NOTE: I no longer use Vermont’s Barre Army Navy. The products they carry are excellent, but I no longer refer others to them. R & W Rope Warehouse supplies the Vermont store, so I order almost all of my nylon from R & W Rope Warehouse.
Each week, several people email me with questions on building a nylon whip. This led me a couple months back to develop a whipmaking kit. It was recently added to the site, and so far has been pretty well received. Sometime soon I hope to add some reviews by customers regarding the kit. The whipmaking kit contains all the materials needed to build a 3 foot, 12 plait nylon snakewhip or bullwhip. The instructional/CD is in PDF format and contains photos and info, guiding the user from start to finish. For more info on the whip kit go here.
One of the questions I’m asked a lot is where I get my paracord supply. There are a few different distributors I use. Supply Captain is hands down my favorite. Their service is 2nd to none. Because I order online, a confirmation email is sent soon after I place an order. Usually, the order is processed & shipped the next business day or at most, within 3 days. Their service & prices are excellent. My next go-to guy would be Vermont’s Barre Army Navy.
They have some colors which Supply Captain doesn’t carry. Their prices & service are also very good. If you check out these two places, you’ll notice that one sells only 550 paracord, the other has both 450 & 550 cord. For all purposes of nylon whipmaking, they’re pretty much the same. The difference is the inner filler strands of the paracord. This is what gives paracord its strength, and how it’s classified. Since this cord is removed by most nylon whipmakers, including myself, it doesn’t matter which series of cord you use. It can even be used together, and no one could tell the difference.
Another distributor is Lighthound.com. They have some cool colors which I buy from them, one being mocha. It looks really nice with black and goes well with rust and brown colors. Plus with each order, they usually throw in a little something like a photon light. I like the photon lights, have one clipped to my backpack when I’m hiking and one in the Jeep. You never know when you’ll need a light .
The newest distributor that I’ve used in recent months is Armed Forces Outfitters, Inc. They have the lowest prices out of all the distributors I’ve mentioned, but are not always the fastest in shipping. If you’re looking to buy a large amount of cord, or have your heart set on a particular color they have, I’d suggest dropping an email or giving them a phone call, just to make sure they have it in stock. Otherwise, it may be backordered. And of course (and this should go without saying), everyone’s favorite auction site ebay.com . It’s a good place to score some paracord, whether small bundles or big spools, like I buy. Supply Captain also sells on ebay, but the prices are a little lower on their home site.
Of course there are other online places to buy paracord, such as http://elwoodbraiding.com/. Many makers of nylon whips buy from them, though I never have. One reason being that a few years back the minimum amount to order was $300. I don’t know if that still holds true. My online whipmaker friend, Tony Layzell, from www.essentiawhips.com & www.indywhips.com would know better. Yes, Tony has 2 whip websites and I only have one . He makes some fine-looking roohide whips, and is an all-around good guy. Maybe someday I’ll have a chance to chuck a whip or two of his. He’s always very approachable when it comes to answering questions pertaining to whipmaking, and has helped me with some important tips on refining my leather whips. As we say here in MA, he’s a "wicked nice guy."
Well, I hope this has been an enjoyable read. If not, let me know and I’ll try to come up with something . If you have any suggestions for topics you’d like discussed here, leave a comment or drop me an email.
Till next time,