes in to the end of your strips.

Flogger handle

  • The flogger falls should all be attached by one end of the square sheet you cut from the leather hide.  This end where the flogger falls are attached is your “fall base”
  1. Thicker floggers, fold the leather in half, perpendicular to the fall base.
  2. Nail the part just folded or the opposite loose part of the fall base to the top of the flogger handle creating the flogger head.  I use two nails, putting one nail about a half inch in from each edge.  So there’s an inch between each nail & a half inch from either each.  Optionally, do three nails from the top to the bottom.
  3. Lay out the fall base in a straight line.
  4. Coat the fall base generously with leather cement on the part facing up.
  5. Let this dry for a minute or two until it becomes tacky.
  6. Roll the handle along the fall base, keeping the leather smoothly flush until the entire square of the fall base is not glued to the flogger head.
  7. Lightly wrap this with a strand of leather or something broad that won’t leave lines in the leather cement & glue.
  8. Let dry over night – 8+ hours.
  9. Going around the flogger head’s diameter, I nail 2 or 3 nails every 20% or 25%
  10. Get some electric tape or artificial sinew (using a constrictor knot combined with a lashing knot to hold it) and wrap it generously around the fall base / flogger head.  Tie / cut off the excess.
  11. After that you probably want some decorative cover over it.

The handle bottom

  1. Cut 2 circles of leather.  They should be the size of the large washers you’re using.  I cut out a hole in one so I can see where I’m nailing in the next steps.
  2. Place one circle of leather at each end of the bigger washer weight stacks.
  3. On the bigger set of washer weight stacks – the bottom of the handle, hold the washer weight stack or tape it on to the handle & then hammer three or four nails to hold the washer weights centered.
  4. On the same end now you use the screw and a single small washer to hold the large washer weight stack to the handle.
  5. Wrap some leather around the leather weight stacks.  If you cut slits in ends it’s easier to fold over the circles and glue down.

Optionally

  • For strength you can bind/lash around the leather wrapping the weighted washers with sinew/artifical sinew/electric tape.  Sometimes this is done before doing a second leather layer with glue holding or a “turkshead knot”.
  • On the circle at the bottom of the handle, you can place a silver dollar or other similarly flat object to be held to the handle.
  • You could have both the circles and the leather going around stick out out some & stitch them together before folding over and gluing down to the end.

Measurements

  • Flogger falls – the length can vary as long or as short as you desire, based on how strong of leather you use & it’s stretch.  If using deer, try not to go too long as its very stretchy & that changes the impact feeling.  16-22″ is pretty standard, but since you’re making your own you get to choose.
  • Flogger heads – the attachment point to the handle should all be at least an inch for the impact protection, I like 2 inches to be safe.
  • The larger washers I use 15 or 16 of and those go on the bottom of the handle.
  • The handle; should be 2″ for the flogger head to attach + the size of your hand that would hold the handle  + 3″.  More if you go with a bigger washer size for weighting – so that the completed flogger handle won’t hit your wrist when swinging it.
  • Nails, I use 5/8’s inch length nails for the inch wooden dowel to hold the handle wraps.  I use 1 1/2 inch length nails for holding the flogger head to the handle.

Some thoughts on quick & dirty flogger construction

  • Flogger head density planning. I do not plan by counting out my falls, instead I know from general experience or reading other people’s fall count & how wide each fall measures then compare it to what people enjoy.
  • Flogger head density.  I find a 24″ wide rectangle to be a decent warm up flogger.  With half inch falls that’s 48 total falls.  I made two of this style and found myself after warming up holding them in the same hand to swing for more impact.  Due to that later on I made two that were 36″ wide each, slightly longer & thicker hide for after doing a warm up.
  • Fall size.  See an article on sting versus thud for deciding which style fits you best.  A decent 1/4″ set of falls on a 12″ wide by 13″ long (you lose an inch to the flogger head attaching) square of cow or deer is going to be mildly stingy & get stingier as it gets longer.
  • Shorter floggers – When space is limited, you may want a 12″ or 14″ fall length.  Occasionally, I use a 3″ hardwood dowel as the flogger head & put a smooth spherical cabinet handle on it as the handle.  Going much shorter than 12″ leaves you with not much to swing.
  • Toy floggers – less intimidating and more artsy handles.  I see 20 or 30 falls of 2mm by 2mm by 8″ or 16″ long falls on decorative floggers.  Sometimes they are mixed with led light strips or lamp chain, etc.
  • Longer floggers – the longer the flogger the wider the falls need to be to maintain the strength.  Thus, more material you waste.  I have done 1″, 1.5″ & 2″ wide with 24″, 28″, 36″ long falls.  My personal feeling is if you want something over 28″ long, you should just make a dragon tail instead … but the aesthetics of a longer flogger are very ‘striking’ visually.
  • Leather hide finish.  The skin side of the leather can be done  up to make it softer or smoother.  The smoother the hide, the more sting someone will feel.
  • Leather hide “weight” in ounces.  This refers to the 3rd dimension most people don’t discuss.  If you put a hide down on the table it’s 25 square feet or 5′ x 5′.  You should also see something about “oz” / “ounces” / “weight”, which of course is how tall the leather is when the hide is spread out.  This is one of several factors in how expensive & how hard a flogger hits.

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