One of the many diverse techniques in building nylon whips is the use of core materials. I’ve built whips with bb-loaded cores, electrical cord, ball chain, steel & aluminum cable, rubber & braided nylon rope. Each one was a learning experience when using it for the first time. Some I really liked, others I felt weren’t viable in using as a core material. There are several different models of whips I build & sell on Noreast Whips, all with varying core materials. I’ve learned that certain models perform better with one core material, while another model handles better with a separate material. Based on what I’ve learned over the years is how I help others in their whip-building, making suggestions & giving tips to help them build the type of whips they want.
One thing I tell most people is to experiment. Experiment with different things to find what you like, what gives you the results you’re looking for. Whip-making, as a tradition, is filled with basic guidelines which most whip-makers follow. Leather whips normally follow stricter methods, which vary a bit from maker to maker, but for the most part, are pretty close in construction practices. Nylon whips have some more options in the whip-building process. Leather whips generally contain natural materials, while nylon whips, because they’re synthetic, are more acceptable when built with other synthetic materials. For instance, you most likely won’t find a nicely crafted kangaroo hide whip that contains an electrical cord core. It’s just not natural, and in many circles, wouldn’t be acceptable. Nylon, however, is already unnatural. It’s a man-made material, so therefore, it’s acceptable to use other man-made materials when building a nylon whip. This allows a broader spectrum for experimentation when building whips.
Whichever core material you decide to use in building a nylon whip, whether it’s electrical cord, ball chain or bbs, be sure that’s the only core material you use in that particular whip. What I mean is, it’s best if you don’t mix core materials. Build a whip with a bb-loaded core, then another with electrical cord, another with ball chain. See where I’m going with this? Many people try using both bbs & ball chain in the same whip, and most times, it doesn’t end up working too well; or electrical cord & steel cable. A whip is a simple object, yet it’s dynamic in its action. Like simple machines, that which has less moving parts will have less potential breakdowns. A whip is much the same, so keep it simple. If you haven’t built a whip yet with either bbs or ball chain, then it wouldn’t be wise to build one with both materials in the same whip, as you don’t know exactly how either will work on its own.
Is it impossible to mix core materials to build a well-handling whip? No, it’s not. Yet it’s not likely, in your early stages of whip-making, to build a good working whip with multiple core materials. Besides, it simply complicates the whole process. Keep it simple. Do the simple things well & those simple things will add up to a good result. And in everything you do, remember, always keep good notes in order to refer back to what it is you’ve done. When you find a good system, a good recipe, then tweak it here & there, refine it until you’re completely happy with it. Then, if you feel like being a bit more creative, experiment with other core materials.
If you’re looking to build your own whip, then take a look at the downloadable Make A Real Nylon Whip ebook on the website.
~Till next time, Steve.